Future of the Chelmsford Chieftains

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: Future of the Chelmsford Chieftains Reply with quote

Chelmsford Chieftains Newspage wrote:
Following the need to secure the future of the chieftains and numerous meetings with interested parties, unfortunately, there has been no commitment of serious or financial input into the team to allow the chieftains to remain an EPL team and run at a serious level. There has however been considerable goodwill and effort from many people to keep this route alive. I would like to personally thank on behalf of all supporters those people that have listened and sought a resolution to the difficulties. Over the past month a number of external factors have arisen, that have resulted in this course of action. These are best summarised as;

The wage demands at EPL level continue to spiral and without serious investment a playoff team cannot be placed on the ice.
There is a significant hole in the budget, that to date just cannot be filled.
The state of the economy and the events in the credit crunch has seen numerous potential sponsors pull back any potential investment into the team
There has been a real understanding by potential directors that investment into an ice hockey at EPL level is not actually an investment as it has no return.
The ENL warrior team have stated their intent to be increasingly competitive in the ENL league
The ENL league is potentially being restructured to increase its competiveness
The future of other teams in the EPL is unclear
The potential additional games at ENL level and the need to squeeze in the most amount of Sunday hockey for an EPL team are in direct competition. As a result both the Chieftains may be forced to play additional Saturdays or midweek games which further increase the financial input required.
Following very positive discussions with Riverside, it is clear that there is a demand for a competitive team and a continuation of the Chieftains brand
The biggest issue is that without considerable financial input into the chieftains at EPL level the chieftains cannot be competitive, and will be in direct competition with an ENL warrior team who will be increasingly competitive. Two senior teams at roughly the same level cannot co-exist in Chelmsford due to the premium on ice time. Therefore it would seem that the only viable financial option is to play at ENL level for the foreseeable future. I opened up discussions with Derek Bartlett (responsible for running the Warrior team) who in turn has involved the Chelmsford Ice Hockey Club junior committee. A proposal has been made to unify ice hockey in Chelmsford and bring both clubs under the one banner. Although this decision will come as a blow to many supporters as it will be a disappointment not to be able to play at EPL level, the proposal has a huge amount of positive benefits to it.

These include the following;

Ice Hockey will at last be unified in Chelmsford - this has long been an issue and has stunted and prevented long term thought and progression.
The Junior and 'Chieftains' will greatly benefit from the proposal
It has been agreed that any money made at the end of the year will be split equally between the junior committee and a 'Chieftains EPL' fighting fund - this will go a long way to ensure that if Chieftains decide to play EPL once more, that there is a sound financial platform
The fighting fund will be there for whoever wishes to fund an EPL Chieftains team
There are potential financial economies of scale
There are potential economies of scale with ice time bookings and PR campaigns
The strong local talent will be utilised - which should re-base player costs
The proposal is to play a largely locally based team in the future new rink at EPL level
A potential competitive situation between two senior teams will be avoided
Extensive ice time clashes will be avoided
Above all for the progression of the sport in the town, there is an unprecedented level of excitement, that both organisations will merge.

It is still early days and indications show that Riverside are very much in favour of the proposal, due to the premium on ice time and a desire to field a competitive team. The EIHA have been approached, and the proposal has received a warm welcome, as it has long been an issue running separate organisations from one town. There are some hurdles to overcome and as with any merge, the detail needs to be resolved. At this stage the proposal has not gone into the next level of detail, however personally I see this as actually a very positive step. We need investment , but we also need longevity.


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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is interesting, and a shame too as this clearly shows the financial requirements to compete in EPL. I think we've all given our opinions re the EPL situation many times on here, and it all comes down to money really - sponsors, bums on seats, etc. Strange how we didn't have too many problems when the League Structure was simple all those years ago, with the restriction of the 3 Import and Reclass allowance it meant Clubs had to invest more interest in their Local Development Players, therefore making our GB set up stronger. Something that the heirarchy claim they are doing now!
I'm not THAT old! CALL HIS NAME!!!
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