DANNY Ford confirmed Pirates approximately broke even financially during their first home meeting after the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The Pirates promoter was open about the fact Poole had made considerable losses on their first two home contests, during which supporters were required to pre-book tickets and wear masks from set positions at all times at their Wimborne Road headquarters.

But Oakdale resident Ford was pleased to see an increase in attendance for the club’s resounding 61-29 Championship Knockout Cup first round second leg win over Plymouth and insisted Poole have “something to build on”.

Speaking to the Daily Echo following the victory over the Gladiators, Ford said: “It was a huge relief when we knew we would be able to run a meeting without the restrictions.

“It was great to see the crowd pick up, it was a great atmosphere and hopefully gives us something to improve on now.

“There definitely was an increase in attendance. We were hoping for more but hopefully that has given us something to build on and hopefully it is only upwards from here.

“Obviously we have been so stop-start at the minute, it’s been hard to get any momentum.

“There’s been no consistency and obviously people like to have that consistency and those guarantees in their week.

“Now we have got no restrictions, we are racing pretty much every week until mid-September, so hopefully people get into their routines and speedway is a part of it.

“Hopefully it encourages a few more people to come back and maybe people to come and give us a chance.

“We are trying to just, from this point onwards, not make any losses and if we can make some money that’s great.

“It gives us something to build on. Hopefully next week when we are up against much stiffer opposition in Leicester, it gives people a little bit more confidence to come back, gives us something to build on and see those crowd numbers go up a little more.”

Pirates, like the rest of speedway clubs in Britain, were hit hard by a period of inactivity due to the pandemic.

With the 2020 season wiped out and 2021 beginning for supporters in restricted fashion, Ford has previously claimed clubs are “fighting for survival” at present.

Asked whether he felt Pirates could be profitable, with a jam-packed schedule now awaiting them, the promoter replied: ““I hope so. It’s impossible to say at the minute. These current circumstances are still in the background and they are not going to go away overnight.

“Hopefully we have done enough to put that confidence in people, that it is safe to come out, it is a safe environment for them.

“We have the summer holidays coming up which, generally speaking, should see us get an increase in the crowd.

“Hopefully, we are in for an exciting summer of speedway action down at Wimborne Road.

“Overall, hopefully we are through the worst of it now and not just ourselves, all British speedway can start to flourish.”