PIRATES boss Matt Ford cannot finalise the signing of Linus Sundstrom unless the Polish authorities lift the controversial three-league rule.

The Swedish star has agreed terms ahead of a proposed move to Wimborne Road but the switch is being affected by his contracts elsewhere.

Sundstrom is set to race for Masarna and Piraterna in his homeland while he also has a deal in place with Gorzow, who compete in the Ekstraliga – Poland's top flight.

It was agreed in November that the Polish Automobile and Motorcycle Association would lift the regulation which restricted Ekstraliga riders to racing in two other leagues. However, the PZM is yet to deliver on that promise.

Speaking to this newspaper at the start of December, Ford admitted the three-league rule had been holding up his plans. And he and World Cup-winner Sundstrom remain in limbo.

Ford told the Daily Echo: "I'm sure everyone is as frustrated as I am that this saga has been going on since the AGM, when I first made contact with Linus.

"While I was at the AGM, we were informed by Tony Steele, who was representing the BSPA at an FIM event, that the rule would be lifted or changed to four leagues.

"With this in mind, Linus and I entered discussions and while we have agreed terms, sadly we cannot sign anything until the restriction is lifted.

"I don't know what the hold-up is. It's very frustrating because we want to finalise things.

"I know there are other riders who this has an impact on. It's not for me to reveal other people's teams but I know it is having an effect at King's Lynn.

"I can only hope for all of our sakes that the matter is resolved as soon as possible."

When Krzysztof Kasprzak suffered a broken collarbone in May last year, Sundstrom contacted Ford to offer his riding services.

And although talks were shelved after Sundstrom picked up a contract at Gorzow – coincidentally to replace Kasprzak – Ford remains a big fan of the 27-year-old.

He added: "I can remember Linus coming down with Peterborough in 2012 and beating Chris Holder and Darcy Ward at their peak.

"At that time, I remember thinking: 'This kid really has got something special'. Now, I am incredibly excited at the thought of bringing him in.

"I know Tony Rickardsson has great regard for Linus and he believes him coming to Poole would be a huge step in his development.

"If we get Linus on board, we should also have more contact with Tony as well, which is my hope."

Should he complete the signing of Sundstrom, who has a 7.22 average, Ford would have 3.51 points left for his final rider.

That would almost certainly be Puddletown-based charger James Shanes, who has a 2.88 rating and would take his place at reserve.

However, if the Sundstrom deal falls through, Ford is likely to plump for two mid-range riders to complete his septet.

Pirates 2018: Brady Kurtz 8.08, Josh Grajczonek 7.34, Chris Holder 7.16, Kacper Woryna 4.65, Mateusz Szczepaniak 4.54.