Governing Body Decline to Affiliate Elite League

30th May 2003

After careful consideration and much soul searching, the Board of Directors of Ice Hockey UK today decided not to affiliate the Elite League.

Ice Hockey UK firmly believes that 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. To this end, 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 the 30th April 2003 that the Ice Hockey Superleague had called in the liquidators and that 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 that they were up and running.

Ice Hockey UK, in an attempt to find a way forward for the development of the sport and the National programme, called another meeting between the Findus British National League and the Elite league teams asking them to find a way for the two groups to amalgamate and go forward as one completely new league. These talks also failed.

Although Ice Hockey UK has stated that it considers the only way forward for ice hockey in the United Kingdom is to build one league; at the board meeting on 24th May it was decided to try and come to an agreement with the Elite league after another approach was made. A deadline of 30th May was imposed. No agreement has been reached at this time.

Ice Hockey UK, therefore, has not affiliated the Elite league.