The future of British ice hockey looks secure this week after plans for next years League structure were announced by the ISL & FBNL. Months of secret discussions have concluded with the most radical plan ever devised.
Thunderflash has obtained details of the plan and we are pleased to give you the headlines.
(1) The new top League will be known as the "Premier Division". It will have teams in Kirkcaldy, Tayside, Edinburgh, Glasgow (near Ayr ..), Newcastle, Sheffield, Nottingham, West Midlands, Bracknell, Basingstoke, Cardiff and Manchester.
(2) The new Premier Division will have a strict wage cap that effectively limits the number of North American imports to three or four. The rest of the team will be semi pro British players.
(3) The format of the league will be based on each team playing other teams twice at home and twice away.
(4) The season will start with an "Autumn Cup" format
(5) Teams will be expected to arrange that over 90% of fixtures will take place on Friday, Saturday or Sunday Nights
(6) Both the "League" and the "Autumn Cup " will have national sponsors; these are believed to be a major branded beer and a leading insurance group.
(7) Television coverage has already been agreed; BBC will broadcast around six games a year (including Autumn Cup final and Play Off final) on Grandstand. Regional ITV companies will broadcast a number of League games that are relevant to their transmission area
(8) The bottom two teams in the "Premier" League will face relegation play off games against the top two teams from the all new "First Division".
(9) The First Division will have a lower wage cap than the Premier.
(10) The above offers fans excitement, goals, variety, true tension (cups, championships, relegation!) ... and offers clubs financial stability and TV Exposure
Any similarity between the above and British Hockey in the mid 1980s is purely coincidental.
(okay we made it all up .. but we made up the bit about Jon Hammond being sacked in the summer and look what happened!!!)