Phantoms boss seeks legal advice after a controversial cup exit

Dave Lane.
Dave Lane.
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Phantoms owner Dave Lane has sought legal advice over the club’s controversial elimination from the NIHL National Cup.

The city club have been knocked out of the competition after finishing bottom of Group B - a fate confirmed last Friday night when Sheffield beat Hull 8-3.

The result lifted the Steeldogs into second place with Phantoms’ final game against group winners Hull being declared void by the League Management Committee (LMC).

It’s a decision that Lane believes is not in line with the sport’s rules of competition and one that he has appealed to English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) supremo Ken Taggart.

Lane believes Phantoms were completely blameless for the fixture against Hull not being played after offering a whole host of possible dates.

Lane told the Peterborough Telegraph: “We’ve already appealed the decision of the LMC to Ken Taggart and await the outcome.

“I was left with no choice other than to take legal advice on the matter. We feel seriously aggrieved by the LMC decision, which has placed us at a disadvantage and denied us the chance to qualify.

“If we are knocked out of the competition due to our own performance on the ice, I can live with that. But I cannot stand for us to be eliminated in this way.

“The league’s explanation for their action blames both clubs, but I feel Phantoms have gone above and beyond to get this fixture played.

“We have written proof that we have offered the fixtures’ secretary a string of different dates in which we could stage the game.

“We simply want to fulfil our fixture - regardless of whether it is a crucial one or not. My season-ticket holders have lost a game, my sponsors have lost return on their investment and we’re also losing three further potential home games if we go on to reach the final.

“The financial impact is a sizable one and an episode like this is also damaging to the reputation of the sport.”

The LMC verdict saw the result of the voided match being recorded as 0-0, but neither team received a point for it. Phantoms eventually finished one point behind Sheffield in the group standings.

It is understood that the EIHA do have the right to amend rules, but must give their member clubs 24 hours of notice before doing so – something believed not to have happened in this case.