Mildenhall Fen Tigers promoter Tony Mole has moved swiftly and emphatically to quash rumours that the West Row club is up for sale.

Growing rumours have caused unrest on the terraces at a time when the team are closing in on the Conference League Trophy title and still have to meet Sheffield and in a vital home league fixture. "Mildenhall Speedway has never been on the open market and is most definitely not up for sale" stressed Mole.

"In fact, we are already planning ahead to the 2003 season and can announce that our opening date will be March 16th 2003. That shows our long term thinking regards the club and I can stress that our commitment to making Mildenhall Speedway a successful team is as strong and bright now as it has ever been".

Mole had publicly announced many months ago that Mildenhall would move into the Premier League if they won the league championship. That was a bold statement to make so early in the season, particularly as the club had no idea then whether support would justify such an elevation in status.

It could well be that the Fen Tigers will fall short of their main target and that could give Mole a valid reason for staying put. For staying put they are - but Mole is not the sort to seek any easy option.

"In one sense, I might be backing down because we have already applied to run in the Conference League in 2003" he conceded. "But our long term commitment is taking the club into the Premier League and that might happen the following season and it may not.

"Whilst there has been so much good about Mildenhall and the Conference League this season, crowds, whilst improved on 2001, have not reached the levels needed to sustain PL racing as a viable option. We need to find ways of bringing in those numbers that have dwindled away since the 1979 championship winning side rode here."

"To that end, Graham Drury, Michael Lee and myself are coming up with a number of ideas to increase our promotional output in the hope that that will generate bigger crowds. We are also talking already to a number of riders for next season and will endeavour to put out another competitive and entertaining line up."

"We have had our critics this season but do not necessarily agree with them. We have been high profile, gained a wonderful team sponsor in Superior Exteriors and seen a number of young riders such as Thomas Allen, Matthew Wright, Lee Hodgson, Thomas Rowlett and Scott James all benefit from being part of this club.

"We are nearing the completion of our first season of promoting at Mildenhall and it has been successful in many ways. But I can assure everyone - this is just the start, not the end".

Mildenhall take on championship rivals Sheffield at West Row tonight and then travel to Carmarthen on Sunday in the CL Trophy.