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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Bison withdraw from Elite League

Basingstoke Bison

Basingstoke Bison have withdrawn from the Elite League for next season.

The club have applied to join the second tier of the game, the English Premier League, for the 2009-10 term.

John Neville, director of operations for Bison's owners said: "Bison have struggled in the past couple of seasons and lost substantial amounts of money."

Basingstoke ended a miserable season on Sunday with a 5-3 defeat by Sheffield Steelers which left them rooted to the foot of the Elite League table.

Elite League chairman Eamon Convery said: "Basingstoke Bison were one of the founding teams of the league. They worked tirelessly to turn around the performance of the team both on and off the ice.

"Progress was made however it is accepted that their future lies outside membership of the Elite Ice Hockey League."

The drop into ice hockey's second tier is subject to approval from the EPL's management committee and if successful would mean Bison would play local derbies with Bracknell Bees, Guildford Flames and Slough Jets.


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