King’s Lynn owner Keith Chapman is a bad loser – and he admits it!
Chapman, one of the most passionate characters in the sport, took defeat in the Grand Final by Poole badly and went to ground for days.
But he spoke for the first time about the heartache this week, ahead of the Tru Plant Stars’ Knockout Cup Final with Somerset – and he didn’t hold back on referee Craig Ackroyd’s decision to exclude Michael Palm Toft in a baffling first-leg decision in Dorset.
He said: “You know me, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I cannot sit here and pretend anything other than that I am still gutted about what happened last week.
“I am a bad loser. I’m a particularly bad loser when I firmly believe circumstances went against us with decisions and injuries as a consequence.
“I’m not going to hold back here. The decision to exclude Michael Palm Toft at Poole changed the way the tie was going and still now, more than a week later, the decision baffles me.
“I would love to say more but I’ll stop it there because of my position within the sport as chairman of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association.”
Chapman said it hurt him personally as well as all the Tru Plant Stars fans.
“I took it pretty bad,” he said. “I am passionate about what I do. I wasn’t a nice person to be around for a couple of days (some will say I never am!) but I felt the pain as much, if not more, than anyone.
“The positive side was the size of the crowd and the profile the club received by reaching the final and finishing top of the table for the first time in our history.
“Having said that, I am a sports person who wants to see my team win and it’s still pretty tough to be positive right now, it still feels raw.”
Chapman can usually be found working on the track at the Adrian Flux Arena from as early as 6am as he continues to try to provide the best surface possible for his riders.
But now he must get the calculator out and work with team boss Dale Allitt on formulating plans for next season – whatever the structure of the league.