OWNER Matt Ford revealed how Pirates’ SGB Premiership future could be in doubt – and wanted fans to have their say.

The club promoter on Saturday took to the Pirates’ website to ask supporters their feelings on the future direction of the club.

A key issue from those questions was the importance of which level fans would be happy to see the Wimborne Road outfit perform at next season.

Having been crowned champions in 2018, Poole topped the regular Premiership standings this campaign, in which only seven sides competed to reach the four-team play-offs.

The SGB Championship – British Speedway’s second tier – had 11 clubs competing during 2019.

The Daily Echo understands Pirates must make a decision as to their league future by the British Speedway Promoters’ Association AGM, which begins on November 13.

Quizzed on the future of Pirates, the most successful British speedway club of the modern era, Ford told the Daily Echo: “We have to question if us staying in the Premiership, with a lack of opposition, is the way forward long term for the club.

“Not just for one or two years, because whichever decision we make I feel is for the longevity.

“But it must be made with the thoughts of the public I feel, rather than just being made in the Poole Speedway office.

“One or two people have already mentioned to me that they would like to see more opposition and different clubs.

“I am really now trying to get an overall picture rather than just one or two people perhaps I know personally.”

The Daily Echo last week revealed Pirates had taken a significant financial hit, after 2019 main sponsor No1 Carpet Cleaning Limited went into liquidation.

Asked how much a drop to the Championship would save Poole financially, Ford replied: “I would say it’s about 75 per cent of the costs that we experience.

“That would have a pretty big impact on the club.”

Championship fixtures this season had also been run on Wednesday, Pirates’ historic regular race night until Thursdays were introduced for the Premiership this year.

“I would certainly look at the change of race day also having an impact on crowd levels,” added Ford.

“Crowds are down around 20 per cent.

“After many years of the club riding on a Wednesday, of course it was always going to be a situation where we would see how we went during the course of the year.

“But it’s not been a good move. I do feel the club and the fans do prefer Wednesday speedway. It’s something we have all got used to over a number of years.”

A full list of questions for supporters can be found at poole-speedway.com. Responses can be emailed to info@poole-speedway.com.

Pirates are accepting replies to the questions until 8pm on Monday – further talks with league chiefs set to take place in the coming week.