Phoenix reaction to Sheffield Star report

Friday, 28th November 2003

Manchester Phoenix wish to respond officially to reports in the Sheffield Star today (Nov 28th) that rumoured the club to be reviewing its position within the Elite League and undergoing renewed financial problems and that these alleged problems were the reason that defenceman Jeff Sebastian recently left the club to pursue his career in Italy.

Phoenix Managing Director Neil Morris stated, “I have made no statements to any member of the media to suggest that the Phoenix are reviewing our position nor have I made any statement upon our financial position. And to the best of my knowledge, Jeff Sebastian has not made any statement other than that he received a financially better offer to play in Italy and we agreed to release him from his two-year contract to EV Bruneck, purely, for the remainder of this season.”

Morris continued bullishly, “If the Phoenix do review our position it will only be in line with a general quarterly review of the league that all member clubs agreed to as a sensible business practise – we are a founder member of the Elite League and will remain so. We have honoured all financial commitments to date and will continue to do so. It would be wrong to say that we have not had some financial concerns but there again, who hasn’t in hockey this year? To suggest that the club is in a delicate position without talking to us is extremely mischievous reporting and potentially harmful to not only the Manchester Phoenix but also the rest of the Elite League clubs as well. I’m pleased our media don’t rumour-monger about other clubs.”

Head coach Rick Brebant commented, “we have a good squad, we are a competitive team as we proved only last night and we’re determined to be in the hunt for silverware come the end of the season. We play Newcastle in Deeside tomorrow and look forward to entertaining our own fans against Basingstoke in the MEN Arena next Friday as we’ve been on the road entertaining everyone else’s fans for the past four weeks – it’s about time our fans got to see us play again.”