British Ice Hockey

Taggart says Premier League “would not be feasible”

Ken Taggart has confirmed he has advised the seven remaining Premier League clubs to apply to join the NIHL.

The EIHA chairman admitted that concerns over the financial sustainability of the proposed PIHL left him with no choice but to make the recommendation.

“Over the last months there has been discussion and face-to-face meetings between our clubs in the PIHL and NIHL around the future structure, especially in Tier 2.

“Our colleagues at IHUK have also been involved in these discussions to try and formulate a national UK-wide second tier of senior ice hockey.

“The current position is that not one of our current NIHL clubs are willing to commit to joining a Tier 2/Premier League structure so that leaves just seven clubs.

“It is my opinion that for those clubs a new Premier League would not be feasible and would be at risk should any of the issues that PIHL clubs went through this year surface again in the new season.

“My recommendation that they apply to join the NIHL structure would mean a lower cost base in terms of travelling and player budget and lower risk that financial issues could affect the whole league.

“NIHL South have their clubs’ meeting on 7th May with NIHL North shortly thereafter, so it was important to start the ball rolling as soon as possible once it was clear that the proposed Premier League was not viable.”

Swindon Wildcats, Hull Pirates, Peterborough Phantoms and Sheffield Steeldogs have so far advised that they will apply to the NIHL for the 2017/18 season. Responses from the remaining clubs are expected in the coming days.

(Image permission: Tony Sargent)

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