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Belfast Giants to discover their fate at deadline league meeting


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The Belfast Giants will discover whether they will play any games before the end of the year when the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) convene for their weekly meeting on September 15. (stock photo)

The Belfast Giants will discover whether they will play any games before the end of the year when the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) convene for their weekly meeting on September 15. (stock photo)

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The Belfast Giants will discover whether they will play any games before the end of the year when the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) convene for their weekly meeting on September 15. (stock photo)

The Belfast Giants will discover whether they will play any games before the end of the year when the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) convene for their weekly meeting on September 15.

The Giants saw their 2019-20 campaign cancelled in March due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and have since seen the new season pushed back.

In a normal year, the league would begin play in early September, with the original opening games having been set to take place this coming weekend at the newly-created Magic Five Weekend in Nottingham.

However, due to Covid-19, that has been changed twice, firstly to October and then again to its current provisional start date of the first weekend in December.

Now it seems that date is also in considerable doubt, with the 10 teams set to stage deadline talks in two weeks' time to determine the fate of the new season.

The EIHL has been one of the most affected leagues of any sport given it is both held indoors and heavily reliant upon ticket, merchandise and concession sales due to the lack of a significant broadcast deal, meaning teams require crowds to be in attendance to be financially viable.

Most teams have informed their contracted players they can seek out other opportunities due to the lack of clarity over the situation in the EIHL, with the likes of Cardiff Devils captain Joey Martin and Guildford Flames defenceman Stephen Lee agreeing one-year moves elsewhere.

Starting the league in January or even February is a possibility, however it is believed not all 10 teams are on board with the idea.

Belfast Telegraph