Berwick Speedway wishes to explain to the club’s loyal supporters the situation surrounding the unavailability of Jonas Knudsen for this evening’s Championship fixture at Leicester.
Berwick Promoter and team manager Gary Flint explains: “As a Danish citizen we knew when we signed him that Jonas required a work visa.
“When we applied to UK Visas and Immigration – the department which deals with applications – we were told it could be up to seven weeks before one was issued because it is government policy to prioritise applications from Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of their country and that has lead to delays in processing other applications.
“However, as a professional sportsman Jonas was allowed to enter the country on a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa, valid for four weeks from the date of his arrival in Great Britain, in his case 25 June, the day we were due to host Scunthorpe at Shielfield Park. That PPEV ran out at midnight on 23 July.
“We were still in the process of rearranging the Leicester fixture when Jonas landed in the UK. As two Saturday tracks and with key Leicester riders racing in Poland on their off day of Sunday, available dates were severely limited and we settled on this evening.
“Right up until Saturday night there was a possibility that Jonas’s full visa would be forthcoming from UKVI but that didn’t happen so Connor Coles guests in his place as per the Championship rules.
“As a club everything involved with the application has gone through the correct channels. We are in the hands of UKVI.
“Berwick Speedway, in common with most UK clubs, does not have a Sponsors Licence to apply directly for a visa and we are grateful that Glasgow, who hold such a licence, kindly agreed to be Jonas’s sponsor and used their experience to help us navigate the detailed paperwork involved in the application.
“They have performed a similar role to help a number of clubs including Birmingham when they signed Justin Sedgmen.
“UKVI has previously indicated that they anticipate the visa being processed in time for him to face Glasgow on Saturday but, as I said before, the matter is out of the club’s hands.
“Hopefully this provides an explanation of the situation to Berwick speedway fans and ends some of the ill-informed speculation being peddled on social media.”