DANNY Ford admitted the exit of showman Benjamin Basso from Pirates “hurt on a personal level”.

The Dane was announced last month as part of Glasgow’s septet for 2022 – having sealed a league and cup double at Wimborne Road during his debut season in Britain.

But, while admitting losing the former world youth champion was a “massive loss”, Ford insisted the club had worked around plans to deal with Basso’s departure.

Asked about missing out on the 20-year-old’s signature for next season, Ford told the Daily Echo: “It’s quite a sore subject to be honest and I am still quite bitter about it.

“It did hurt on a personal level as well.

“We kind of already agreed that Benjamin was going to come back for this season, when we initially did the deal.

“When he said he wouldn’t be returning, it was a surprise. We were hugely disappointed because we had seen what a fantastic prospect he is.

“And it’s not just that – he’s a proper showman, of which there are few and far between in speedway these days.

“It’s a massive loss to be honest. He was in our plans for this season.

“That’s changed our plans a little bit but we have worked around it and are happy with what we are putting together.

“We wish Ben all the best at Glasgow.”

Basso was parachuted in to help Poole midseason in 2021, after the Dorset club had released Zane Keleher and Ondrej Smetana was unable to turn a wheel due to travel issues.

But Ford stressed he was keen to “move on” from the saga surrounding the Dane in a bid to build a title-winning team for 2022.

“It didn’t go down well with my dad (owner Matt) and myself but these things happen in speedway,” he added.

“You’ve got to take it on the chin, move on, otherwise you are going to be left behind – that’s what we’ve had to do.

“It does sting personally but it’s business. That’s the nature of speedway you know? It’s hard. Loyalty from both sides, the rider and the clubs, is hard to come by.”