Comment: Why it’s a bigger week for Fife Flyers than you maybe realise

There were smiles in Fife at last at the weekend after three points out of four. But will fans be happier after Tuesday night? (PHOTO: Flyers Images)

On Tuesday, Fife Flyers’ management will meet the fans in a long-awaited forum at the Bay Hotel in Kirkcaldy and it’s one that could have severe ramifications for the club’s future in the Elite League.

Tom Muir and Jack Wishart will meet the supporters and hear first hand the concerns they have about the direction the club while trying to outline their own aims and ambitions.

There are many questions to be answered over the team and the club’s position, both short terms and longer term and could give a definitive answer on their commitment to the Elite League.

The fans have embraced the Elite League since joining in 2011 and their presence in it has been a great one, forging rivalries along the way, particularly against Glasgow Clan.

It’s been long rumoured the club’s management haven’t been happy in the top flight and their attitude to certain things, more recently the failure to send a player to the press conference in Glasgow to promote the recent Pride Weekend is one such small, but relevant example.

The relaxed attitude towards the team is something that needed addressed for weeks as toiling and tumbled their way to the bottom of the league.  Coach Todd Dutiaume has spoken endlessly about the need to refresh the team.  The response? Silence and no new players coming in.

As a result, the defeats have built and although they got three points from the weekend, they still have some work to do to even get themselves back into the play-off reckoning.

Attendances have dropped at Fife amidst a number of issues at the club this season (PHOTO: Fife Flyers)

Are they finally prepared to help Todd and back the team to try and salvage something from what’s been a forgettable campaign?  If they are, they need to move quick to beat the deadline.

The subject of attendances will come up as well, as numbers have fallen since the start of the season and what can be done to reboot a game night experience which doesn’t seem to capture the sort of figures it used to.

Media has been another issue and how the Flyers use it.  Little or no build-up to big games on social media, the embarrassment of Danick Gauthier’s announcement in the summer and very little content on the website.

Their previous media officer, Steven McLean, left in October after growing disillusionment and current incumbent, Ali McLaren, is doing his best with other commitments to juggle as well.  There are people who have offered to help, myself included, but they seem to reluctant to accept it.

There are so many issues with the club that need addressing and if you check out the Fife Free Press website and the list of possible questions and topics that may come up, it gives you an idea of just how deep rooted the issues are.

The bottom line is, for a club with a rich and proud history in British ice hockey, never mind Scotland, there’s badly needed change required to bring them back, from new investment to possible new players and a review of where the game night experience is turning people off.

On the ice, three points may have revigorated Fife’s season.  Off the ice, the right answers and a clear path ahead could help them for years to come.

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