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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Elite League takes shape
Sheffield Steelers in action against Cardiff
The Elite League will start in September
The Ice Hockey Elite League will begin next season with at least nine clubs, including several present Superleague sides.

Teams from Basingstoke, Belfast, Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield are all committed to the new structure.

Groups from both Dublin and Milton Keynes have also committed to joining the league at the earliest opportunity.

The new format replaces the Superleague which ran into financial trouble this season.

Clubs will be subject to a wage cap and the emphasis will be on bringing through young British talent.

British National League and play-off champions Coventry Blaze are one of the clubs taking part.

"I was a bit dubious about joining the league originally because I felt we couldn't match the financial clout of some of the bigger clubs," Blaze coach Paul Thompson told BBC West Midlands.

"But it's coming down to a level where we're not going to be up with it but we're going to be close.

"I'm confident we can put out a team that can challenge."

The Elite League, which is still in talks with other interested clubs, will now address the more practical issues including sponsorship and television coverage.




SEE ALSO
Elite league gets go-ahead
27 Feb 03  |  Other Sport

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