Fife put EIHL future on hold amid concerns over new structure

Fife Flyers' EIHL future is on hold.
Fife Flyers' EIHL future is on hold.

Fife Flyers' future plans have been cast into doubt with the club refusing to commit to next season's Elite League until a new format has been finalised.

In a statement issued this morning, Flyers revealed that plans for next season are on hold until after an EIHL board meeting on April 27, where representatives from all 12 clubs, including new additions Guildford Flames and Milton Keynes Lightning, will attempt to thrash out a structure for the 2017-18 season.

The Press understands that Fife, along with fellow east of Scotland sides Dundee Stars and Edinburgh Capitals, have serious concerns over proposed changes to the running of the league, and the conference structure.

A Press source informed us that 'drastic changes' in the running of the league have forced the three clubs to reevaluate their position within the EIHL, with sustainable running costs believed to be a major concern.

The Flyers statement read: "As you may be aware, at present the structure and format for the 2017/18 EIHL season has not been finalised.

"We will be attending the April EIHL Board meeting at the end of this month, where the format for next season will be discussed, and we hope to be able to make plans from there, regarding our future.

"We will not be in a position to release season ticket information or look at fixtures and scheduling until after the April board meeting and discussions with all 12 teams have taken place.

"We will release an update following the April EIHL meeting.

"Thank you for your patience and support during this time."

Flyers have yet to confirm whether head coach Todd Dutiaume will remain in position, however, goaltender Shane Owen will not be returning next season after Swedish side BIK Karlskoga announced that he has signed with them for the 2017-18 season.

Owen, who won the Player of the Year award as well as The Fife Free Press Mirror of Merit, finished the season with a save percentage of .908.