Kloten Beat The Banker

Financial problems and hockey teams are something that hockey fans in the UK have known all to well. This October will mark 10 years since the UK lost both the Manchester Storm and the Scottish Eagles (more on that in October). Since then other clubs have come and gone but not forgot about.

Despite desperate attempts to save these clubs they all failed. When similar money problems hit two teams in Switzerland it appeared that the same fate would befall them.

However both the Kloten Flyers of the National League A and lower league side HC Ambri- Piotta have now secured their futures.

After a torrid start to the off season the Flyers secured their future thanks to local business, fans and players that raised over £1.9 million whilst other creditors agreed to write off over £3.4 million in bad debts. It was a remarkable achievement that saved the club from going out of business and allowed it to be sold to a new owner.

It would have been a major blow for the sport in Switzerland as Kloten, a small suburb near to Zurich airport, has gained a powerful reputation for its development of young players.

Meanwhile HC Ambri – Piotta secured their future thanks to a massive investment from Egyptian businessman, Samih Sawiris. The Swiss domicile who is building a near by resort has been keen to develop the local sporting sides and seized the opportunity to help Ambri – Piotta.

The strength of local support is what makes the stories of Kloten and Ambri – Piotta so compelling. In times of difficulty for any club the local support always comes out in force. Often they plough in a great deal of money in attempts to beat of the debt and save the team. Most of the time they will lose this money to the creditors and the team to the history books. But for the fans of the Kloten Flyers and HC Ambri – Piotta for once they have beaten the banker and saved their team.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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