Swiss Ice Hockey

Several prominent figures explain the measures they deem necessary to grant a better future for hockey in Switzerland.

Covid-19 has triggered fundamental discussions in Swiss ice hockey

On Wednesday, the league will held a meeting to talk about this matter. It is clear that the discussion will be mainly on these two measures: the easing of the restrictions on the number of import-players and a financial fair-play (proposed by HC Davos). Regarding these two aspects, there are very distant opinions.

Whereas the CEO of SC Bern Marc Lüthi is favorable to a complete opening of the foreigners' market (together with the implementation of a minimal number of Swiss players required on the match sheet), others are only partially favorable (EHC Biel's CEO Daniel Villard would like to remove the Swiss players' license to players older than 23), and others think that an opening would be detrimental. Among the latter, Georges Müller (players' agent) and Jonas Hiller (president of the SIHPU), who believe that in the long-term, the effects of this measure would lower the level in the Swiss junior leagues and damage the national team.

The proposal of a financial fair play also meets opposition. Peter Zahner, CEO of the ZSC Lions finds that the league has never been more balanced and attractive. Moreover, no club is forced to pay too high salaries: "You can also say no. Everyone is responsible for their own finances." The main problem with HC Davos' proposal, raised by other managers as well, consists in the control, from a legal and bureaucratic point of view: "I have serious reservations about the practical implementation. You can't force the clubs and the players to disclose their salaries." comments Zahner.

Also Peter Müller, CEO of the SCL Tigers thinks that this proposal is hardly practicable: "There probably would be many loopholes." Nonetheless, Müller demands a change in the mindset of the decision-makers: "If the wage-raising continues, in a few years only eight to ten clubs will remain".

( 15 June 2020 | lle* )