OWNER Matt Ford said Pirates would struggle to return to the top flight of British Speedway, should race days remain the same.

The Wimborne Road outfit made the decision to drop to the SGB Championship this winter and return to their traditional Wednesday night home meetings.

Ford revealed gates were down 22 per cent as a Premiership club last season, with the majority of race nights held on Thursdays.

And after asking for supporters’ views on the change of division, the Wimborne Road chief urged fans to enjoy the new challenge when the season eventually gets going.

Speaking to Speedway Portal, Ford said: “I think that as long as British speedway run the top league on a Monday and a Thursday, we can’t play a part. People do not come.

“Of the speedway paying public, 76 per cent of people wanted us to drop.

“Many reasons for that were changing from the Wednesday to the Thursday - that really caused a huge issue.

“Our actual gates were down by 22 per cent last year. This was coming back from us winning Premiership league title.

“That doesn’t make sense, that a club being as successful as we were, would drop by 22 per cent.

“The fact of the matter is that, for some unknown reason, Wednesday’s work for Poole.

“I’m not saying never (return to the top level), absolutely not but for the next couple of years, let’s enjoy this.

“People really seem to want to see different opposition, different riders and I am looking forward to it too.”