BIRMINGHAM co-owners Peter and David Mason have announced they will leave the club at the end of the season.
It means that tonight’s home meeting against Newcastle could be the Brummies’ last league fixture at Perry Barr.
The father and son duo took over at Birmingham ahead of the 2018 season where they endured an injury-hit first campaign in the National League.
They elevated the Brummies back into professional league racing in 2019 and despite finishing bottom of the pile, Perry Barr regulars enjoyed seeing bigger names return to the Second City venue.
The 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride though which started with vandals causing more than £20,000 worth of damage to essential track equipment.
Covid-19 restrictions denied walk-up admissions, resulting in below average crowd levels for the first few meetings.
That led to the Masons suspending the Brummies’ season for a month – and despite supporters answering their call for bigger attendances since their return to action, the co-owners say it has all built up and taken its toll.
David Mason said: “There’s never a good time to announce something like this but we wanted to be open with our supporters now we’ve officially made our decision.
“We’ve had plenty of things sent to test us since we walked through the door as owners but we’ve always battled through and given it everything.
“We had such high hopes for 2021 and we genuinely believed it was a season that could take us another step closer to where we ultimately wanted to get the club.
“But it’s just been one thing after another and it’s affected us a lot, especially dad, it’s not been great on his physical health at all.
“It’s been mentally challenging too, draining at times, and we have had more nights than we should’ve where we’ve just had the stuffing knocked out of us.
“Whether that be the vandalism just before the season was due to start, the track problems we had up until a month or so ago, losing key sponsors on the eve of the season or different things behind the scenes that supporters never get to see, it has just taken its toll.
“We just want to thank all of the loyal Birmingham supporters who have stuck with us and backed us through everything since we were unveiled as the new owners almost four years ago now.
“They’ve been excellent and without them we wouldn’t have made it this far.
“We’d also like to thank the British Speedway Promoters Ltd – without the help, guidance and understanding of Rob Godfrey (chairman) and the board members, there’s no way we would’ve got through this 2021 season either.
“Our decision might not totally surprise some people and we have had one or two asking us if we would be selling up at the end of the year.
“As it stands we’ve had no firm interest from anybody, but maybe now we’re making things official, who knows, maybe we’ll see things start moving. Only time will tell.
“It’s not over just yet though – who knows we could still make the play-offs and we could still make the Knockout Cup Semi-Finals.
“All we can do in the meantime is make two final calls to the Birmingham faithful and local speedway supporters to come and get behind the Brummies.
“We would hate the club to close completely upon our exit, but it goes without saying that of course is a possibility as things stand unfortunately.
“We, obviously, sincerely hope that doesn’t prove to be the case, but I’m hoping the supporters turn out in huge numbers against Newcastle tonight (Wednesday, September 22, 7.30) for what will be the final league meeting at Birmingham, and then against Edinburgh in the Knockout Cup next week (Wednesday, September 29, 7.30) for what will be the last meeting at Perry Barr.”
Tonight’s meeting also offers additional racing with a Development League meeting with Eastbourne after Heat 15 and some 125cc demonstration races – all at no extra cost to supporters.
BIRMINGHAM: Chris Harris, Valentin Grobauer, James Shanes, Ashley Morris, Erik Riss, Paco Castagna, Jack Thomas.
NEWCASTLE: Ben Barker, Matt Wethers R/R, James Wright, Max Clegg, Connor Mountain, Archie Freeman, Adam Roynon.