Hockey: Jobs to go as EHA faces crisis

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The Independent Online

Just as England's women have come good with two successive gold medals in major tournaments, and the men are about to contest the World Cup in Malaysia, comes news of a severe financial crisis at the English Hockey Association.

The financial disaster of the Women's Olympic Qualifier at the end of 1999, the lack for several years of major sponsorship and the Jon Royce settlement, following his suspension after allegations over his conduct at the Sydney Olympics, have taken their toll.

The EHA yesterday announced a major restructuring which will involve a substantial reduction in the Association's costs and a number of redundancies within its 60-strong workforce. The announcement follows a financial review after an operating loss of more than £100,000 declared in 2000 and the expected announcement of a further loss at June's Annual General Meeting.

Rumours have been rife for sometime of significant increases in affiliation fees. The vice-president David Collier said yesterday: "We have got to run like a business and we propose to redefine ourselves in a way that clubs will appreciate what we have done."

While not ruling out increases in affiliation fees, indeed there is a commitment to increase in line with inflation, Collier said: "We will do everything possible to minimise the effect on clubs."

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