One of the most commonly debated aspects of ice hockey in Britain is how much it costs to run a team, so let’s try and unravel the mystery.
Generally speaking there is scant concrete information available for anyone who wants to do this. The information that is in circulation is often inaccurate or from questionable sources.
However, there is some accurate data available for those who do the legwork.
For the purposes of this investigation we’ll use the ice time costs from the values given by Silver Blades at their ‘open forum’ to discuss the removal of Manchester Phoenix from Altrincham last year.
The travel costs which were highlighted by the Bracknell Bees’ former owners PSM towards the back end of the season will also be utilised.
Player wages are estimates based on what players or players’ relatives have revealed over the last couple of years.
All of this is based on a 30-week season, with players on 30-week contracts.
|Bargain team||Competitive team|
Even assuming some potential inaccuracies (such as equipment costs, which are based on information that Phoenix were spending almost £500 a week on replacing broken sticks alone), you are looking at a significant outlay, even for a ‘bargain basement’ team.
This is somewhat confirmed by the new Bracknell Bees organisation who’ve built a budget of around £330,000 for the forthcoming season, which apparently can be downscaled to £265,000 for a ‘bargain’ team if necessary.
These numbers certainly fly in the face of those who claim that a team spending £10,000 a week are ‘overspending’.
The only expense most clubs could realistically cut is by having a player/coach, although this may just move a percentage of the coach’s wage to the players’ budget.
This assumes that most, if not all of the Brits a team hires are costing less than the imports, which almost certainly isn’t the case.
It’s likely at least one Brit playing in the EPL next season is on a near four figure weekly wage, based on what he was being paid by his then club over a decade ago.
(Image permission: Tony Sargent)