MK Lightning on the road to recovery
The end of the tunnel is lit but there is still a lot of work to do as an ice hockey club Milton Keynes, the new incarnation of Milton Keynes Lightning, begins preparations for the new season.
During a week when they had ice time on their Planet Rink, at the expense of Moodys, deeply unpopular, homeowners who feel their club has led their club to ruin have left a new goal and a positive attitude to their backs. ad.
"Let's Play Hockey", the group that started trying to keep Elite League ice hockey at MK is now preparing to enter the NIHL National League and Chief Operating Officer, Jonathan Raine, already working hard.
"We have a lot to do to prepare ourselves and for a competitive position in the new division," he said. "Our goal is also to reward fans with a great product on the ice, as well as everything associated with the team.
"Getting ice time was not the main obstacle to this process, but it is certainly one of the most important ingredients. This is an exciting time."
Raine is one of the people, with general manager Claire Eason-Bassett, who worked to reclaim her club after Lightning's withdrawal from the elite league after two tumultuous years amidst financial problems that appeared. through claims of players not paying salaries and other expenses.
The Moody never responded to any of these claims, creating a dark and disreputable atmosphere around the club while they were working at the bottom of the Elite League. When the decision to join the NIHL was made, it was a decision that was not made well.
Jonathan said, "Seven or eight weeks ago, a group of people came forward to save the elite league ice hockey in Milton Keynes. The way in which things have unfolded in recent years has caused a great deal of concern.
– letplayhockey (@eihlmkhockey) May 14, 2019
"We were trying to save Elite hockey, or literally save hockey in Milton Keynes to some extent. Of course we have other teams, like MK Thunder, reconnaissance teams and women's teams. But from the point of view of the best teams, some feared things would not go the way they wanted.
"So we created the Milton Keynes Limited Ice Hockey Club and this has become a way to claim elite league status.
"Leaving the elite league and making a decision is interesting and you can get a different point of view depending on who you are talking to. There was a question of sustainability and sustainability for an Elite League club and it was based on the previous owners. "
The high-level group's candidacy was interrupted at the recent meeting of the IEDH Board of Directors. Milton Keynes therefore had to call on the NIHL to try to reinstate the Lightning's name in more positive circumstances and to fire the two people they thought were in the same place. heart of the issues.
By launching their own offer and starting to make calculations, they realized that managing an elite league team was feasible and certainly sustainable.
He added, "For a while, there were rumors and rumors about what was happening and things were not everything. It took a head when it was announced that MK would leave the EIHL in March. Shortly after, at a fan forum, homeowners spoke with homeowners to answer questions, but that was not what fans were looking for. for.
"When we came together to put the numbers in place and review them, we found that the system was sustainable and based on MK's current arena. We understand that this is a difficult business to manage, which is expensive but achievable.
"We can understand the model in the NIHL in a different way by looking at the numbers and the business plan, that we are fine-tuning as we go along and that we find that the two plans are very different.
"Last week we organized a forum with our fans. So we hired a conference room and explained what we wanted to do and what was generating a lot of interest, especially online.
"For the fans, it showed us where we were and a number of supporters and shareholders poured money to support our efforts. It was a matter of telling them that, okay, we did not have an Elite League, but it was above all to be honest and open with our projects. "
So, did Graham and Monica Moody have an olive branch to try to get together and try to solve the problems?
"We met the Moody, but they did not show any interest in working with us to go forward and made it clear that we were going to separate," Jonathan said.
He also discussed the involvement of Planet Ice, who confirmed his support for the group "Let's Play Hockey," revealing that he was a constant pillar of his support as he was attempting to move things forward, which led to the decision to allocate MKIHC ice time at the expense of the Moodys.
But he spoke of the recent candidacy for membership of the Elite League and, although he felt that nothing could have caused concern, he believes that the LIEH may have be wary of external factors.
He declared: "The candidature of the EIHL is itself interesting. I would not say that the proposal we presented to them has a remarkable element that has not worked. I think there were a number of things, but the essential part of the difficult task to overcome for the elite league was the bad publicity and the bad press that surrounded MK hockey at the time. Current time.
"Part of the candidacy for elite league status depended on the signing of the ice time contract. So they accepted the project from the beginning. So when our EIHL bid failed, we informed them of what we wanted to do and they helped us a lot to help us reach the stage where we are. with the NIHL. "
Raine also confirmed that they had begun discussions with Lewis Clifford, who had been appointed Lightning head coach by the Moodys at the end of the campaign for the Elite League.
He also insists that EIHA has given assurances that he would play in the NIHL season in place of the Moodys' Lightning, despite their statement according to which they would make "a complete statement at the end of the debates". Since the interview, ISAIs have confirmed that Lightning, under MKIHC, would be in competition.
"We have started preparations for next season and are already negotiating with Lewis, and EIHA and the NIHL have assured us that we can play in the National League," he said. he declares.
"What stands out from all of this is that we are Milton Keynes Lightning. It's as if someone enters and takes place in Tottenham Hotspur or Arsenal. Their name would remain unchanged, so us too.
"MK Lightning is the name of our team. We have been there since 2002 and we are the last guardians of this name. "
As there is no doubt, Milton Keynes Lightning is actually back.