Ottawa Aces’ plans for their inaugural year were put under the microscope in a meeting of Championship and League 1 clubs last week.
Their chief executive Eric Perez (pictured) was questioned about the logistics of his club’s introduction to the league amid a global pandemic that threatens to restrict its ability to play games in Canada.
It’s believed that the Aces, at the request of the RFL, have made contingency plans should they have to play in the UK next year, if the Covid pandemic is still impacting on the game, and have received quotes from several venues on hiring facilities.
But that hasn’t satisfied some clubs, who simply do not see the benefit of Ottawa entering the league if they aren’t able to play in Canada, though they are sympathetic towards their predicament.
Even if travel is permitted, the price of air travel has sky-rocketed as a result of the demise of many airlines, allowing those that remain to raise costs to a premium.
Ottawa will cover the costs of transport and accommodation, but some believe it will be a significant financial burden on the club in their first year.
Perez has attempted to assure clubs that they will work around the challenges, whether they play in Canada or the UK. But some clubs believe Ottawa would be better off sitting on the sidelines for another year if they aren’t playing in Canada.
Perez, however, does not agree and is determined to see the club take the field next year.
“As long as there is a competition next year Ottawa Aces will be in it,” Perez told League Express last week.
“If this pandemic is still raging on and we can’t play in Ottawa, which I highly doubt, as I believe in science and humanity, we will figure out a way to play and make it profitable in the UK for a year. We already have a contingency plan in place for this scenario.”
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