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  Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 13:27 GMT
Fear over ice hockey league
Bracknell are to withdraw from the ISL to join the Findus British National League
Bracknell will not play the London Knights next season

The Ice Hockey Superleague (ISL) could no longer be viable after the withdrawal of yet another team, competition supremo Brian Storey has admitted.


We desperately need more clubs in the league if it is continue
Brian Storey, ISL chief

Bracknell Bees' decision to join the Findus British National League (BNL) next season leaves the ISL with just four teams, after Manchester Storm and Scottish Eagles quit.

"We desperately need more clubs in the league if it is continue," chief administration officer Storey told BBC Sport Online.

"The clubs feel that they can carry on with four - although they want more - but it remains to be seen whether that is viable.

"From my personal point of view, I wouldn't have thought it was."

The Bees' owner John Nike explained that the club, which plays in a 3,000 seater arena was simply unable to compete financially with the larger-arena sides.

The ISL are involved in talks with the BNL, and Storey would not rule out the idea of some form of merger between the two.

"There is the ongoing possibility of an affiliation of some degree, but it remains to be seen what form that may take," he said.


The current salary cap is too high, simple as that
Brian Storey

"But it is still early days - our meeting in November was the first ever between the two of us."

The remaining four clubs - Belfast Giants, Sheffield Steelers, Nottingham Panthers and London Knights - are to meet next week to determine their futures.

Storey believes that they need to adopt a more stringent salary capping system to ensure the survival of the game.

The ISL salary cap is currently set at 400,000 gross, but the ice hockey chief says that it is unsustainable.

"It is too high, simple as that," he said.

"When the clubs sit down to discuss what level it will be, it will be interesting to see what they decide.

"But they have to reduce it."

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 ON THIS STORY
ISL chief Brian Storey
"The clubs feel they can carry on with four"
See also:

03 Dec 02 | Other Sports
02 Dec 02 | Other Sports
21 Nov 02 | Other Sports
14 Nov 02 | Other Sports
12 Nov 02 | Other Sports
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