Chairmen in agreement

Friday, 27th June 2003

Ken Taggart, Chairman of the English Ice Hockey Association, and Eamon Convery, Chairman of the Elite Ice Hockey League are pleased to issue the following joint press release. Having concluded a period of consultation regarding ice hockey within the UK and with the support of their directors, the Chairmen are pleased to make this joint announcement.

An affiliation in principal has been made between the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) professional clubs and the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) clubs which comprises the English Premier League and junior leagues. Consequently there now exists a strong association and support structure between the professional arena based clubs and the junior clubs.

The resulting support system was one of the fundamental objectives behind the formation of the EIHL and has been a goal of the EIHA for several years. With the affiliation confirmed there is a clear league programme, which will ensure the full utilization of British trained players with the top professionals in ice hockey.

Junior clubs will be bonded to the professional clubs of Basingstoke Bison, Belfast Giants, Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, London Racers, Manchester Phoenix, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers. Ice Hockey UK has been seeking an integrated league structure for a number of years - this is now achieved due to the affiliation of the Elite Ice Hockey Clubs with the English Ice Hockey Association.

Ken Taggart confirms that “Fans, players, coaches, sponsors and promoters can look forward to enjoying the future development of the sport of ice hockey as a result of this joint announcement.”