After being turned away from the Elite League for next season, Milton Keynes Ice Hockey Club (MKIHC) are considering whether or not to submit a bid to play top flight hockey in 2020.
After finishing bottom of the table last season, Lightning withdrew from the league and will play in the National Ice Hockey League from next season.
Last week, the supporter-run business, MKIHC - owners of the “Lets Play Hockey Elite League bid” - had presented a bid to the league to play in the top division next season, but had their application refused. And after further discussions, it has been unsuccessful in its bid to secure Elite League hockey for Milton Keynes.
With question marks being raised over the financial stability of MK Lightning since their withdrawal from the Elite League, MKIHC have confirmed they will continue to fight to bring professional ice hockey back to Milton Keynes.
A statement read: "Despite a sound business plan and strategic focus, the poor management of MK Lightning over the past two years and an increasingly alarming picture of alleged liabilities and defaults
in payments to last season’s players and suppliers proved too much for the Elite League Board to sanction a new Milton Keynes team for the upcoming season. The Elite League highlighted however, that the outcome was “no reflection whatsoever” on the members of Milton Keynes Ice Hockey Club or the Milton Keynes ice rink operators, Planet Ice.
"The MKIHC Board remain committed to hockey in Milton Keynes and thank sponsors and supporters - both local and globally - for their support throughout this process. As promised throughout, the Let’s Play Hockey team will initiate steps to return all money donated under the Founder Member and Shareholder schemes.
"MKIHC will now review the potential for running a Milton Keynes NIHL team in the coming season and consider the option of an Elite League bid for the 2020/21 season."