BOSS Matt Ford admitted Pirates had the financial clout to be major players in the transfer market after securing a new main team sponsor for 2019.

No1 Carpet Cleaning, which has its head office in Christchurch and is the UK's leading carpet cleaning company, has agreed to provide a substantial five-figure sum for the reigning SGB Premiership champions.

The deal is initially for one year but could become a rolling contract provided both parties are happy the association is proving successful.

While Ford has finalised his septet for the title defence, he is keenly aware that injuries and loss of form may need to be covered during the campaign.

And the Wimborne Road chief is elated to have the required backing from No1 Carpet Cleaning – run by Richie Baker-Barratt and partner Lisa Keet – to secure any signings necessary as well as aiding the club's "everyday security".

Ford told the Daily Echo: “Without this association, there was no way we could have delved into the transfer market in the upcoming season.

"But we have that chance now and it’s a great step forward for the club.

“In the past, it has helped when we have needed to purchase someone in mid-season who wasn’t available on loan. Rules in speedway sometimes mean we have to do that.

“In addition, the everyday security of the club is certainly better when you are bringing in sponsors of this stature.”

Volvo Cars Poole had been main team sponsor for the past two years and an elated Ford admitted he had not expected to complete a deal for a replacement by this stage.

“I had been beginning to make plans for going without a main sponsor to start the year,” he said.

“I always thought we would get one but felt we may not have had one for the beginning of the season.

“It will make life a lot simpler because we can include No1 Carpet Cleaning on everything we do and get their name out there.

“What they are really hoping is to go into commercial contracting, whereas previously they were residential.

“They felt the best way of getting the word out was by becoming main team sponsor of Poole Speedway.

“They were very happy with the television coverage and the amount of coverage we receive locally through the Daily Echo and others forms of media, including the BBC.

“I am very pleased to welcome Richie and Lisa into the Pirates fold.”

Ford is next week due to make an announcement regarding two new promoters, while Poole’s fixtures are also set to be released.

Meanwhile, Pirates reserve Nico Covatti leads the way heading into the fourth and final round of the Argentinian Championship at Colonia Baran on Saturday.

Covatti scored eight points in last weekend’s third-round meeting at Carlos Casares, which was abandoned after 12 heats due to heavy rain.

Poole’s winter recruit has 50 points after three rounds, putting him two ahead of Facundo Albin, while Fernando Garcia is third on 36.