The ‘Winter Survival Package’ that will allow the EIHL to apply for up to £4 million in funding applies to 'English clubs only'.

Last week it was announced that ice hockey was included as part of the £300 million ‘Winter Survival Package’ across a range of sports, with an initial allocation of £4 million being made available to the EIHL.

However, it is now understood that this will only be available to clubs in England and separate funds will be made available to the devolved authorities under the Barnett formula. 

READ MORE: Glasgow Clan confirm ice hockey season suspension due to coronavirus fears

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment on what funding could be made available to the three Scottish clubs in the league, Dundee Stars, Fife Flyers, and the Glasgow Clan. 

League chairman Tony Smith confirmed that the league would be pressing ahead in an attempt to secure funding for clubs in the devolved nations, with Belfast Giants and Cardiff Devils subject to separate funding initiatives.

He said: “We are not losing sight of the fact that we applied for government help as one Elite League across four nations.

"While the funding that covers England is extremely welcome, our next steps are to try to secure similar possibilities for the remaining five teams (Belfast Giants, Cardiff Devils, Dundee Stars, Fife Flyers & Glasgow Clan).

"Until we know more, there is no guarantee that these nations will allocate funding for ice hockey. We are calling on the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to assess the options available to all teams in their regions as soon as possible.

The EIHL will do everything it can to assist these teams in requesting funding from their devolved administrations, and take the lead in the process where required.”

He continued: “What we do also know now is that the funding is only available to us if we put an Elite League level product on the ice, and that it is not a ‘blank cheque’ - everything in England will need to be applied for via Sport England to ensure funds requested are appropriate and proportionate to putting a product on the ice.

READ MORE: In full: A Q&A with Glasgow Clan's CEO Gareth Chalmers amid concerns for the future of hockey in the UK

"There are a lot of different aspects that we will continue to look at over the next few days and weeks, when we have a clearer picture of how things stand across all parts of the UK we will keep our fans updated.

"We’re still some way from being able to guarantee something might happen in early 2021, and again I’d ask for everyone’s patience while we continue to find out more information."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We recognise this has been an enormously challenging time for spectator sports and we appreciate the support of supporters, clubs and authorities over the past months to help us tackle the virus.

“We welcome last week’s announcement of a UK Government support scheme for sports impacted by the loss of spectators during the pandemic, and are seeking urgent clarification on the Barnett consequential funding as a result in order to support the sector in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with sports governing bodies sports to ensure their long-term sustainability at all levels.”

Glasgow Clan chief operation office Gareth Chalmers said: “We welcomed the very positive news last week that the DCMS and Sport England had made £4m available to the EIHL. As suspected, during that period it has been confirmed that this funding is only for the English clubs and does not include the Scottish EIHL clubs.

“Myself and Omar Pacha have been in regular contact with Sport Scotland during the past six months, they have provided us with plenty of good assistance and guidance in an unprecedented time for the club and league. Sport Scotland are fully aware of the financial package that we would require, either for starting a season in early 2021 or seeing us through to a return to the ice in Autumn 2021. We’ve also made it very clear that the Clan would be looking for a grant and not a loan, as that literally would just be kicking the current issue further down the line.

“We’ve already had discussions with Sport Scotland over the past week, and like ourselves, Sport Scotland are now just waiting to find out from DCMS what funding will be made available for Scotland. The EIHL made an application on behalf of all 10 clubs, so now it’s imperative we find out what package can be made available for the Clan, Stars and Flyers, as the English clubs are obviously going to be in a position very soon to start making some decisions.”