Solent Devils, The South Coast’s main Ice Hockey Club informed the EIHA (English Ice Hockey Association) and it’s League Management Committee on Friday, of their wish to withdraw from the recently created NIHL South 1 Conference System. This decision was not taken likely by the club, and has been taken after consultation with our rink, junior club and other supporting members. We fully comprehend the impact this decision has had on the league and we are devastated to hear that our issues have impacted the futures of two other NIHL South 1 members, as well as jeopardising the plans for those currently remaining in the league.
We would like to clarify that our concerns were raised prior to, during and after the league meeting on May 7th and unfortunately those concerns escalated. Whilst we agreed to remain in NIHL 1 at the meeting, we simply did not comprehend the level of difficulties we would face in trying to construct a squad with our financial means. This has proved near impossible in the following weeks.
We have been in dialogue with the league management committee regularly including up to and prior the press release of the league structure. We sought advice from the league management committee, and would like to thank them for their time in discussing these matters with us. Ultimately it was not viable for our club to continue to compete against clubs which are structured entirely different to ourselves.
We did not intend for our decision to snowball, but we understand and acknowledge that we have played a big part in yesterday's events.
We apologise for the part we have played, but ultimately there were real dangers that Solent Devils would have failed to complete season 2017/18 and this would have been a worse situation.
We loved our time in NIHL1 and were looking forward once again to competing in it, until the shock announcement of the influx of new clubs and league strutuce impacted us.
We thank our fans, players and other clubs for their support and we would like to offer our support back to those clubs affected by the league re-structure based on our resignation.
Updated 19:04 - 25 Jun 2017 by Alex Murray
We hope to play in NIHL2 next season and hope the EIHA are able to accommodate all clubs wishes to complete at levels they are comfortable with.
Solent Devils urges the EIHA to work hard to ensure we don’t lose any teams from British Ice Hockey and we hope to compete once again in September.