The Kontinental Hockey League regrets to announce that HC Lev of Prague, the 2014 Gagarin Cup finalist, will not compete in the 2014-15 Championship as the club is unable to provide the necessary financial guarantees for the new season. As with HC Donbass, the Czech club will go on “administrative leave” for one year.
Lev will remain a full member of the KHL during the sabbatical, however, and may return to participate in the 2015-16 Championship providing it has sourced the required level of financing. The League’s top management is currently working to tackle the various legal issues surrounding this latest development.
Below is an official statement issued by HC Lev shareholders Petr Speychal and Evgeny Myshkovsky:
"After lengthy negotiations, we now have to unfortunately announce that HC Lev Praha will not participate in the 2014-15 KHL season, because the club failed to secure the necessary funding to continue operating the team at the same level. This situation is caused by the fact that some major sponsors, such as Gazprom and Škoda JS, refused to continue supporting our club. To date, we filled only half of the budget, which came from our business operations. The past year is now financially closed, and the club currently has no unmet financial obligations, either hockey or non-hockey related. Despite the fact we will sit out the coming season, this decision does not rule out the possibility of the KHL returning to Prague in the future, provided the situation regarding finances changes and we manage to create decent conditions. We are not considering moving the team to another city or another league - the KHL in Prague remains our priority. At this time, we once again want to thank the fans and sponsors for their support, and the players and management for their work in both seasons played.”