DANNY Ford reiterated Pirates’ commitment to SGB Championship racing this season – even though their first home clash could suffer a delay.

The Poole promoter on Monday revealed Pirates were later this week set for a meeting with local authorities and their landlords, over adhering to COVID-19 protocols during home meetings.

Pirates are set to battle Plymouth Gladiators at home in cup action on May 26, but depending on the outcome of talks, that fixture may be put back.

But Ford insisted Poole’s first away meeting on May 25 at Plymouth would still be going ahead – something he believes is an indicator of Poole’s intention to run this season.

Asked to confirm whether Pirates were still committed to their Championship and cup schedule in 2021, Ford told the Daily Echo: “Yeah, absolutely. That’s not even a conversation to be had, to be honest.

“Until our first home meeting, we are still going to commit to our away fixtures.

“Anyone who knows how speedway works, in terms of the finances of it, we wouldn’t commit to doing away fixtures first without the confidence that we are going to get going at home.

“We still have to pay our riders to do the away fixtures while not earning any money. That should show the confidence we have that we are going to get going (at home).

“Our riders are all ready to go. Ben Cook is over here, I think he’s just finishing his isolation in the next few days and Zane Keleher is due here on Friday.

“We wouldn’t tell our guys to come over (from Australia) if there were any issues.

“There are some little hiccups along the way and there is some juggling to be done – that’s to be expected during this time, though.

“It’s not all going to be plain sailing, it’s not all been plain sailing and there’s probably going to be a few bumps in the road along the way.

“But we are still confident we will be back at Wimborne Road later this month or in early June.

“There are other parties involved in this. We need to be fair and if it does mean a small delay to our opening home league fixture, we need to take that.”

Pirates have not turned a wheel at Wimborne Road since the SGB Premiership play-off defeat to Ipswich Witches in September 2019.

The 2020 league season, where they dropped down to the second tier, was wiped out due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the minute we are in talks with all the relevant parties, which include our landlords and the local authorities,” said Ford.

“It’s a little bit of juggling game at the minute. We are trying to find a solution which suits all parties.

“Obviously we need to make the stadium adhere to the COVID guidelines and the current rules in place.

“Effectively there’s not just ourselves running on race nights, there’s two businesses. Our landlords run the catering and the bars. We need to find a solution that’s working for all parties.

“We are in advanced talks about this. We’ve got a meeting later this week where, hopefully, we should be able to confirm our final position.

“As soon as we do, we will make all of the supporters aware and we are very cautious of the patience that supporters are showing.

“Believe me, it’s equally frustrating for us – we hope to be able to update everyone later this week.

“Every meeting we do feel like we are getting closer to that happy place, where we can proceed.

“There’s so many moving parts to this and we’ve seen how quickly things are moving so we have taken a little bit of a cautious stance in the fact we might be delaying our opening league fixture.

“I know there has been a lot of negativity around this, especially with what’s happened at Swindon (dropping out the league for 2021) and stuff.

“We do appreciate that – we are going to keep our fans updated on the situation. People shouldn’t worry just yet.”