Fife Flyers’ return hinges on First Minister’s August decision on crowd restrictions
Fife Flyers’ hopes of a return to action this autumn could hinge on the outcome of the next update from the First Minister due early in August.
The club said today it was working on the basis that all restrictions would be lifted to allow fans back rinkside in big number for the opening games.
The Elite League is scheduled to start the weekend of September 25-26 after a 16-month absence.
But the First Minister’s next scheduled update on restrictions easing in Scotland is not due until August 9.
That would leave just seven weeks for the Kirkcaldy club - and fellow Scottish teams Glasgow Clan and Dundee Stars - to finalise their plans for the long-awaited return to action.
Ice hockey was halted in March 2020 when the pandemic struck, wiping out the final week of the league season, the championship play-offs and the finals weekend.
While a few teams competed in a mini series earlier this year, the league has been in limbo throughout lockdown.
Last month it held its fixtures meeting and confirmed the start date for all ten teams, although the schedules have yet to be revealed.
It proposes games running all the way through to a play-off finals weekend on April 23-24, 2022.
Flyers’ directors, Tom Muir and Jack Wishart, have committed to icing in the EIHL - but they need movement on restrictions to progress their plans.
In a joint statement, they said: “We are working on the basis that all restrictions will be lifted in Scotland on August 9, which would mean we can have a full crowd at Fife Ice Arena for the start of the season.
“It is essential for us to have a successful start to the season that the Scottish Government delivers on its roadmap as planned.”In the interim, they said the club was “ working hard to make hockey in Fife a safe environment for everyone when they eventually do make their way to watch hockey again.”
The club is working to overhaul its media output and bringing key sponsors on board after what it described as “an eternity” since the last game at Fife Ice Arena.