TERRY Russell will feel let down and frustrated if SGB Premiership promoters ‘water down’ British speedway’s top flight this winter, amid his pursuit to re-sign former world champion Jason Doyle again for next season.

Swindon Robins owner Russell outlined his intention to retain Grand Prix star Doyle for 2020 on Wednesday, but at the same time, fears promoters’ individual interests might scupper chances of the 33-year-old returning to Blunsdon for a fifth season.

Two years ago, the British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) introduced a new rule that denied Premiership teams the chance to sign more than one rider with an average greater than eight points, with the seven-rider points limit set at 42.5.

That ruling resulted in Doyle’s departure from the Abbey Stadium to Somerset Rebels in 2018.

However, the rule was scrapped for 2019 and Doyle promptly returned to Blunsdon.

With the Premiership understood to be close to securing a multi-year TV broadcast deal with Eurosport, Russell wants promoters to embrace speedway’s star riders and add quality to the sport’s top tier in Great Britain.

He said: “We are very happy with Jason here at Swindon and we would like to have him back in the side next season, but I just hope the AGM doesn’t bring out something which prohibits that.

“People all too often down the years have looked to water it down to cut costs. But if we lost riders like Doyley from this league then crowds would go down again – that cannot be allowed to happen.

“Ideally I would like to see another team join the Premiership and make it eight clubs, that would be the perfect number.

“There are so many good things about this sport and we need to build on that.”

Australian favourite Doyle is the only permanent Grand Prix rider to complete a full season in British speedway this term, highlighting the Premiership’s demise in recent years.

Bartosz Zmarzlik, Matej Zagar, Fredrik Lindgren, Tai Woffinden, Maciej Janowski and Martin Vaculik are six proven GP riders to have turned their back on racing in England since 2014.

But for Doyle, a return to competing in England in 2020 appears to be very much part of his plans.

Doyle said: “I love riding in England. I like being busy and England has stepped up this year with regards to track conditions.

“British speedway needs to pick up a bit. There are a few things the country needs to catch up on, and hopefully that can be achieved.

“Sweden is on a bit of a downer at the moment, and hopefully England can take advantage and get a few of the top boys back.”