NIHL MANAGEMENT STATEMENT | RETURN TO PLAY

NIHL MANAGEMENT STATEMENT | RETURN TO PLAY

The NIHL Management have released the following statement regarding the planning and preparation of the 2021/22 season:

The end of March saw the conclusion of the Spring Cup which was a fantastic online showcase of hockey, great entertainment and a deserved overall victory for the Sheffield Steeldogs. Congratulations to all involved. The five clubs who participated looked carefully at the options to continue playing into April and May, but have decided that this is not possible.

We would like to thank our fans, rink operators, EIHA and Andrew Miller for their support making the Spring Cup a success. Following on from that series, the NIHL Owners Group has been working together and has agreed that we are now planning and preparing to play the 2021/22 season. This is a great moment as we start to move on from survival mode into taking the steps back towards more normality in our game.

To the owners, it feels like cooperation and communication between us has never been higher, and this has allowed us to make meaningful progress on the key activities not only to bring our game back, but also to look at sustainability and the long term future of our sport In that focus on sustainability, we have agreed in principle a wage cap which will set the foundations for our long term future whilst building on the exciting on-ice action we saw in our last full season. Implementing a wage cap helps clubs with budgeting and forecasting, which is a particularly difficult task given the COVID impact on the entertainment industry and uncertainty of how people will want to watch the game when it returns.

For now, stay safe, follow government guidance, and keep up the tremendous support you’re all showing your clubs and the sport. We’re doing everything we can, and for the first time in a long time, it feels like we’re on our way back. We will continue to update fans throughout the summer period.