SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter says the speedway club will need to know “within the next month or so” when building work on the Abbey Stadium is due to finish so it can make a decision on whether to return to competitive racing in 2022.

A decade after planning permission was given to the Abbey Stadium site for a revamp, parts of the new main stand and customer concourse are only just now being put together in the carpark outside due to Covid-19 safety measures.

A spokesman for Gaming International – the company which owns the stadium - said: “The units in the car park will be put together for the new customer building going up in the next few weeks. Ground works will start in the next two to three weeks after that.”

When informed of the quotes, Rossiter chuckled and suggested it remains to be seen when the work will actually be completed.

The speedway team boss claimed no one on the racing side has been told anything about what is going on, and that it will be an important month for the club if the Robins are not to miss a second year of racing in a row.

Rossiter said: “The plan is to come back next year, but we’ve got to make a decision soon and we don’t know how long this building work is going to take.

“We’ve been given no timescale on if or whether it’s going to be ready. We’ve had no contact with the stadium people. I’ve only heard or seen bits and bobs, but until we get any confirmation, we can’t make a decision.

“We’ll have to know shortly – within the next month or so – and we’ll get an idea what’s going on within the next few weeks. Time is getting closer in terms of us knowing whether we’ll run or not.”

Rossiter ruled out sharing venues with another team next season – especially Oxford Cheetahs as they look to make their return to the sport.

The Robins boss said another year’s wait would hardly be ideal, but it might make people appreciate one of the historical sporting features of the town when it does return.

He said: “Without a grandstand and without the hospitality side, we physically cannot be financially viable. If we can’t run next year, it would just be a matter of waiting until the stadium is sorted.

“Everybody is pretty wound up about this and they’ve missed it. Sometimes it’s good to have a bit of a loss because people don’t realise what they’ve got until it’s gone.”