Phoenix join the English Premier League

Thursday, 30th April 2009

Manchester Phoenix officials have ended weeks of conjecture and deliberation amongst their fan base by confirming that extensive business planning has seen the club opt to withdraw from the Elite League in favour of competing in the English Premier League.

Phoenix owner Neil Morris stated, “The past few weeks, actually since before the end of last season, has seen an awful lot of planning and options considered before we came to our decision. We made no secret of the fact that despite a quite remarkable campaign in many respects last season, the club as a business didn’t realise its financial planning and that prompted a serious re-evalution of the operation.”
“Paramount to the long-term future of ice hockey in Manchester is an achievable budget, prepared and detailed for ultimate stand-alone sustainability without reliance upon one individual. We have some fantastic sponsors, we have an incredible hard core of supporters and we need to grow them both as we look to the future.”
“We gave enormous consideration to the ideas proposed by the Elite League while at the same time studying in great depth the different option provided by a move to the English Premier League. We’ve looked long and hard at all aspects of revenue generation, sponsorship, advertising, ticketing issues and of course the budget needed to provide a quality on-ice product in terms of the team and also the off-ice entertainment that completes a family night out at the Phoenix.”
“We’ve had a number of discussions with EPL officials and when we laid all the cards on the table, the option to move to the EPL ticked all the boxes we needed to tick in order to run the club more effectively. We are sure this decision will surprise some of the Phoenix fans, but we are boosted by a lot of opinion reaching the office that the fans want hockey and that if we chose to move to the EPL, they’d welcome the different challenges that would offer the club.”
“We were proud to be a founder member club of the Elite League back in 2003, but situations change, circumstances alter and right now, we all believe that the English Premier League offers not only a great challenge for Tony Hand and his team on the ice, but also the best opportunity to ensure the long-term future for the club and the sport in Manchester.”
“It goes without saying that we wish the clubs in the Elite League well and in exactly the same way, we thank the EPL for the welcome they’ve given to us and look forward enormously to pitting our wits and skills against them in the new season. Tony has been hard at it over recent weeks in his efforts to recruit a largely new squad, and with him at the helm, I’ve every confidence that the fans will continue to enjoy Phoenix hockey at its very best.”
Neil Morris at the Ice Dome

Neil Morris: "I’ve every confidence that the fans will continue to enjoy Phoenix hockey at its very best"

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