The Kitmart Dundee Stars announce with great regret that the league has taken the difficult decision to shelve plans to start the 2020/21 season late.

The league and the member clubs have tried to look into all possible ways to commence this season, but with social distancing, the chances of a second wave and no realistic change, it has become apparent that there is no likelihood the season would be feasible.

Therefore the decision was taken to put a halt to all planning for season 2020/21 and focus on plans to resume the league for season 2021-22, starting in September of that year.  We look forward to coming back BIGGER, STRONGER & BETTER.

Steve Ward, co-owner of the Kitmart Dundee Stars commented: “Over the last three seasons we have seen a substantial increase in the visibility and interest in the Stars and the Elite league.

“We intend to build on this and are fully committed going forward in ensuring, we are well prepared and ready for the challenges of the new season.

“Covid-19 has had direct consequences on everything and everyone, but we urge our amazing fans, sponsors and everyone attached to the club, to continue to support us, to help us maintain that growth and ensure we are once again a competitive team in the elite league.

“On a positive note we are fully committed to our staff members – Michael Ward (junior), our Commercial and Community Manager will continue in his full time role, to get the Dundee Stars message out there, working closely with our commercial partners and further enhancing our community programmes and initiatives.”

He continued: “As of today the Ward family are delighted to announce that Omar Pacha has agreed terms, to remain the Kitmart Dundee Stars General Manager and Head Coach for a further three years, for which we are obviously delighted and proud, he has chosen to remain part of the Dundee Stars family,

“Finally, can I just say it has always been and remains to be a privilege for Mike, Debbie, June & myself to be the owners of this great club and we wish to thank everyone for their continued support.

“Thank You!”

Omar Pacha then added: “In my professional career, I thought the worst day possible was the day when the season was cancelled on Friday March 13 but unfortunately today has surpassed that date.

“Today will certainly be difficult for everyone involved, from players, staff, directors, volunteers, Stars TV, Dundee Ice Arena and most importantly our fans.

“A few weeks ago, I reached out to all the players to inform them to proactively look elsewhere for an opportunity, as the uncertainty was rising.

“I mentioned if the season goes ahead, they would have a position but it is with major disappointment that is was not the outcome I was looking for.”

Pacha continued: “Ice hockey is an extremely great growing sport in the UK and many of the clubs promote it as fast, skilful, hard-hitting, intense, and that is just for the on-ice.

“Off the ice, the sport promotes family and friends nights out, it promotes awareness of great causes and most importantly, an experience for everyone to enjoy.

“Unfortunately, it will be difficult not to offer that experience this season.

“Happiness is a very strong ally we all have in life and to see everyone leave the DIA on a Saturday or Sunday night with a smile, is truly priceless.

“With the Stars, I have always been vocal and mentioned the positivity of the club and how it has become one, if not the, fastest growing sports club in Scotland.

“In Dundee, I am proud to say that we have established ourselves as a major team and we are privileged to play a huge part and role in the community.

“We don’t only see ourselves as a sports team but as a brand ambassador to the beautiful city of Dundee.

“We have seen our attendance rise dramatically and added many new partners on board that helped the growth of the Stars.

“For the players, it has been a privilege to work with them on the hockey front and to them and all involved in the recent history, thank you again for believing in our culture and making our club better every day.

“Saying all that, we have a new mission, to stick together, to fight through this and to grow the club even in the most difficult of times.

“Stronger Together!

“We can all get down after a loss and I think we all know that I might be the worst but after reflection, I see, as I always do, an opportunity to comeback bigger and stronger than ever.”

Speaking about signing his new three-year deal, Pacha said: “A few years ago when I came to Dundee, I had no idea what to expect and I was not sure if my mindset and my ethos would be an asset to this club but to this day, I am grateful to have found the perfect fit.

“Hence that is why I have agreed to stay on board with the Stars.

“When Steve (Ward) mentioned that it is a privilege for him, Mike, Debbie and June to be owners of the club, well for me it is a privilege to be the leader of this club and to have their ultimate trust, even through the most difficult of times.

“For that, I want to thank them and I look forward to the new challenges ahead.”

Pacha then added: “It must be clarified that there is no immediate risk to the organisation.

“However, an extended period of time without matches can pose a significant threat to any sporting club, who’s main source of income is based on in-game revenues.

“Thus, as much as there will be no hockey at Dundee Ice Arena for the foreseeable future, the club will continue to pursue the support of our fans and sponsors.

“Many plans have been put in place behind the scenes and supporters will notice new initiatives being implemented in the coming weeks.

“We encourage all fans, where possible, to get involved with the different projects that arise over the course of the season.

“This year, without a doubt, will be one of the hardest in the organisation’s history, however we are committed to work harder than ever to ensure that we are in the strongest position going into the 2021/2022 EIHL season.

“It is our ultimate goal to welcome all our loyal supporters back to Dundee Ice Arena when it is safe to do so and reward them with a team, they can all be proud of.

“For all you season ticket holders, I wanted to say thank you and the club will be reaching out to you, very shortly for details about your options for this year.

“Just on a quick note, even with all the uncertainty, the numbers were yet again very impressive.

“Finally, we have established ourselves as a club that runs seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“Our next season is already being prepared as we speak and we will be ready.

“We have proved people wrong countless times, whether it is on or off the ice.

“Yet again we will do so, even in the worst pandemic in recent history.

“Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!”


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