PIRATES promoter Danny Ford said the club were “really hopeful now more than ever” that a 2020 British speedway campaign could still be salvaged.

The sport was halted back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic – with none of the respective divisions on these shores yet to be able to begin.

But British Speedway Promoters Ltd issued a statement last week saying they had “been working on how our sport can work safely for competitors, officials and spectators alike” amid the latest COVID-19 regulations.

They also added: “We believe we are within touching distance of our sport being able to start a reduced season.

“However, we acknowledge the clock is ticking and if we cannot begin league racing in August there is every chance the season will run out of time.”

But with the government giving the green light to grassroots team sports, Ford insists there is belief that Pirates can get on track competitively this summer.

He told the Daily Echo: “After last week’s announcement by the government things took a really positive turn, which was really encouraging.

“We are really hopeful now more than ever that we can get some form of a season going in the next couple of weeks.

“We are not entirely sure what that will look like yet but will keep everyone posted.

“We need to make sure that we are following the rules when it comes to social distancing. We’ve got to outline our plan of what everyone in the league is going to do to maintain that. Hopefully, they will let us get going.

“We still want to compete in whatever way we can. We really want to get a few meetings under our belt this year.”

Asked what measures could be in place at Wimborne Road, should the sport be given the green light to begin, Ford replied: “It’s difficult to say right at this minute.

“We need to speak to our landlords and see what’s viable from their point of view as well.

“We will have to find some middle ground of what works for both of us.

“At the minute, I can’t give specific details of what exactly will be in there but we will work on it.

“Luckily, we are in a fairly fortunate position where we don’t run at capacity like a lot of football grounds. That does benefit us in that stage.”

Pirates had been set to compete in the SGB Championship this season, having made the decision to drop down from the Premiership in the winter. Quizzed on what format the potential revamped campaign could take, Oakdale resident Ford said: “We would love to have a league.

“It makes it a competition and something to fight for as well as something the fans can get behind a little more. That needs to wait to be seen.”