Ice Hockey: Steelers need cash injection

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The Independent Online
The Sheffield Steelers owner, George Dodds, yesterday issued a plea for a new backer to help the struggling club.

Dodds has been in charge since Steelers were formed in 1991, but he has now become increasingly frustrated at the rising costs of the sport which have led to mounting debts.

The club has been on the market for more than a year, but with Sheffield believed to have lost around pounds 400,000 in their inaugural Superleague season, they now face a steadily worsening financial crisis. Unless a cash injection is found, it is rumoured Steelers could well be out of business by the start of next season.

A dispirited Dodds, now a retired businessman, said: "I have to put my family first. I cannot justify throwing any more money into the sport.

"We have been looking for a partner or somebody to take over in Sheffield for the last 12 months and we are now stepping up that search."

Sheffield look set for further heavy losses in the remaining home games of the Express Cup, starting with Newcastle Cobras on Saturday, which has led to an appeal for the fans to turn out in their numbers.

The Nottingham Panthers, yesterday, underlined their Superleague title aspirations by signing the Canadian-Italian defenceman Mike de Angelis.

De Angelis has played at the highest international level for the last seven years with Italy in both the World Championships and in the last two Olympics. The 31-year-old, set for another Olympic call-up this year, has played for Milan Devils, Lugano and more recently Milano in the Austria-Italian League, where he scored 15 goals in 35 games.

Newcastle Cobras are believed to have signed the former Sheffield Steeler, Glenn Mulvenna, with the forward set to make his debut against his old club on Saturday.