Sheffield Steelers lobbied the Elite League to force Belfast Giants to surrender two points after their scheduled game with Belfast Giants was postponed at the 11th hour.
Yesterday, the League announced Giants and Steelers had agreed a £100 compensation deal for around 190 Sheffield fans who had flown over to the Province for a game on Friday October 23, which was cancelled to accommodate a One Direction concert.
In fact, Steelers estimated each fan merited a £250 pay-out. And club owner Tony Smith, chairman of the Elite League, was so incensed by the postponement that he asked Giants to surrender two points to Sheffield.
He was outvoted and the game is now being re-scheduled. Smith said the affair left a bad taste in the mouth: “Belfast were very quick to kick out an Elite league fixture. In my view that was all about financial gain, no matter what else is being said. There was an initial attempt then to pacify our fans with a free hamburger and a discounted trip around the Titanic Quarter but they deserved to be properly compensated. Our Supporters Club assessed the right amount as £250 a person, but I suppose something is better than nothing.”
Meanwhile, Smith says he has no doubt that coach Paul Thompson will turn around the club’s inconsistent form.
“We are very up and down at the moment, but we have had a few injuries and that makes a difference. I am not disappointed with the team or the coaching though.
“Across the League the bar has been raised this year and Paul is doing his best to bring people in to line and explain that although we have an exciting brand of hockey it is just as important not to concede goals as it is score them.
“Paul will get it right - if he can’t do that who could...he is the best of the best and very hard working and dedicated.”
Steelers are at Braehead on Saturday and host Nottingham on Sunday.