Posted by Graham Goodman on 23rd May 2003 at 12:05 GMT
Posted from 22.214.171.124 ()
In reply to Re: Why did GB withdraw?? posted by Gurj on 23rd May 2003 at 03:06 GMT:
Don't get me wrong . I'm all for us competing in the EIHC and reserved several days worth of holidays so I could travel and watch the team (I did Kiev and Villach last year). I agree that we need to compete in these games to improve. The fact that we aren't going to compete in them is part of the reason why I said in another posting that I don't see a time when GB will become a Pool A nation.
But some background on the sport in our country:
1. The team owners have no interest in the national team programme. They see it as either a week without income or a week of games without their biggest names. They don't believe that a successful national team will have any benefit to their club.
2. Ice Hockey UK is a committee with a representative from each league. Since those leagues are run as committees of the participating club owners, those very owners who don't feel that the national team helps them, the overall swing of power within the UK's governing body is not in favour of the national team playing during the British league season.
3. Ice hockey is run on a shoestring in the UK. The government do not contribute a single penny to the sport. Compare that with Denmark, where ice hockey received £500,000 the year that they were promoted out of Division 1. The World Championships prize money may not be that high. But, when the main source of income for your national team is the supporters club, it becomes a very significant percentage of the amount of money you have to play with.
4. Ice hockey in the UK is at a critical point just now. Truth be told, it's been on a massive downward spiral since the summer of 1996. It's just taken a little longer to hit rock bottom than expected. The sport is entering a key couple of seasons if it is to stay alive with any sort of credibility. With that sort of noose hanging around your neck, you can't really blame the governing body for feeling that national team is not the most important thing on it's mind just now.
LINK Great Britain Supporters Club