Frantic Edinburgh Monarchs speedway bosses are on the brink of signing 26-year-old Danish star Claus Vissing to replace Aussie Sam Masters, whose appeal to be granted a visa to ride in the UK this season has been rejected.
And while Monarchs have enlisted the help of local MP Michael Connarty in their fight to bring Masters over, it seems increasingly likely that the Australian may have to put his career on hold until 2014.
Monarchs chairman Alex Harkess said: “We have asked Mr Connarty to see if he can help us, but it’s a last throw of the dice. Sam has fallen foul of new regulations which state if your visa expires, as Sam’s did in November of last year, you cannot apply for a new one until a year has elapsed.”
Monarchs co-boss John Campbell hasn’t closed the door entirely on tracking Masters this year,and said: “We are still hopeful, but we cannot tell when Sam will be in this country.
“Being just a week away from the start of the season we have to consider carefully what we are going to do, and one thing we can’t do is start the season with just six riders.
“So we have been in discussions with Claus.”
It’s understood, however, that Monarchs will only hang on until Tuesday before officially bringing Vissing on board.
Vissing, whose contract is owned by Elite League side Peterborough Panthers, attended yesterday’s press launch at the Cairn Hotel in Bathgate and said: “It’s an awkward situation and it’s really bad that Sam cannot get his visa. I have been looking for a team berth in the Premier League since the winter, but not just any team. And although I’m not desperate to find a club, I would like to ride this season, and Edinburgh are a very good club.”