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Biggart: Tigers and Monarchs need each other

Alun Biggart, the new owner of Glasgow Tigers, yesterday admitted to relief that the team's arch-rivals Edinburgh Monarchs have confirmed they will compete in the Premier League next season.

The Scots-born businessman will meet the Edinburgh promoters and those of other teams at the three-day annual conference which starts in Coventry today.

"I called John Campbell and Alex Harkess [co-promoters at Edinburgh Monarchs for the past two decades] and wished them the best of luck next season," he said. "Not only do I, and Glasgow, want Edinburgh to survive, but we wish for them to thrive for the sake of Scottish speedway. We definitely need each other."

Biggart is determined to promote exciting racing at Ashfield, and work has already started on the Saracen Park track under the guidance of Alan Bridgett, team manager of Monarchs. "We're widening the straights and this allows us to also widen the entry to bends 1 and 3," he said. "We have also begun work to improve track drainage. Later in the winter we will blade the entire track in order to smooth out and eradicate any historic build-up of material which can effect rider confidence. Confidence in the track means harder racing."

Biggart revealed that the new management have already started promoting the club, with the launch of a weekly e-newsletter which has hundreds of subscribers. "We pledge to be a listening promotion," he said. "This isn't the management team's club; it belongs to our supporters. We need to start making people sit up and take notice that there is a thriving and exciting form of motorsport in Glasgow. We need to reach out and connect to former supporters and to prospective new ones.

"Speedway has a lot going for it; no matter who people may wish to compare us to, we have a unique selling point which is the atmosphere, excitement, sound, smell and vibrancy of live speedway. We will continue to work to raise the profile of the sport – and the Tigers – leading up to the new season."

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