The London Raiders are facing extinction after owner Ollie Oliver walked away from the club this week

London Raiders facing extinction after owner walks away

London Raiders facing extinction after owner walks away

First published in Sport

London Raiders could go out of business unless additional funding can be secured after owner Ollie Oliver stepped away from the club just weeks before the start of the new season.

Oliver expressed his desire to pass on the reins on Friday after failing to find sponsorship and since then management committee members and fans have been assessing all viable options to keep the Lee Valley-based club afloat, with the new season set to begin in four weeks.

Discussions have taken place between the league, the Lee Valley Ice Rink and a number of parties interested in forming a fan-led management team.

An estimated £30,000 to £40,000 is required to keep the team afloat throughout the campaign and £10,000 is needed just to get the team on the ice this season.

Explaining his decision, Oliver said: “I’m in a no-win situation. I don’t feel confident we will see the season out and so with this in mind I feel it is better to call it a day before we start.

“I have given it a lot of thought and also put a lot of time in since last season. Much of this has been to no avail. Ice hockey is a difficult sport to obtain financial support for.”

Oliver also admitted the sudden death of former team manager Mick Cahill – a popular personality at the club – had forced him to reconsider his position.

“Whether right or wrong, Mick’s death has made me rethink my future and I intend to cram in as much as I can with my family and friends,” Oliver explained.

“Hopefully supporters will understand the financial implications and support my decision. I would like to thank each and every one of them, in particular all those that have helped behind the scenes, for their help and support over the last four years.”

London Raiders are appealing for any supporters who feel they can make a contribution by committing time or money to come forward.

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