ICE HOCKEY: Elite Clubs Scuppered as British Game's Rulers Back One League Ideal

The Birmingham Post (England), May 31, 2003 | Go to article overview

ICE HOCKEY: Elite Clubs Scuppered as British Game's Rulers Back One League Ideal


British ice hockey yesterday suffered yet another potentially damaging body blow after the sport's governing body declined to affiliate the newlyformed Elite League.

Ice Hockey UK refused to sanction the new league, for which nine teams including the Coventry Blaze, had already committed, as it believed 'the best interests of ice hockey in the United Kingdom would not be served'.

A merger with the second-tier Findus British National League, which has been the subject of much speculation in the close season, could now happen after all.

An Ice Hockey UK statement read: 'After careful consideration and much soul-searching, the board of directors today decided not to affiliate the Elite League.

'Ice Hockey UK firmly believes the best interests of ice hockey in the United Kingdom would not be served by affiliating a new league at this time.

'The Ice Hockey UK board of directors are of the opinion that the only way forward for ice hockey is the ideal of one strong league. Ice Hockey UK has brokered several meetings between the existing Findus British National League and, initially, the remaining teams in the Ice Hockey Superleague.

'Ice Hockey UK was notified on April 30, 2003 that the Ice Hockey Superleague had called in the liquidators and the league's substantial debt to Ice Hockey UK could not now be met.

'Ice Hockey UK received the first official approach from the Elite League whilst in Croatia at the World Championships, although press releases had already been made by the Elite League stating they were up and running. …

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