Consortium willing to buy Devils' home patch
A four-man consortium behind a bid to take over Devon speedway team Plymouth Devils have revealed plans to buy the club's circuit, should it become necessary.
The consortium have been offered a year's lease but say it is not long enough to properly develop the club's home track, St Boniface Arena.
Consortium members are negotiating with governors at St Boniface College, who are responsible for the land at Marsh Mills which the arena stands on.
One of the consortium members, former Devils captain Seemond Stephens, said the offer to buy the land was all about security for the club.
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He said that a year's lease would not allow new owners to recoup enough cash to make the outlay on the team worthwhile.
Stephens, last season's joint team manager with Lee Trigger, said: "There is one season left on the lease, which expires in March, 2014.
"It costs a considerable amount of money to put a team into the league, with licences and so on and the 12 months of a lease would not give us enough time to recoup the money we would spend.
"What we need from the college is either an extension on the lease, or to be able to buy the land at a reasonable price.
"The college were looking to sell the land and what we don't want is to have a one-year lease and have to move on again.
"We have met with the college and said if the price is reasonable, we will have a look at it. I am sure the people behind the move would put the money in. We're waiting for the college to come back to us."
The Devils have until the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) annual meeting on November 19 to declare that they will be running next season. Stephens said the college had been made aware of the deadline and the BSPA was being kept fully informed over developments.
The former Exeter Falcons rider said he was confident there was enough support for the Devils to make the club a success.
He said: "When you think about the teams which have disappeared – Exeter Falcons and Trelawny Tigers – we don't want to see the same happen to the Devils.
"We want to have a speedway team in the South West. There is a passion for the sport to make that happen."
Stephens said that current owner Mike Bowden had supported the consortium in their negotiations with the college.
He said: "Mike did a miracle to make the club happen in the first place and he doesn't want to see it go."