POOLE Pirates' next two scheduled SGB Championship fixtures have been postponed, with Birmingham Brummies temporarily calling a halt to their league schedule.

Pirates, who got their first win of the season by defeating Berwick Bandits at Wimborne Road on Wednesday night, had been due to head to Perry Barr next week.

Brummies were then due to head to Dorset for a return fixture on June 23, but both meetings have now been postponed.

A statement explaining the decision read: "Birmingham Speedway have put their season on hold with immediate effect.

"Club owners Peter and David Mason have revealed ‘things have to change’ with numbers at Perry Barr for the club to become viable.

"Like other venues, the Brummies are restricted to the amount of fans they can allow in the stadium and as a consequence they are suffering heavy losses.

"The situation has not been helped by the pay on the door option being temporarily suspended due to Covid regulations.

"They are holding out hope for an increase in audience numbers after June 21 to enable them to continue with their Wednesday night action – but for the time being the Brummies won’t race again until July 1 at the earliest."

Mason said: “The constraints with which we are working in are making it impossible to run as a sustainable business right now.

“We are desperately trying to make it work and we are determined to keep this club afloat, a club with such a rich heritage and a focal point of the city, carrying the Birmingham name.

“A lot of people fought over many years to bring the sport back to Birmingham and we don’t want to be the ones who oversee its demise. On the contrary, we are determined to make this work and provide a bright future for this wonderful sport and wonderful club with a very loyal fan base.

“But right now we are working with our hands tied behind our back. I must thank everyone who has worked with us to get us this far and we don’t want to let all the hard work go to waste.

“That said, things have to change for us to continue at Perry Barr throughout the rest of this season.”

Mason added: “A large part of our following is from the older generation, some of which are in their 70s and 80s and do not shop online. Many don’t even have access to a computer and this has badly affected our crowd levels.

“We were advertising pay on the gate until this was blocked 24-hours before the meeting and this decision alone cost us valuable revenue and we drove away from the stadium knowing we had lost thousands of pounds.

“That quite simply cannot continue and we are taking this decision to protect the long term future of the sport at Perry Barr Stadium.

“We would like to thank our fans and we need them more than ever before if and when we can restart from July 1. It’s absolutely vital they stay with us and as summer holidays approach we will be actively looking at encouraging more youngsters to the sport.”

Speaking earlier this week, Wolverhampton owner Chris Van Straaten also expressed concerns, warning: “It’s a dire situation for us, we are suffering severe losses every time we stage a home meeting because we simply cannot get any more supporters in due to the restrictions.

“I would be heartbroken if Wolverhampton Speedway became one of those businesses to close down as a consequence of ongoing restrictions – but that is a possibility I cannot rule out at this stage because we simply cannot continue to sustain losses.”

Poole's next meeting is now due to take place at Kent Kings on June 29.