Fife Flyers Q&A: Questions directors are likely to face

Fife Flyers directors will host a rare forum with fans next week.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 2:20 pm

They will take centre stage at the long-called for event at the Bay Hotel on Tuesday, February 11.

It’s a gathering fans have been pushing for in recent months after a dreadful run of defeats sent the team spiralling to the foot of the Elite League and facing the very real possibility of missing out on the play-offs.

Tom Muir and Jack Wishart will answer questions and speak about their aims and ambitions – and where the club goes from here.

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The view from within is that this is a positive step, and the first of many needed to reconnect with a fanbase which has tholed a host of tough nights rinkside.

There are a number of known issues affecting Flyers on and off the ice – most of them were covered in a feature the Press did on the fragility at the heart of Flyers back in December (Story HERE The worrying fragility at heart of Fife Flyers

We recently asked on Twitter what questions the fans wanted to put.

They fell, broadly, into the following categories:

THE FUTURE:

Will Fife Flyers be in the EIHL in 2020-21?

THIS SEASON:

What lessons have you taken from this year?

What are your plans to address the known issues surrounding the team on and off the ice?

THE TEAM:

Why has the team under performed?

Was the recruitment process robust enough last summer?

Why did you choose not to sanction any changes in, or additions to, the squad to try to turn the season round?

Are you happy with the performances of the players, individually and collectively, and how they are managed and coached?

DIRECTORS & MANAGEMENT OF THE CLUB:

After 24 years at the helm, what are your long-term aims to continue at the helm?

Are you open to new investment – financial and otherwise?

Have there been any approaches to invest in the team?

Is a GM on the radar for Fife – if not, why not?

How long can Fife continue to operate as a semi-pro, part-time team in a full-time, fully-pro Elite League?

What changes need to be made to the club’s operating and business model to make that happen?

What are your aspirations for Fife Flyers? Top four? Play-off contenders? Silverware challengers?

Have you personally done enough to fully engage with the EIHL?

THE COACHING STAFF:

You have only ever worked with two coaches in the past 24 years. Is it time for a change?

A run of 14 straight losses would see any football manager or coach almost certainly dismissed and replaced – where do you stand on making such a call in Fife?

Lots of fans want someone new behind the bench to bring a new style of play. What are your thoughts?

BRITISH PLAYERS:

The departure of Chad Smith and the limited use of Jordan Buesa and Bari Mckenzie has angered many fans who want to see British players on the ice.

Are you comfortable with a Flyers team that has no local identity in the shape of locally-trained players?

In its nine years in the EIHL, why has the club not developed the next wave of locally-trained players to be ready to step in as those who iced from 2011 retired?

What is the relationship between Flyers and KIHC as it stands – and how it can be improved?

What moves have been made to forge links with English Premier teams to cultivate two-way contracts to develop British talent?

ATTENDANCES & THE FAN BASE:

Attendances have collapsed this season – impacting directly on the club’s revenue.

You changed Sunday face offs to 5.30pm and hailed the initiative a success – by what criteria was this judged?

Has the club done enough to fill the seats?

What steps will the club take to tackle the growing gap between the fans and the club?

Should the Supporters Club be revived?

What are your thoughts on a Fans Trust and the role it could play off-ice?

Would you consider appointing a fans rep to the board, as Raith Rovers have done successfully?

MATCH NIGHT EXPERIENCE:

The match night experience has been roundly criticised as tired and stale – and in desperate need of a ‘wow’ factor.

What steps were taken to create a show this season – what has worked and what hasn’t?

What steps will you take to improve it in 2020-21?

MARKETING, MEDIA & PROMOTION:

The club has been hampered by poor, directionless marketing and PR all season. The biggest signing of the summer – the return of Danick Gauthier – saw an announcement that was widely mocked and derided, and things haven’t improve much since then.

Why have Flyers PR/marketing operations gone so badly wrong this season?

What is your strategy to overhaul the key off-ice department?