Scholes set for the long-term at Tigers

Telford Tigers boss Wayne Scholes has pledged his future to the English Premier League champions during a packed fans’ forum.

Wednesday night’s event at Telford Ice Rink saw dozens of supporters question club bosses on the future of the EPL outfit.

Subjects included Telford’s performance in defending the league title, as well as the club’s new online ticketing system.

Mr Scholes, whose company Red Hockey took control of Telford Tigers at the end of 2013, said: “We came into this with at least a five year plan, so we’re about halfway there. We’ve put in around a million pounds so far, and you just don’t walk away from that sort of investment.

“Of course, the whole point is that this club stands on its own two feet, and is self-sustaining. But we’re certainly getting towards that point.

“In terms of the league, our playing budget is still about fifth or sixth. We are nowhere near being the top-spending team. I would say there are probably about five teams above us.”

Mr Scholes also faced questions about the club’s future in the English Premier League – and the possibility of stepping up to the top-level Elite League

He added: “Every option is open to us, but the time to think about that is at the end of the year. There are lots of proposals about changes to the EPL, so we’ll see where we are at the end of the season.

“I totally think about the Elite League, and it’s often on my mind. But we play in the EPL right now, and at the end of the season we always reassess where we are.

“We don’t have any plans to present to the Elite League about joining for next year.”

The Tigers boss was asked about the performance of this year’s team in their defence of the English Premier League title – and he immediately gave his backing to coach Tom Watkins.

“We have the best coach in the country in Tom, and we’re very lucky to have him here,” he said.

“It is hard, because as an owner, I have different expectations to that of a fan. I want to win games, but as an owner, I know I should stay out of Tom’s business.

“Ultimately, I can’t walk in and tell those guys what to do, and I would never do that. So yes, I do have expectations, but I have to make sure the ‘fan’ Wayne doesn’t influence the ‘owner’ Wayne.”

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