Update from Neil Morris

Saturday, 30th August 2014

I wish I could say that running a sports club was easy, but it is far from that. And the last couple of weeks have not been easy. This all started with me asking the loyal supporters of this club to help Tony and I with keeping the club going by joining the Supporters Club and the new Premier Business Club, along with maybe making a donation of three pounds to maybe a couple of events a year to kick start the Community Sports Foundation.

Little did Tony and I know that night of the shirt launch asking for help would upset so many people, and actually end up hurting the club as it has done.

Yes we have removed comments from the forum in the last two weeks as it has damaged the club and brought us into disrepute. I firstly must apologise to the Comtec sales staff that have been seconded into Phoenix for the last couple of months to help build sponsorship and produce on line marketing tools and websites. Your efforts and work has been outstanding and Tony and I really appreciate everything you have done.

And I would officially like to put on here that what potential & existing sponsors have seen lately is not our real fan base. The Phoenix supporters have been fantastic since day one and I know it sounds corny but they are like a family and I know many of them personally. They are good people that demonstrate at times that they are probably one of the best ice hockey followings in Great Britain. Although there are maybe 10 to 20 that through our team forum allow their selfish demands and actions to override their real support for the club, there is another thousand that are Phoenix till they die, and I mean that.

The letter that landed on my desk a week ago from one of the new potential sponsors saying that after exercising due diligence with us as they do before investing any money in any business has resulted in them withdrawing their offer from the table has rocked everybody in the organisation including Tony & I. I think comments like ripping off fans, lying, cheating and the use of emotional blackmail to extract money is probably enough to put most people off wanting to be involved.

There have also been conversations on the telephone with the businesses development team from potential sponsors about how “The Fan Base” does not like the current owners and the way the club is run and are waiting for the new ones to move in. As one potential sponsor said it looks like a very unhappy dysfunctional club, why would we want to be involved in that? I actually have no idea and feel like just walking away some days, and bring this all to a close. It is the hardest thing I have ever attempted in my life. But then I am reminded that there is actually a Phoenix army of 1000 who do care about the Children’s Charity and supporting our sponsors and they, you are all that keeps me going.

This is a great organisation the 50 volunteers on match night make sure of that. Having one of the best if not the best ice hockey coach in Great Britain makes sure of that. Having great sponsors rock solid who really know this club and Tony & I make sure of that. And having you the Phoenix Faithful makes sure of that.

I will never ask anything of any of you that is not necessary. We need new sponsors to survive do not be fooled, help me support them. I want more than an organisation that’s just plays ice hockey. Tony & I want to help children in our community. This year it will be more important to me than winning silverware, but I think we may fit that in too.

I think people who bring the club into disrepute like this are no longer welcome in the Phoenix organisation.

Tony & I will be available at meet the players before the event both in the room and privately should any of you feel strong enough to discuss any of these matters further.

Neil Morris

Neil Morris

Neil Morris

Manchester Phoenix Community Sports Foundation

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