Kelman reveals deadline on new season

Cardiff Devils managing director Todd Kelman has had quite the few weeks (PHOTO: Cardiff Devils)

Cardiff Devils managing director Todd Kelman has revealed a deadline has been set to decide whether or not there will be an Elite League in 2020/21.

Kelman was answering fans questions on the Devils Twitter page and cleared up some of the speculation that has been growing over the prospect of a season, which has been under threat due to the coronavirus.

And he also admitted the prospect of Devils participating in the Champions Hockey League is looking unlikely.

The Elite League Board have been working closely together since March on getting the 2020-21 season going,” Kelman said. “We have weekly zoom calls that all ten teams are involved in. 

“The vital date right now is September 15th when we will likely have to make a decision on the 2020-21 season.

Todd Kelman led a fans’ Q & A on Cardiff Devils’ Twitter account

“If the December start date doesn’t work, we’ll try our best to have some sort of hockey at some point even if it starts as late as February and runs to late June. 

“I don’t think all teams would be up for that but some would want to try.

“I have to be clear here – if the CHL starts in October we can’t possibly participate. We are concerned about our season starting in December so if our league is at risk, the CHL is not really possible for us.”

Kelman answered all sorts of questions relating to the pandemic and how it’s affected the league as a whole as well as his club.

The Devils chief admitted the league has sought assistance from the government, but reiterated playing in front of any crowd is dependant on guidelines and with reduced numbers is definitely a no-go.

Kelman with former coach Andrew Lord (PHOTO: Cardiff Devils)

And he’s confidence the ten teams will come through this challenging time, even if there’s no action this year.

He added: “The EIHL board have support from MPs throughout the cities we play in and we have a scheduled call with the right people in UK Government coming up, but we are still at the mercy of Government policy on indoor events with crowds.

“We cannot play in a bubble. We cannot play with 200 or 500 spectators unless we had massive financial support from the government.  Even at 50% capacity, unless there was a realistic timeline to quickly get to 100% capacity, teams would struggle to make it work.

“The league itself will be okay if there is no season because the biggest expense is players and their contracts don’t start until the season starts.  

“I am very certain all ten teams will come back strong and I seriously doubt any team would have to fold.”

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