The announcement made by Ice Hockey UK that they haven't affiliated the Elite Ice Hockey League doesn't mean that it's the end of the line for ice hockey in Manchester - far from it. Despite rumours in some circles that this is a final decision, the negotiation process is still very much alive.
According to Richard Allan, FOMIH's Fan Liaison, the decision is only a slight hitch: "It's a temporary set-back, nothing more. The channels of discussion are still open and I'm sure the affiliation issue will be resolved soon, allowing the EIHL teams to progress into an exciting new season of ice hockey."
The Managing Director of Manchester Phoenix Ice Hockey Club had this to say: "I am a little disappointed at the IHUK's decision today, but I'm confident hat further negotiation will result in the affiliation of the EIHL to IHUK. However, whatever happens will not affect the ice hockey fans of Manchester,and the Manchester Phoenix ice hockey club will be playing top flight ice hockey this coming season."
Affiliation to IHUK will mean that the EIHL will come under the same governing body as the Findus British National League, and the same body as governed the now defunct Ice Hockey Superleague. The IHUK is the body responsible for issues such as the provision of match night referees and officials, and being affiliated is generally regarded as an advantageous position.
For FOMIH and Manchester Phoenix, it's business as usual!
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