As the president of the Board of Directors, Marc Thommen, tells the Oltner Tagblatt, they have decided on two budgets: one for the Swiss League and one for the National League. To comply with the criteria set by the National League, their budgets in the higher tier league would be a bit more than CHF 9 million.
EHC Olten does, however, not fulfil one of the criteria set by the National League: they do not have a U17/U20 junior team playing at the Elit level. "For the youth criterion, we have submitted an additional application to the National League AG for an exemption permit, so that we could still play in the highest league next season with a transition period," CEO Patrick Reber states.
Reber admits that their youth sector has been neglected for quite a while and that they have now started to build it up again, but that will take some time: "We are talking about five to ten years here." He does, however, also state that HC Ajoie also does not fulfil all criteria set by the National League and that EHC Kloten would currently be the only team in the Swiss League to fulfil all points.
Should Olten not manage to get promoted to the National League this season, they will try again next season despite the League Qualification being back in place then. "It will be enormously difficult, but still possible. That's what we decided in the Board of Directors: We will continue on this path."