Raiders rescue deal ‘agreed’
- Credit: Archant
Club confirm future after council help
London Raiders have confirmed their intention to compete in the National Ice Hockey League this season.
A statement released late last night revealed the club had managed to secure the necessary support and funding to put a team on the ice, following owner Ollie Oliver’s decision to step down after the recent death of team manager Mick Cahill.
John Scott, speaking on behalf of a new supporters’ management group, said: “Following lengthy negotiations, numerous business models, and the support of the Raiders faithful and company sponsors, London Raiders are pleased to confirm their intention to compete in this season’s NIHLS1 competitions.
“Late obstacles meant that the incredibly rapid support of Havering Council made this possible. Thank you. The final arrangements are of course subject to the agreeing of contract small print, but the basic deal is in place.
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“The management team would like to thanks everyone that has been involved and over the next few days it will become evident that work behind the scenes has been progressing in anticipation of the team proceeding.”
Player-coach Danny Marshall had revealed the signings of Frankie Harvey, David Oliver, AJ Smith, Jakub Klima and Jacob Ranson before the shock news of Cahill’s death and Oliver’s retirement put the club’s future in doubt.
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Other players were said to be on standby, waiting for a decision to be made on competing this season, and news of further signings is expected soon.
Scott added: “We have a ‘Meet the Players’ evening booked on Friday August 29 at the Catholic Club at Collier Row, who have been kind enough to provide a cost free venue at short notice.
“We are trying to organise a supporters meeting next week, in the Romford area. At that time we should have finalised and grouped our numerous tasks for the coming season.
“This meeting will perhaps result in a few more committee members and a large number of people that can devote time and talent to the huge volume of work that needs to be done now, and during the course of the season.
“This is by the fans, and for the fans. There is no one person at the helm, no one person willing to do all the work and no one person taking a hit.
“The responsibility for the team’s off-ice success will be down to us the fans. The off-ice success can only improve the on-ice success.
“There is a heck of a lot of work on registrations and transfers, equipment orders, design and print, the list goes on, and just a short time to do it so the hard work does not stop today.
“Apart from the thanks to all the fans helpers and sponsors we need to thank all the previous owners who have got us this far. Hours away from family, thousands of pounds spent, and we have a club, a fan base, and a history we are all proud enough to fight for.”
Raiders begin their campaign with a home game against Cardiff at Lee Valley on Saturday September 6.
*A celebration of the life of Mick Cahill will be held at 3.45pm on Tuesday (August 26) at Forest Park Crematorium, Forest Road, Hainault and afterwards at the Metropolitan Police Club, Chigwell.
Family flowers only, donations to the British Heart Foundation and London Raiders.