EIHL looking into January return
Further to the government’s announcement that the Elite League has been included in the Winter Survival Package, talks are progressing about the possibility of when top-flight ice hockey could get back on the ice.
As was communicated on Thursday afternoon, Sport England has allocated £4 million in funding for the Elite League to resume, while the EIHL is working with the remaining five teams to understand what support will be available from the devolved administrations.
"We are looking at dates for a January start as this part of the requirement of the funding” explained league chairman Tony Smith. “Obviously, we still have to be cautious and can't promise anything concrete, as a lot of our planning depends entirely on dealing with different agencies across the UK, but we are drawing up plans now about how we could get back on the ice playing competitive games at the beginning of 2021.
"With Great Britain in the elite group of the World Championships, we are time-limited regarding how long we can play until before we need to release national team players for the tournament. Realistically, knowing we need to finish in April means starting as soon as we can to schedule in enough games.
"Things have moved fast since the UK government’s initial announcement, and we need them to keep doing so over the next fortnight to make sure that we have as long to play as possible."