ZURICH – Europe’s main ice hockey clubs, their leagues and the IIHF have initiated a joint venture with the objective of launching a premium European club competition starting in season 2014/2015. The joint steering group has today issued an Invitation-To-Tender (ITT) for the commercial rights to the competition.
One year ago, all stakeholders in European ice hockey gathered in Barcelona, Spain for the Hockey Forum with the prime objective to “find a common plan which shall lay the foundation for a competitively and commercially viable top European club competition starting 2014/2015”.
Coming out of the Hockey Forum and the motto “Together”, the relevant stakeholders formed working groups with the mandate to create a proposal for an annual tournament which assumed the working name “European Club Competition” or ECC, while coordinating this into an international calendar which accommodates both national team programs and the club competition.
The three main stakeholders – Europe’s top professional clubs, their leagues and the IIHF (including its member national associations) – devoted almost one year to finalizing the proposals, while keeping in focus the planned launch in autumn 2014.
The stakeholders are now in the process of forming a shareholder company, where the clubs will be the majority shareholders.
“This has been a unique process of cooperation in the history of European hockey,” says Timo Everi, the chairman of Finnish league club IFK Helsinki and also a member of the board of the European Trophy, the competition with 32 of Europe’s top clubs.
“We have a come a long way, there is still lot of work to be done, but we have reached a stage where we are confident issuing this invitation to tender.”
Hockey Europe, the union of Europe’s top professional hockey leagues, has been an integral partner in the process.
“Just like in other major team sports, the leagues and their clubs benefit from European competition,” says Gernot Tripcke, the General Manager of the German DEL league and board member of Hockey Europe. “It develops the game and helps the clubs to reach the next level, just as it has been the case in football, basketball and handball.”
IIHF Vice President Kalervo Kummola was the chairman of the “Barcelona Coordination Working Group” which oversaw the entire process:
“When we met for the first time one year ago, nobody could really tell in which direction this would develop,” says Kummola. “But it also goes to show how much you can accomplish if you work together towards a common goal.”
“We are excited to be able to invite potential tenders to bid for the commercial rights to our European club competition.”
Requests from bona-fide Bidders to obtain the ITT or for clarification and/or further information relating to its ITT must be marked for the attention of Timo Everi and/or Szymon Szemberg and received via:
(a) Electronic mail (e-mail) at firstname.lastname@example.org
(b) In the English language; and
(c) During the period between 29 May to 27 June 2013.
Each Bid must be signed for, and on behalf of, the Bidder by two authorized signatories. Bids must be submitted to the “Copenhagen Working Group” via registered mail, and delivered to the following address:
Copenhagen Working Group
c/o International Ice Hockey Federation