Edinburgh Monarchs’ main team sponsors, Scotwaste, today revealed they will extend their backing of the club to a seventh year if they run in 2013, with boss Stewart Melrose saying: “We have no intention of walking away. We will stand firm behind Monarchs in their time of need.”
The West Lothian recycling firm have had their name emblazoned on Monarchs’ race jacket since 2006, but with Monarchs fighting to refinance the club in the wake of substantial losses incurred at Armadale this season, their future in the sport remains in doubt, although there appears to be a growing feeling among supporters, who have made pledges so far amounting to almost £15,000, that the shutters will not go up at the Lothian Arena next year.
Melrose said: “We felt that having backed Monarchs through all the good times, it would be very irresponsible of us to walk away from them at this particular moment.
“As long as Monarchs want us next year we will be there for them. From a personal point of view, if Monarchs found new sponsors who were prepared to put in ten or 20 times the amount that we do, I’d be delighted for them, but our association with Monarchs would then come to a natural end.
“If that happened and meant we had to step back, we would do that without huffing or puffing. However, you would still see our name on the riders’ bikes etc. It would not disappear entirely.
“Monarchs have been on the go for decades and we will stand by them.”
Monarchs are rumoured to be in talks with potential new sponsors, but chairman Alex Harkess refused to elaborate, and he also denied reports that an unnamed individual has agreed to match the final total of money pledged by fans. “I would be delighted if that happened, but I have heard nothing, it’s complete news to me.”
Harkess added that the club have been amazed by the generosity of their loyal support and further promises of assistance, some amounting to £500 a head, were received at a meeting in the Black Bull Inn, Midcalder, on Wednesday night.
“We are taken aback by the feeling and warmth supporters have for Monarchs,” he said. “It is amazingly encouraging.”