Dundee Stars general manager and head coach Omar Pacha has confirmed Dundee Stars won’t be part of a shortened 2020/21 season, if it goes ahead.
With news of funding coming to the Elite League teams to help them through what has been a financially difficult period, some talk from certain club figureheads appears to suggest there may be some action.
But for the Stars, they’re happy to sit out the remainder of the season and focus on being back and ready to play around September 2021.
“There has been a lot of discussions surrounding the possibility of a January start, with a shortened campaign spanning over a three-month period,” Pacha said in a message to fans.
“As much as everyone associated with the club are thirstily anticipating a return to action, it is our belief that this approach is unfeasible, with the ongoing health and safety risks.
GM Message – December 2020
— Dundee Stars🏒🥅 (@DundeeStars) December 16, 2020
“Instead, the club will aim to use this period of shutdown to continue to build solid foundations, with the aim to return stronger than ever.
Despite not having hockey to look forward to every weekend, the Club will continue to do its utmost to keep fans engaged and informed on any progress in our return to play.”
Stars and Fife Flyers have been the only teams to indicate publicly they won’t be part of a new season, if there is one, should it go ahead in January, as has been put forward.
The Scottish Government recently announced funding for various sports in grants and loans to assist them as they continue without fan-generated revenue.
Around £200,000 has been set aside for ice hockey with £2 million for rinks, a comparatively low amount compared to the £4 million awarded to English based Elite League teams.
The amount, Pacha confirms, is largely to cover losses from ticket sales, but clarification will be forthcoming and should tide the teams over until the new season.
WATCH: Dundee Stars played Coventry Blaze in what turned out to be the last top flight ice hockey game in the UK prior to lockdown
“As you all may know, the substantial financial impact on the sporting world has been a big talking point. We have not been exempt from the pressures that the pandemic has brought,” Pacha added.
“In late April, I reached out to MSP Joe Fitzpatrick (Scottish Government minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing), regarding available government support for professional sports clubs.
“Following that discussion, many talks have occurred with SportScotland in the efforts to contribute to the club’s losses.
“After the announcement last week, I was pleased to get the indication that funding will be primarily focused on the three professional Scottish teams in their efforts to absorb lost revenue from ticket sales. We are expecting positive news in the next few weeks.
“To clarify, the funding is to help keep the club going until the start of the next full season.”