PIRATES TO LOSE PLANET ICE HOME
After a roller-coaster 20 years of action, Pirates are on the verge of disappearing from the sporting horizon. The club's landlords, Planet Ice, have decided that they will not entertain British National League ice hockey in their rink next season. Pirates owners have been offered the opportunity to run a team in the lower level league - English National League - but are set to refuse. It would mean the end of the Pirates, but not necessarily the end of ice hockey in the city as Phil Wing, a former Pirates director, has said that he will step in to fill the void and run a team in the English National League.
Planet Ice managing director Mike Petrouis would not give his reasons for deciding to freeze the British National League out of the Mallard Road rink, but there have been rumours of a fall-out between the league and Petrouis. "There will be professional hockey in Peterborough and that will be at English National League standard," announced Petrouis. Kevin Tatam, chairman of Peterborough Pirates plc, the parent company of Seconds Out Ltd who run the Pirates, stated that his company have no interest in running a team in the English National League. "We have always stated that we do not want to drop down to the English National League," said Tatam. "We hold the franchise to run British National League hockey in Peterborough and that is what we want to do. "I am aware of the decision that Planet Ice have made, but I will not be commenting further on the future of the Pirates until after tomorrow's BNL management meeting."
Wing said he would step into the breach if Tatam decides to reject Planet Ice's offer to run a team in the English National League. He said: "At the end of the day I want to see ice hockey in Peterborough and I do not see a lot of other people coming forward to take it on. "Mike has made his views known that he wants ENL hockey in his rinks, I do not know the reasons for that, but from what I have heard the structure that is in place for that league next years looks very competitive."