Neil Morris secures Phoenix EPL future

Friday, 10th April 2015

Manchester Phoenix majority owner Neil Morris has stepped in with an eleventh-hour deal to preserve his club’s status in the English Premier League.

A week of legal wrangling involving rink operators Silver Blades and Phoenix part-owners Red Hockey led to concerns about the club’s ability to ice a team in the EPL.

But after lengthy 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 Silverblades 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.

Morris 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 Silverblades 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.

Wayne Scholes 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 Silverblades organisation would recognise the great privilege and opportunity it is to have such a successful team, along with the Phoenix faithful, in their rink.

“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.”

Neil Morris

Phoenix MD Neil Morris

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