First off, here is the story that appears on Castanet.net this morning involving a lawsuit filed against Warriors owner Kim Dobranski from a partner he brought in.
Later this morning Dobranski issued this media release in full…
In my efforts to save the team and keep it in West Kelowna I brought in a partner in August of 2018 to help financially support this club. This is a frivolous lawsuit which was triggered because of my refusal to roster her 15-year-old son to our team and play him for this fall. My partner is a wealthy foreign individual who does not understand that money does not buy your way onto this or any team. This is not how the BCHL or any club in this league operates. We are a high caliber league and only players who deserve to be here earn a spot.
When we made a deal the agreement was we would support and assist him in his development as a player (she also has a 2006 born player) until such time he was ready to legitimately play in the league, I was never under any obligation to play her son until the club deems he is at the level needed to be in impact player. After her unsuccessful attempts of finding an academy for her son to play at she demanded on numerous occasions I add her son to the team. I refused simply because he was no where near at the calibre, and far too young at 15.
My partner has also defaulted on her financial obligations to support this club as agreed, putting 100% of the burden on me. Her default triggers a forfeit of her ownership. This action is simply to muddy the waters to avoid having to meet her financial obligations and lose her ownership.
The challenging part of this sport is the activities are very public, and unfortunately there are people who take advantage of this and try and bully owners who may fear the public backlash and just pay to make it go away, regardless of who is right or wrong. What they fail to recognize is I don’t work that way. I have always acted honestly and truthfully, have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. I will trust the public can see through the dishonesty of self-interested people.
It would not be fair to put a 15-year older player on the team that is nowhere near the level needed. It’s not fair to other players who are working hard to claim a spot in a very challenging division who would be bumped because of a wealthy owner. It’s not fair to the fans to have to watch a player play who is clearly added to the team because of his parent. It’s not fair to ask the coach to manage the political situation he will be faced with having a player on the team that is far below the required level. No player should be in this league unless they legitimately belong here.
Being a partner in this team or any team throughout our league does not guarantee any spot for any player including that of owners and it’s unfortunate that my partner has acted so trivial and petty and turned it into something to simply attack and demonize me when in fact all I’ve tried to do is be a positive organization in the community and support our players and staff.
I want to assure all the fans and sponsors that this action is completely unfounded and nothing but a tactic to try and bully me. It will be clearly proven so in due course.
The previous ownership had suffered such severe losses, the desire to keep going was no longer there. Many interested individuals stepped forward, but all declined after seeing how much debt existed and the challenges faced to put people in the seats. In hind sight maybe the best option would have been to let it fold.
I took this team over because I love the sport and I wanted to see the team succeed in West Kelowna. I believed it could work and made deals to prevent the club from collapsing. I believe in my heart these teams are a huge asset to a community and it would have been a tragedy to see it disappear.
I knew I was going to have challenges, and I was ready to face them, and this is just another bump on the road to success for this organization.
Thank you to all our fans and sponsors for your continued support. Our head coach, Brandon West, has done an amazing job recruiting this year and I am very excited that the product we will have on the ice this fall.
We have a great season planned and I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the fast-paced game we offer, support your community, and be a part of the success story of this club.
Kim Dobranski – Owner/President
West Kelowna Warriors Jr ‘A’ Hockey Club