Exclusive: Top hockey clubs plot revamped men’s Premier League – Telegraph.co.uk
Some Premier Division clubs admit that the global league will impact the national game to such a degree that, with no international stars available to both play and coach younger members, the game’s long-term future will be bleak. “There will be no aspirational figures to follow and the talent pool will dry up in a generation or two,” claimed one club official.
The official added that leading Olympians could become “mercenaries” and be enticed to play abroad in Holland or Belgium, where players are well paid on top of their centralised contracts.
There are already ramifications with the indoor game, with England stars unavailable for the Super 6s, while Surbiton will travel to their European indoor campaign next year with, effectively, a second-string side because of Commonwealth Games preparations.
Officials believe that working alongside England Hockey in the future is integral to both national and international success and say next week’s meeting will not address the prospect of a “breakaway” league as such. Instead, clubs want more control over domestic fixtures and a bigger say in commercial viability, with the document stating that the league would “put hockey on television”.
England Hockey said in a statement: “We have been working with clubs and other stakeholders for the past 14 months to find the best way to align our domestic leagues with this new global landscape. We have proposed changes to enable international players to play club hockey in a meaningful way as well as give them the best chance of winning medals on the world stage.”