Great Britain: English Premier Ice Hockey League future not looking great

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Rigafan, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. Rigafan Registered User

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    Known as EPL or EPIHL..

    So the league is the 2nd level of hockey in the UK. It is a semi-pro league where you can currently employ upto 5 import players.. anyway.

    The trouble started with the Manchester Phoenix, who are currently playing outside of Manchester in a rink that isn't really suitable for this level of hockey and on a promise they will build a new rink in Manchester by Christmas time - doesn't look likely and the team is pretty much running on empty, financially speaking.

    Next we have one of the most famous teams in UK hockey, Bracknell Bees who pretty much went bankrupt at the start of the season and was saved by the fans and now run on very low budgets just to keep them alive.

    We then have Milton Keynes Lightning, one of the better teams and more finacially stable in the league who are taking the step up into the full professional Elite Ice Hockey League next season, so the EPL is left a team short. There are plans to add another team by the ice rink owners but nothing said as of yet.

    And the more recent news is that Telford Tigers, who caused a stir because they were being bankrolled by a rather wealthly businessman and were aiming to 'buy the league' They pay big wages to established British players to drop down to their level, they pay 12 month contracts rather than season length only and now news has broke that they have no money left, their players may not be paid and they have huge debts, some stating in the region of £800k! £800k in a semi-pro league!

    Another chapter in the wild ride that is UK hockey has begun! The EPL isn't looking so great at present.
     
  2. Siamese Dream Registered User

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  3. Rigafan Registered User

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    That's quite shocking!

    Interesting that 'third parties' want to take the team forward. The only way would be a total clear out of the team and rely on youth/locals and we all know that won't end well. Then their fans go from 1k to 500 per game and then what?

    The EPL is an interesting league, but it needs to find out what it wants to be!
     
  4. ukyote User, Interrupted

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    Oh wow... I dip in and out, but every time I poke my head around the door of British hockey something bad has happened.

    Why can't we seem to get it right?!
     
  5. Rigafan Registered User

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    One major problem I think the EPL has is the chairman is based in Carolina and not the UK :handclap:

    Also increasing the number of import players while they know that 2-3 teams are struggling financially wasn't the best option.
     
  6. Beville #ForTheBoys

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    didn't realise Telford went into financial trouble; I remember there being such big hoohah over the new owners and it was apparently meant to be GREAT news for British hockey...

    Interesting.
     
  7. Siamese Dream Registered User

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    I think anyone with any sense knew at the the time it would probably be unsustainable and this would happen eventually, but I don't think anyone expected it to go **** up this quickly
     
  8. 3 Minute Minor Registered User

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    It would have been easy to guess that it'd go to **** but it's so much more fun being optimistic :laugh:
     
  9. ukyote User, Interrupted

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    Yeah but it's just one thing after another. It's difficult to wholeheartedly get behind something so dysfunctional.
     
  10. Kiev the Great Registered User

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    You'd have thought by this point that British hockey no longer had a foot left that it could shoot itself in and yet....
     
  11. Kiev the Great Registered User

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    So MK Lightning moving up to EIHL
    'Manchester' Phoenix seemingly having run it's course
    Guildford Flames applying to join the EIHL (jumping the sinking ship)
    Question marks over Bracknell Bees finances
    IHUK need to get their plans for a new 2nd tier sorted pronto as it doesn't look like there'll be much left of the EPL come September.
     
  12. Kozel13 Registered User

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    It's going to be interesting for the EIHL going to 12 teams, and seeing if these 2 news ones can settle. Guildford will be an interesting watch as they have been a big fish in the small pond for a long time in the EPL, so jumping up a level and risking becoming a rubbish team for a few seasons will be a test.

    I hope the EPL fails and a new, regulated second tier can be formed.
     
  13. Beville #ForTheBoys

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    turns out Telford and Manchester(?) have been told they're ineligible for the Playoffs due to the board meeting taking place and being voted out due to their financial trouble (or something to that effect).

    Kinda pathetic when 2 of the teams that voted won't even be in the league next season.
     
  14. Rigafan Registered User

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    Well they both did liquidate their company, ignore all their debts, and started a 'new' company to carry on the team! Ok the Phoenix seem to have come to their end now but I'm sure Telford will be around next season.
     
  15. ukyote User, Interrupted

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    Ever since I've had an interest in hockey, the British scene has been chopping and changing every few years.. when I lost my ISL team I realised that there's basically no point in investing emotional energy into such an unstable thing.
     
  16. Rigafan Registered User

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    The EIHL has been stable, so far. However there are rumours on forums that if this new 2nd tier of UK hockey is established then 2 teams are looking to leave. But they average around 700 fans per game so much be tough keeping their budget for the EIHL with them numbers.


    Manchester Phoenix are gone and finished. No new investor and no money so the team has withdrawn from the league as of yesterday.
     
  17. Kiev the Great Registered User

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    Guildford this year are averaging 1600+ despite having a poor year (by their standards)

    MK Lightning I can't find numbers for, but I believe it's north of 1,000.

    It's convenient that MK Lightning are owned by the rink and Manchester Storm have shown that crowds of 1,000 can ice a competitive team if you own your rink (or more correctly the rink owns you).
     
  18. Shrimper Trick or ruddy treat

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  19. Rigafan Registered User

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    And in true British hockey fashion its all in doubt and question if this will actually go ahead.

    I read now the the NIHL teams are no comfortable with the bigger ex EPL teams joining an potentially messin up their cozy system. I fair point but if they don't join the NIHL where do they go? Hull say they are going to the Elite league but the EIHL openly admits they have issues with the scheduling since adding the 2 new teams this season and have a contingancy to run with as little as 8 teams :popcorn:
     
  20. Siamese Dream Registered User

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    It's absolutely mad. "Big" teams like Swindon, Basingstoke and Peterborough who sometimes get attendances in quadruple figures playing against teams like Solent who can barely squeeze 200 people into their tiny rink, and "B teams" like Milton Keynes Thunder who struggle to break triple figures

    Madness, just madness. It isn't going to work.

    Remember the EPL was once the third tier, containing all these current NIHL teams like Invicta, Romford, Chelmsford, Solihull who all couldn't compete when the bigger teams came into their league and had to drop down or go bust. Now the same thing is going to happen again.
     
  21. Le Rosbeef Registered User

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    Can't blame some of the NIHL teams for being cross. There's a reason they aren't playing in a higher league. (££)
     
  22. Rigafan Registered User

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    I agree 100%. It's their level and its working well... it shouldn't be jeopardised because the level above can't control itself
     
  23. Kiev the Great Registered User

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    It's because you've got teams deciding the format of their league independently of other leagues (who do the exact same). A decent governing body would set up the tiers to fit not only the long term stability of clubs, but the development of players for the national side. Instead with have multiple governing bodies who are impotent to the whims of teams which act in their own short term self-interest.
     
  24. Rigafan Registered User

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    I'm seeing rumours that Telford Tigers will not be accepted by the NIHL
     
  25. Nordiques1979 Registered User

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    Still can't fix why hockey never worked in U.K., seeing how big hockey is in Massachusetts and all the old Britain colons state in united states. Went to several Magnus league games in France, without being huge, french have quite a following, with exporting guys like Roussel, Bellemare, Huet...
     

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