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.”

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Live From Coventry 2015 - Sunday

Almost everything that could be said about this weekend has been said.  Except
the stuff in this episode, of course.

A season with some big highs (the Cup and Playoff finals) and so low lows has come to an end and British hockey has slipped into the swirling mess of egos and snipes.

I suppose it wouldn't be British hockey without it.

Anyway, lets not let that get in the way of the fun and games of the Sunday show.

This episode features NM explaining his position (as was before the statement on the following Tuesday).

It also features quite a bit of hockey and, of course, a bumper Rumour Mill.

If we are back next year, we'll climb into your ears some time in advance to tell you.

Have a good summer.

BK out.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Reply to Silver Blades statement

The following is a statement issued by Manchester Phoenix's management. The Official Manchester Phoenix Podcast is not the author of this statement but does endorse the sentiment behind it. If we have to find another car park to broadcast from, so be it. - BK

"Manchester- The Manchester Phoenix have enjoyed a long and successful history of playing superior ice hockey in the EPIHL. Recently, others have attempted to tarnish our reputation and interfere with our contractual relationships. We would like to categorically state that there has not ever been any misuse of any funds by the Manchester Phoenix. Furthermore, we have continuously engaged in good faith negotiations regarding the rental of ice time and are happy to continue on that basis. However, we do not believe that it is productive to respond to false or misleading statements in this forum. Rather, we leave it to our fans to look at the available information, our history with the team and the fans, and make their own evaluation. Regarding our ownership structure, we are a private company and that is generally non-public information. However, because we believe in transparency, and because we are proud of our association with Red Hockey, who have accomplished great things this year, we made some of this information public. However, the majority ownership of the Manchester Phoenix, as well as the management structure, have not been changed at all. As far as we are concerned it is business as usual. The Manchester Phoenix plan to play in the EPIHL next season and for a long time to come.


RHL- The Tigers would like to publicly voice their support for the Manchester Phoenix, our partner, and a great EPIHL team. Manchester is currently under fire from self-interested parties who want to destroy a responsible long-standing team in the name of profits. RHL condemns the tactics of issuing ultimatums and black mail, and hopes that the other EPIHL owners and the league itself step up to protect one of their own from any abusive behavior. As always, RHL wants to promote and develop the sport of ice hockey for the clubs and the fans. Please join us in voicing your support for the Manchester Phoenix.

Kind Regards Neil

Neil Morris
Managing Director
Manchester Phoenix Ice Hockey Club"

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Playoffs Live 2015 - Saturday (repost)

It's 2.15am on Sunday morning and I'm sitting down to post this show from this morning. We were running late but sounding great, we hope you'll agree.

What a day it has been!  Telford Tigers came out looking as though they didn't feel like trying. They faced a Phantoms side that knew that they had the support of everyone but Tigers. Was this vitriol and bilious hatred? No. It was pure panto. Just as Flames, Phoenix and others have had their turn being booed on the EPIHL's big stage, so it was Tigers' turn to get some ribbing.

Some teams might have used that to spur them on - as many a player has said, "If they don't boo me, I'm not doing my job right."

In addition, some of the neutrals in the rink (including Panthers Dave from the show), may have started neutral but were unimpressed by the style of play and apparent attitude of the Tigers.

I'm sad to say, you needed to be more brave and suck it up. Humility.

That said, it is perfectly clear that Wayne Scholes has the ambition of a Grand Slam. He'll do what it takes to get Tigers to it. Nil desperandum, Telford!

As for the MKL v Phoenix game, it was an odd sort of affair. We'll discuss it tomorrow.

On this episode, there is the annual quiz and some great music. There is also some nonsense, as always.

Thanks, as always, to fans of most EPIHL teams for making our live show the cross-league event that it has become. Some good friends and good chat makes for a happy hockey family.  Also, before anyone complains, Sheffield and Telford sent nobody, despite us asking. Meh.

Right, off to process the Silverblades ransomgate news and to put the Sunday show together.