Friday, 10 April 2015

Phoenix Will Return....

...and it will be in time for the new season.

Below is the full text of the press release from Neil Morris.  Most of this is repeating what he has said before, including on the Sunday episode of the Podcast Playoffs Live shows.


That said, when people read "that" release from Silver Blades, there was a worry that it was a statement of intent to usurp the Phoenix as Manchester's hockey franchise.
Now, Silver Blades may well wish to operate an EPL franchise out of the Ice Dome but it clearly won't be a Phoenix operated by them. Moreover, it seems as though they have yet to announce an EPL team operated by them.  


So, where does that leave us? Phoenix will be back for the new season. They hope to play at Alty but, if they can't, they'll play elsewhere. The EIHL are happy to have Phoenix back. RED's commitment to Phoenix has not been destroyed by this nonsense.  Phoenix has some confirmed signings (and there is something you can read into that line of the press release, maybe!)


In short, if there is to be a move be Silver Blades to put a senior EPL team out in Alty, it's time for them to speak up or to do a big old u-turn.


Time will tell.  In the meantime, here's that release in full:


"Manchester Phoenix majority owner Neil Morris has stepped in with a deal to preserve his club’s status in the English Premier League.
A week of legal wrangling involving rink operators Silver Blades, Phoenix and part-owners Red Hockey, may have led to concerns about the club’s ability to ice a team in the EPL. But after negotiations between Mr Morris and the EIHA, Manchester Phoenix will definitely be part of next season’s EPL line-up.
Discussions are taking place over the use of the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Altrincham, but the club has already started signing players, who are keen to show their loyalty to the Phoenix.
And Neil Morris is delighted to have secured his club’s immediate future.He said: “This is great news for Manchester Phoenix and whether we are playing in Altrincham or at another venue, the club will be in the EPL next season. “We would like to stay at Silver Blades in Altrincham, but I have made sure the situation is in hand. Tony Hand and I already have some exciting new plans for the coming season.”
Red Hockey CEO Wayne Scholes, whose company owns 34% of Manchester Phoenix, has backed Mr Morris’s successful bid to keep his club in the EPL.
He said: “It has been an interesting few days, so to get some confirmation about next season is very reassuring. The EIHA, and in particular Chairman Ken Taggart, have been very supportive.”
“We are hoping that the Silver Blades organisation would recognise the great privilege and opportunity it is to have such a successful team, along with some very loyal fans, the Phoenix faithful in their building.”
“Therefore we’re hopeful that a reasonable conversation can take place and an agreement can be met. It is in everybody’s interest that we get our preparations in place as soon as possible.”
“Rest assured, Manchester Phoenix will be competing in the English Premier Ice Hockey League next season. They are part of the Red Hockey family, and as such, can look forward to an exciting future.”


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