Mildenhall Fen Tigers owner Greg Palmer eyeing up potential spot in the Championship after 2024 absence
Mildenhall Fen Tigers owner Greg Palmer has revealed that it is his dream to take the club back into the Championship in 2025 after it was announced at the weekend that the team would not be competing in any form of league speedway next season.
The Lakenheath-based farmer has taken on sole ownership of Mildenhall Speedway after fellow joint owners Lee Chipchase, Phil Haylock and Phil Kirk announced in a statement over the course of the weekend that they would be withdrawing their financial involvement in the club.
Following the conclusion of British Speedway’s AGM last week it was revealed that the National Development League (NDL) will be in operation in 2024, with six clubs already pledging their allegiance to putting a side out in the competition.
However, with the Fen Tigers set to be the sole stand alone club in the third tier, which will be made up of young teams from either Premiership or Championship sides, it was felt that putting the team on ice for a year was in the best interests of the future of the West Row-based outfit.
“When all the decisions needed to be made regarding next year I wasn’t in a position to be able to commit the team to racing due to my farming commitments," said Palmer.
“By doing this it will hopefully give me a year to get my head around running things and taking the club in the right direction to hopefully get it in a decent position for 2025.
“We have seen what Alfie Bowtell and Lee Complin can do in heats 13 and 15 this season against the likes of Dan and Joe Thompson.
“We know how good those races are and in my head I think what if we could have 15 races like that which is what we would get in the Championship.
“As a sportsman myself I feel that the club needs to be racing against standalone clubs not reserve sides and I hope fans will understand that for now.
“It is my dream to take the team up to the Championship, but financially we have to be in a sensible place to achieve this which hopefully we will be in by this time next year.”
Despite Palmer now going it alone, he has insisted that he has enjoyed the journey with his former co-owners, who have pledged their support to him should he require any assistance.
He added: “I’ve enjoyed working with the two Phil’s and Lee as we brought different skills to the table. It worked well and came together nicely.
"As a group we enjoyed some great meetings together and enjoyed plenty of success on the track.
“Having started helping out when Kevin Jolly was in charge to working with both Phil’s and Lee hopefully I’ve learnt enough to be able to do it on my own
“In addition to those guys' support I always have the likes of Chris Louis and Ritchie Hawkins from the Ipswich Witches at the end of the phone.”
Although Palmer had hoped to stage some individual meetings next year, following conversations with British Speedway chairman Rob Godfrey, those are unlikely to go ahead.
However, Palmer is keen to keep the club’s name going off the track and is calling on anyone who wishes to show their support and backing ahead of 2025’s potential return to come forward.
“While we are gutted that we can’t run any meetings next year, we are keen to work with speedway governing body, Mildenhall Stadium owner Dean Woode and the team behind the greyhound racing to ensure we have the best chances of staging speedway racing at Mildenhall in 2025.
“Although we are not racing, I am still keen to hear from anyone or any businesses that would like to support the club upon its potential return in 2025.
“The club has good fans and a big history and I don’t want to let them or the club’s past down.”
Anyone interested can contact Palmer at email@example.com