Deal agreed to put Stingrays under new ownership

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THE chance for Hull Stingrays to come under local ownership has been given the go-ahead by the current management team.

The Coventry-based organisation which has run the club for the last two years revealed last month that they would be looking to sell the club - preferably to a local owner - and it appears the bid by businessmen Nic Gough and Bobby McEwan, who is also bench coach at the Elite League club, has been successful.

In a statement released by the Coventry owners, the change of ownership will be formally concluded once Gough and McEwan have completed their arrangements with Hull City Council for the ice-time contract for the 2012-13 season out of the city’s Ice Arena. That is something which is expected to be concluded next week.

James Pease, who along with Mike Cowley, Andy Buxton and Paul Thompson stepped in to keep the club going two years ago, said it was vital the club was now run by local people.

“The deal is done pending their award of the ice-time contract at the Arena and we are delighted Nic and Bobby are taking over,” said Pease, who played a number of games for Hull last season.

“The club desperately needs to be under local ownership and direction and now it has that - it needs to be operated by people from the area.”

Speculation over the club’s future began as early as last November when the owners revealed they had run into financial difficulties of their own with their own Coventry Blaze team.

“We know things haven’t been perfect, especially during last season,” added Pease.

“But it’s been very difficult for us to run two clubs, especially with one being so far away from where we are based.

“We’d like to thank everyone who supported us during the last two seasons, sponsors, supporters and volunteers but especially player-coach Sylvain Cloutier and the players who did such a great job. We really do wish Nic and Bobby all the very best.”

GREAT Britain will travel to Budapest for their next Division 1A World Championship campaign in April next year.

Head coach Tony Hand’s side – who will also play in an Olympic pre-qualification event this November – are in a six-team group with hosts Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea and Japan.

The Olympic draw sees GB put with Japan, Korea and Romania in Group J.

Twitter: @PHarrisonYP