Murrayfield Racers withdraw from Scottish National League after being 'undermined' by rival club
Racers management had previously signalled their intention to compete in the upcoming SNL season after reaching an agreement with Murrayfield Ice Rink over ice time following a summer of upheaval.
However, that decision has now been reversed with the club blaming the actions of fellow SNL side Dundee Comets for the decision.
A statement read: “Murrayfield Racers are disappointed to inform our loyal fans and sponsors that we have withdrawn from this year’s Scottish National League (SNL).
“This extremely difficult decision has been forced on the Racers’ management by actions from other parties to undermine our club.
“Along with the information we have received that Murrayfield Ice Rink is highly unlikely to reopen this season, we have no other workable option but to mothball the team for 2021/22.
“The club has already invested heavily for the season by purchasing strips, equipment, ice time and so on, but outside forces have derailed our efforts.
“As you will be aware, several Racers players agreed to join Dundee Comets this summer for NIHL North Cup games only.
“This was part of the discussions we had with Comets’ manager Rab Brown and the players.
“Due to the uncertainty of the season and the situation at Murrayfield, we were more than happy to help out a fellow SNL club whilst our players got valuable ice time.
“The Comets paid to register the players, but we agreed to pay these costs when the players re-registered with the Racers.
“When it became clear there would be an SNL season, we started to train in Dundee and secured game ice in Dumfries as a back-up in case Murrayfield did not reopen.
“We then spoke to our players and several of them agreed to come ‘home’ to the Racers. They provided quotes for our press releases and were delighted to be returning.
“We were made aware last Thursday evening that some players were called into a meeting at Dundee, and extreme pressure was placed on them not to return to the Racers.
“Two players subsequently informed the club they would not be rejoining and were unavailable to play in the challenge game at Kilmarnock Thunder on Saturday.
“The club has since been told by the manager of Dundee Ice Rink that he had received two complaints from senior clubs in Dundee that we were training there.
“It was demanded that the ice time should be pulled from the Racers, despite it not being used by any other team.
“We have requested information from the rink about who has booked the ice, but we are yet to receive the courtesy of a reply.
“Racers management insisted from the outset that they would never take ice away from another team and asked what, if any, ice was available to lease.
“We fully intend to take this further with Dundee Council as we believe we have been the victim of a concerted effort by the Comets to undermine our position in the SNL to enable them to sign our players.
“This season was going to be a challenge given the situation at Murrayfield, but we did not expect to be undermined by a fellow club in Scotland.
“We will now mothball the team for this season with the aim of returning for the 2022/23 campaign with home ice secured.”