Hockey future in doubt

The sporting world would simply not be the same without the rumours being spread every day and hockey is no different. EHC München hockey fans were in for bit of a shock when news from Austria hit the Bavarian capital last week.

Following last off-season's drama in which, according to various media reports, the club license had already been sold to Bundesliga club Landshut, fans were hoping for a quiet and settled future with the sole focus on the club's economic and sporting future following the introduction of Red Bull as the new major sponsor of the club. However, rumours regarding the club's imminent future are now spreading again. Austrian's 'Salzburger Nachrichten' newspaper claims to have picked up information that sees Red Bull taking over the club in order to relocate it to Austria.

According to the Austrian paper, EC Red Bull Salzburg's head coach Pierre Pagé will replace Christian Winkler as new Sporting Director. Current EHC head coach Pat Cortina will leave the club at the end of the season to focus fully on his new roles as German national coach and sporting director of the German Hockey Federation (DEB).

The report adds that as of 2014, Salzburg and München are expected to form a joint venture to be located at a newly formed ice hockey academy in Liefering near Salzburg. This would mean München would have to travel to Germany for their games in the DEL. Other reports also say that EC Red Bull Salzburg, playing in the Austrian top flight (EBEL), will then serve as a feeder team for EHC Red Bull München, who will continue playing in Germany's top flight (DEL).

Red Bull's pivotal point of discussion regarding its relocation plans is also the construction of a new multifunctional arena at München's Olympic Park, which is said to also serve FC Bayern Basketball for their home fixtures in the Germany's elite Basketball league (BBL).

For now, fans should not be too concerned about their club's imminent future and instead focus on the job at hand. EHC Red Bull München are currently battling it out for a spot in the top 10 in order to gain a playoff berth by March. To get there, the team will need to start winning games again, something they can do tonight when they host the Hannover Scorpions at 19:30 CET at Oberwiesefeld.


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