Duo at war as Steelers row escalates

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AN UNSEEMLY war between two former Sheffield Steelers’ owners is being waged.

The battle lines have been drawn between Bob Phillips - whose Steeler management company crashed last year - and Paul Ragan, who bought the club off Phillips and his wife, and then suffered the same fate, recently, when his own ‘Rink Corp’ company collapsed.

Last December, Ragan, who retains a 49 per cent stake in Steelers, agreed a fee of around £90,000 to buy the club from the Phillips family...who are now listed as a creditor to the tune of around £76,500.

The Star has discovered this particular debt-claim is being challenged, much to the apparent mirth of Phillips, who has been making acid comments about Ragan on the internet. Ragan today described some of Phillips’ remarks as “unsavoury.”

Ragan said: “All I know is that I am over £200,000 lighter for rescuing the Steelers last year and I am currently in the process of resolving the ownership rights for the two new companies going forward” (running Steelers and his other club, Cardiff Devils.)

Ragan said that he was pursuing action for “defamation of character” against Phillips.

Phillips, referring to the Rink Corp demise and his status as a creditor, said: “Ragan is challenging the debts. The liquidator is looking at the records now and it will take several months or possibly years to unravel, but it will.”

Meanwhile, Steelers’ new American goalie, John DeCaro, has revealed he had been courted by Edinburgh Capitals then Braehead Clan in previous times.

“It’s nice when clubs want you but it didn’t seem right at the time. When I spoke with Ryan Finnerty I knew that Sheffield was the club for me,” he said.

“Coaches do their homework on players and we do the same on the clubs, also I played junior against Ryan so knew of him.”

Belfast coach Doug Christiansen tried to land John a couple of years ago. He said: “Sheffield have signed a great pro and a big shot stopper.”