As the head coach of TPS, he has won six Finnish Championship golds, coached in Switzerland, Sweden, KHL and various national teams. Hannu Jortikka spends the autumn on the Spanish Sunshine Coast in Torremolinos, but is well aware of what is happening in Finland and the world.
– I can see all Finnish TV channels and all possible hockey channels here, Jortikka says.
Jortikka considers the situation in the SM league to be miserable.
– It is difficult for Finns to admit that the Finnish Championship League is a bad product today. In terms of audience numbers, clubs do not even reach the maximum number that can be taken into the halls due to corona restrictions. If you compare the average averages of last season and this fall, then the drop is shocking, Jortikka says.
The sample is still small, but the various clubs have missed last season’s average audience by 1,400 to 3,000 spectators.
Towel in the ring?
According to Jortika, a few league clubs will survive the crisis caused by the corona pandemic, some may not.
– For TPS, for example, it is exactly the same whether it makes a loss of two or four million euros, Supercell’s friends set off the bill. Lock, Flies, Tappara and HIFK can also get along even if of course they suffer hard bumps. At the other extreme are Jukurit and Sport, but in my eyes they are not SM league teams, Jortikka shakes.
The SM League shareholders have decided that any team can leave in the middle of the season and still continue next season as if nothing had happened.
It would be no wonder if one or more of the six Jukurit, Sport, Pelicans, HPK, SaiPa or JYP, who announced other co-determination negotiations on Monday, would soon throw in the towel.
The cancellation of the entire league season is not out of the question either.
What does Ramstedt do?
Jortikka wonders what happens if a club or clubs stop playing in the middle of the season.
– Some may have no choice. That is what the new chairman of the Players’ Association has in it Teemu Ramstedtilla work when the players make a living, Jortikka says.
Jortika thinks it would feel crazy if the players ’salaries were left unpaid.
– These are young people for whom hockey is a profession. Life would fall off and the situation would be terrible. In this system, the players are fucked and have no say, Jortikka says.
“Telia is about to play”
Telia’s TV money is vital for league clubs, and without games, money will not come as budgeted.
– You have to play the Finnish Championship League because of the TV contract, it’s such big money. The situation is the same in Sweden, where Finland also has stricter audience restrictions. The ring became a host: clubs are forced to do whatever it takes to get TV money. It is played in Finland because of Telia, it is useless to beautify it, Jortikka says.
The playoffs in the SM League went unplayed last spring. Telia wanted and, of course, received compensation for it.
– I don’t know but I think the compensation was taken from this season’s TV money. So that’s why you have to play now, Jortikka says.
The story continues after the picture.
“Someone’s bombing is coming”
All indications are that coronary infections are increasing at an accelerating rate in Finland.
– The situation is already difficult and only getting harder. At least the restrictions will not be eased, but rather tightened. Players are exposed and infections certainly come, as players are unable to live in a tight bubble. Nothing positive is visible, as the pandemic is accelerating and accelerating and someone else’s bomb is still coming somewhere, Jortikka says.
Jortikka finds it strange that the clubs make their players available to the A-national team for the Karelia tournament.
– At least the risk of infection increases.
The situation in Russia?
Jortikka also closely follows the Jokers’ extracts at KHL.
– The Jokers play good hockey and if you get as few goals as you have now, then the team will definitely succeed.
Playing in Russia, on the other hand, casts doubt on Jortika.
– The Jokers pass and live in a tight bubble and so far everything has gone well. But whenever you go to Russia it is in danger. It would be interesting to know the real corona situation in Russia, the correct figures have certainly not been told, Jortikka says.
Safe in the torre
In Torremolinos, Jortikka feels safe from the corona.
– There’s a must-have here everywhere, even outdoors. In restaurants, only half of the customer seats are in use and the taverns are closed at midnight. Eighty percent of hotels have closed their doors. There are handcuffs and corona testing locations everywhere. In big cities, the situation is worse and Madrid is the worst of all, Jortikka says.
Jortikka visited Finland in August and was quarantined for two weeks.
– The rental car was standing in my yard at that time, Jortikka laughs.
Jortikka has planned to come to Finland in November, but she may as well stay in the heat of Spain.
– That’s when the usual flu season has started, so I don’t know the result for Finland. Let’s see, Jortikka states.