Dundee Stars head coach Omar Pacha has insisted support from their fan base and sponsors will be vital in the coming months following the cancellation of their season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The club’s squad was left facing uncertainty about what will happen next after the campaign was brought to a premature conclusion.
Pacha, also Stars’ general manager, knows teams across the sporting world face a financial hit during the shutdown.
But he is confident his club can get back to where they want to be financially in the summer if they receive the necessary backing from fans through season ticket sales.
The Canadian coach – who remains positive after seeing the initial response from supporters and sponsors – had no complaints about the Elite League’s decision to call a halt to the action.
He said: “It was a really abrupt end to the season but I think that was the appropriate call for the health and safety of everyone and to make sure that we end it like that, was the right decision from the league.”
The Stars and all the other EIHL teams have now gotten underway with their planning for the 2020-21 campaign but there is still some doubt cast over how each club will be able to operate during the offseason.
Explaining what the plan going forward is for Dundee, Pacha said: “Well right now, it all revolves around the business side to make sure that we have a plan in place for next season.
“So, we are looking at players right now but these next few weeks are all about getting back to where we want to be financially and moving forward.
“Obviously plans are in place for next season and the league are meeting on a weekly basis to get things straightened out for the rules and regulations for next season and there are already talks about a Magic Weekend.”
The Elite League announced on Wednesday plans for a special event to relaunch the league when the health crisis subsides.
In order to replace the lost playoffs, the “Magic 5” weekend is in the planning stages and would feature all ten teams in action in one venue.
But it is still to be confirmed as the ongoing coronavirus situation constantly develops.
Only as time moves forward will clubs and the league begin to understand more about how these events will affect the new season but, for now, it remains uncertain.
Pacha has asked fans to continue to support the club and says the best way to back the team is to take advantage of their affordable season ticket plans.
He added: “Well things are still unknown but for us it is very basic because we need the fans to back us up in these next few months and we need to have the support from them.
“With our season tickets, we already have them on sale with a payment plan in place that has a zero percent interest rate with monthly payments.
“We are making it as affordable as possible for our season ticket holders to support us, so that is a great way to back the club and our sponsors have been very receptive to everything.”
Despite the ongoing global pandemic, the Stars boss wants to keep the club growing.
But he also revealed his devastation at not getting to see out the rest of the season as he believed his side would have qualified for the playoffs.
Pacha said: “It was really unfortunate because this year I was convinced that we would have qualified for the playoffs and made some noise.
“We had a team that was successful at home against Cardiff and for example, we had great results in Sheffield and Belfast.
“So, it is really unfortunate and we feel like there was unfinished business with this team this year and that is just devastating but there are bigger things in life than hockey.
“So, we want to keep growing and we will see where we are at the end of the summer but like every year our on-ice goal will be to reach the playoffs.”
Pacha is optimistic about the future of the Elite League after seeing the commitment to next season from all 10 teams.
He said: “Everyone is going to take a financial hit but as a league, every team is committed for next year and they want to play next year.
“We will have to wait and see with what is going to happen in the next few weeks and months but everyone is committed and there is a plan in place already for that Magic Weekend and we will just take things from there.”
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