Scholes confident the Tigers will survive

Ex-Telford Tigers owner Wayne Scholes believes the club can be saved, despite it facing the prospect of being liquidated due to debts totalling around £500,000.

Scholes, who passed control of the club to Telford Ice Sports Ltd earlier this year, admitted he was the largest creditor but had no plans to call the loan in.

“There are lots of really good people that want to make this work again and I think the truth is that we have got the basis of everything that we need,” he told the BBC.

“We have a great team on the ice, we have a great tradition in the league, we’ve got great fans and we have people who believe in the club and I think a solution can be found. We are helping with that right now.

“I think we were as surprised as anyone to find that there were so many debts in such a small space of time. The CEO somehow got himself into some serious trouble and hadn’t made anyone aware of it and I think that was the most frustrating thing.

“We put over a million and a half into the club over three years and the idea was that we wanted to set it up and make sure it had a good and stable base for the club to keep on going under local ownership.

“For us it was all about setting up a good infrastructure, so when we’d done that we felt like that was the time to sell it and we agreed that we would keep on funding it.

“We’ve put in £176,000 since May to make sure that the club was on an even keel and that it could be in a position where it could at least break even and that was always the plan, to break even and perhaps make a little profit.

“That was the financial plan that was laid out in front of us and it looked like a good, solid plan. With our contribution we were making every month through sponsorship we feel it should have broken even this season and that’s the disappointing thing for everyone.

“It had all the opportunity and it just seems as though it was mismanaged by the CEO.

“We’ve always said we want the club to survive and thrive, we want it to work. We’re going to do whatever we can to make it work, we said we will carry on with our own funding and to make sure the club has an opportunity to thrive.

“We’ve said we will help out in any way we can, so we’ve already offered to help out with our own funding which is of a significant level.

“I think all the right signs are there, people that want to make it work, there is finance available for it, there are a couple of offers on the table from different parties and whilst the future doesn’t look great because it has to go through this process, there is a really positive side. The club can come out stronger than the position it is in right now.

“I have a passion for hockey, but the truth is it’s always going to be a sport that is difficult to break even in. It’s difficult to make money, but there are clubs who do make money from it, there are clubs that do break even and there are some good models out there.

“I think Telford has just gone through an unfortunate and difficult time over the past six months, but with its really solid fanbase it can be a club that can break even.”

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