Edinburgh Capitals co-owner Scott Neil has spoken of his delight after Elite League bosses rubber-stamped changes to ensure his club, plus local rivals Dundee Stars and Fife Flyers, participate in next season’s competition which is due to get underway in early September.
The league will split into three conferences, replacing the existing two, with Edinburgh playing in an all-Scottish affair alongside Dundee, Fife and Braehead Clan, playing each other home and away four times. Caps will tackle the other eight teams twice at home and twice away for a 56-game season.
The Elite League futures of Edinburgh, Fife and Dundee were in doubt ahead of a new season where the set-up expands from ten to 12 teams. Plans proposing fewer games between Scottish rivals were set to increase travel costs and bring a drop in revenue which, according to Neil, would make it impossible for small-budget clubs to be competitive.
Following an Elite League board meeting on Thursday, Neil said: “We’re certainly happy that there was a consensus to keep all twelve teams involved. Some clubs have had to make sacrifices and, from my point of view, they’ve made these sacrifices for the good of the league and all those within it.
“It’s a positive step forward, and I don’t think it’s just the Scottish clubs that will benefit. For some, it’s not a perfect scenario, but for us it certainly gives us the chance to keep competing at this level.”
Elite League and Sheffield Steelers chairman Tony Smith said: “I’m excited at how our league looks on the back of these changes and it was important that we had all twelve clubs involved in this new set-up.
“We’ve made sure every team gets the best out of this layout and I’m sure it’s something the fans will get behind when they see how it’s all comes together.
“It’s going to be a very competitive competition and I, for one, will be fascinated at how things play out in the coming season.”
NEW ELITE LEAGUE SET-UP (CONFERENCES TO BE NAMED AT A LATER DATE).
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