John Scott steps back from Hockey operations

May 25, 2024

From recent forum activity it is clear that a number of people are either assuming, or aware of, my desire to step back from ice hockey management / ownership.

I am sorry that this has taken so long to be officially announced but the delay has been entirely due to an intention to assist with routes forwards for the club in my absence. In previous years the owners have announced their departure with little prospect or planning for a new owner. And, of course the most recent of these in 2009 and 2014 was when I offered to hold the reins with the assistance of others and the fans. But I had no idea then it would last for a further 10 years.

We have seen two senior departures from the Raiders very recently and both have cited the need for a better work / life balance and I have found myself being very sympathetic and indeed envious of the reduced demands on their “leisure” time. Plans were progressing as normal, in my opinion, until these senior figures took a sensible step that suited their needs. I am sure that the significant demands at a growingly professional National League were an influence and the difficulty in recruiting new players locally will have clearly have been in their considerations.

I have been in discussions with a possible ownership “group”, and I believe that these discussions will continue. They clearly need to be certain that running the team is also viable and the right thing for them to do as a business prospect because few will undertake running a team simply for the love of the team. They will also need to know that they have the backing and support of the “back room” staff that have mostly been with the team since 2009, and some even before then. I am sure they can rely upon you and I suspect even more to join the “operation team”.

I believe that whilst announcing my stepping back with no firm new owner in place could create problems, that advertising my departure now may also unearth another person or group that can take the club forward should another route be required.

I will continue to offer what support I can, advising on anything I have learnt if required, but consistent with my desire to return to a more “normal” existence and focus more on a growing work commitment, family and health, and a life outside of ice rinks and away from a computer.

I am sure it will be obvious that after 11 years and 530+ games that this is a decision that has been very difficult. Tears will be shed; people will be missed.

Running the team has usually taken more hours per week than my “proper” job has been able to claim. It is clear that doing both, and other voluntary work, means that I am doing none of them to the best of my ability and that is not fair to the team, nor my clients. I know from the experience of the years between my first stint in 2009 and this one that I shall miss working with a fantastic bunch of players, helpers and fans.

Not everyone will miss me I am sure. But I just ask all to consider whether they would have gladly committed 10 years of more spare time than they really had, to a labour of love and no financial reward.

So, thanks to all that have supported the team in whatever way they could whilst my name has been “over the door”. Management, players, coaches, bench staff, volunteers, equipment sponsors, commercial sponsors and you the fans.

To my incredibly tolerant wife I can at last announce I am back.

Copyright Raiders Ice Hockey 2018