English Premier Ice Hockey League future not looking great
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.
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!