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BECKY PARTRIDGE  Monday, July 08, 2002  17:26 GMT


As you will have read in Speedway Star or heard via the speedway grapevine, David Croucher and Steve Ribbons, the Co-Chairmen of Wimbledon Speedway, have announced the formation of a new business consortium to further the development of Wimbledon Speedway.
A follow-up announcement will be made in the press in due course, but initially this letter is being sent to all existing members of the Supporters Club so that they are the first to know about this exciting development and also to help the proposed Board judge the likely response to a public share issue.

Ever since speedway returned to Wimbledon, Dave Croucher and Steve Ribbons have said that Wimbledon belongs to the fans and that they are just the custodians. The new "consortium" includes current Co- Chairman David Croucher, a number of existing dedicated fans who have already proved their commitment to the club by the time they have put in as volunteers and also two accountants who have recognised the tremendous potential in investing in one of the fastest growing sports in the country held in probably one of the finest stadiums currently staging the sport in the UK.

A new company called Wimbledon Speedway Plc has been formed, ready to move the operation of speedway racing at Wimbledon to a new level and the investors in the consortium are putting up a major part of the share capital to float the new company. However for the first time ever IN A UNIQUE MOVE THE GENERAL SPEEDWAY SUPPORTING PUBLIC COULD BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO BUY SHARES IN THE MOST FAMOUS SPEEDWAY CLUB IN THE WORLD, as the intention is that Wimbledon Speedway PLC will be shortly issuing a public share floatation, with individual shares being offered to the general public at a value of £25 each. This means that for the first time ever in the entire history of speedway racing in the United Kingdom genuine speedway fans can actually own a part of a real speedway club and actively assist in making Wimbledon
Speedway not only the world's most famous club but also the world's most successful.

The ambitions of the consortium are limitless, as we lay the foundations for taking speedway at Wimbledon Stadium back to its rightful place as one of the country's leading Elite League sides. Members of the public will be given the opportunity to buy anything from a single share to many of hundreds of shares and for those who want to invest at the top end of the range and can demonstrate that they have the right business skills there will be an opportunity to join the consortium itself and take a seat on the Board. However, every single shareholder will be a part owner of the club and will be able to express their views on the conduct of the business through the mechanism of the statutory Annual General Meeting and through other methods of communication established by the Board and of course the accounts, warts and all, will, under the statutory rules relating to Public Limited Companies be made available to every single shareholder, so that investors will always know each year how their investment in the club is being managed.

We wont hide the fact that investing in Wimbledon Speedway PLC will be a risk just like making an investment in any other business and that the value of any investment made in the company can go down as well as up and indeed could be lost altogether if the project failed. However the proposed members of the new Board of Wimbledon Speedway PLC believe that speedway racing properly presented in a Stadium with the world class facilities offered at Wimbledon, offers both an excellent and exciting opportunity and that is why they have invested many thousands of their own money in the project. David Croucher and Steve Ribbons, the existing duo who came up with the initial idea of bringing speedway back to Wimbledon and did all the hard work in turning their dream into a reality, will have representation on the new Board with at least one of them having a seat on the proposed new Board they will be joined by others who have the necessary business skills to take the operation to a new level.

If the business is successful Board members and individual shareholders will take profits out of the company on an annual basis at a single declared rate of dividend on share holdings with individual shareholders being remunerated at exactly the same rate per share as Board members, although the initial policy of the Board would be to reinvest profits back into the business to ensure that in the longer term Wimbledon Speedway makes a return to top flight Elite League speedway.

Only essential employees of the company will be salaried with the majority of workers on race nights and helping with the administration of the company, as is the case now, giving their time voluntarily. With new funding in place and the additional support of individual shareholders as the Club owners, we can move forward to making Wimbledon Speedway the first club to be truly owned by its supporters and one of the country's most successful.

Once the new company has been launched each shareholder will also be asked to help promote the interests of their club by encouraging new fans to attend and in finding sponsors but most of all by attending meetings and paying through the turnstiles. The Board has new ideas about how to quickly and efficiently market speedway at Wimbledon and there will be an opportunity for individual shareholders to play a part in this new scheme which the proposed Board believes will significantly and quickly improve the weekly attendance figures.

This is an exciting opportunity and a first for Speedway – the chance for speedway fans to own a piece of history and ensure the continued development of the greatest name in Speedway – the Wimbledon Dons. Dave Croucher and Steve Ribbons have given so much to Wimbledon and now there is a chance for individual supporters to boost their efforts and play a part in helping to run Wimbledon Speedway PLC – now is the chance for Wimbledon Supporters in particular and speedway fans in general to show just how loyal they are and how much they want their Speedway to survive and prosper.

At the moment before any final decisions are made about issuing shares, we are simply trying to gauge how much interest there is for investing in the club. If you are interested in a major shareholding or just want more details of what we are proposing, please either e-mail Ian Perkin CPFA FRSA who is handling the financial aspects of the flotation or telephone him on any evening 020 8241 6362 or call me, Sue Jackson-Scott any evening on 020-8397 6599.

End of release.
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