PIRATES owner Matt Ford insisted the outcome of the SGB Premiership play-offs would not sway his thinking regarding his future, revealing: “It would be irrelevant.”

Ford, the most successful promoter in Poole’s history having piloted the club to seven league titles, admitted in an interview with the Speedway Star in July that he would this year decide whether or not to remain at the helm.

Speaking days before Pirates’ semi-final first-leg clash with Somerset, the 53-year-old said another business opportunity had piqued his interest.

And the Broadstone resident, in charge for two decades, admitted he would be “very keen” to enter discussions over the sale of Poole Speedway if the “right offer” were to be lodged.

Ford’s comments could raise questions over whether Pirates will run at all in 2019, although the Wimborne Road chief said he may “potentially be here for another five years”.

That would allow him to steer Poole further into the BT Sport era, with a year remaining on the current TV deal and viewing figures understood to be up 74 per cent since 2017.

Ford told the Daily Echo: “While I still have the burning ambition to win any competition we enter, I’m at a time of life where I am considering other options.

“Me, my wife and family are wondering what the future holds in terms of a working position.

“There is something which has raised its head which intrigues me greatly – another opportunity in life – and so if the right offer for the club came along, I would be very keen to explore it.

“It could be that I look at something else and remain the custodian of the Pirates but I have always said that anyone running the club is better off giving it 100 per cent of their time.

“If I were to look at another opportunity in another business which may take up far more of my time than the Pirates, then I don’t think that would benefit the club.

“In the past, I’ve been asked about selling the club by recognised businessmen in the town and I didn’t feel it was the right move.

“While I haven’t contacted those gentlemen since, they may receive a different response if they were to contact me now.

“Anyone who might think that speedway could be for them would be taking over a successful business which trades correctly.

“There could be great news for the club in the future with the prospect of the redevelopment of the stadium.

“We are already holding our head above water and it could be that someone could inherit a club in a very enviable position.”

Ford admitted he had found certain criticisms of his reign – and of individual riders – hard to take.

He said: “At times, conspiracy theorists believe they know more than I do, the owner of the club.

“There are those who believe the Chris Holder episode was a set-up and I find that disgraceful.

“While I don’t look at any form of social media, I am informed of what people think. I find some of the things which are said by supporters quite unpalatable.

“It takes its toll on you.”