The EIHA says a “complete breakdown in the relationship” between Haringey Racers and Alexandra Palace left it with no other choice than to replace the club in NIHL2 South.
Racers’ owner Dave Richards blasted the governing body earlier this week for allowing what he described as a “coup” to “steal” the club from him to take place.
The EIHA’s Richard Carpenter has now responded, insisting that the decision to replace the Racers with the Haringey Huskies followed the correct procedures.
“Fundamentally, the LMC stands by its statement that was issued on the 1st June to the press and on our website on this matter.
“Further to this, we can confirm that the entire NIHL South section was informed about this matter, the decisions that have been made and the decision making process, as was done on the 30th May.
“The simple fact of the matter is that, regrettably, Haringey Racers cannot continue due to a complete breakdown in the relationship between themselves and Alexandra Palace, which includes substantial monies still owed as well as difficulties across the 2016/17 season.
“As we have stated before, we have nothing but the highest regard for the management of Alexandra Palace who have worked incredibly hard to protect senior ice hockey in North London.
“It is a terribly sad state of affairs that has occurred but, for all of the issues, I would like to again publicly thank the Racers for bringing senior hockey back to the Palace for the 2013/14 season.
“Moving forward, I’m pleased to say that we have all protected senior hockey in North London with the formation of the Haringey Huskies side and look forward to working with them over the coming weeks and months as they take their place in NIHL2.”
Richards claimed that a newly-appointed team manager, Lou Scott, had operated covertly on behalf of Racers player Lee Mercer at a league meeting back in May.
Mercer, who was subsequently revealed as the owner of the newly-formed Huskies, issued a statement on the club’s Facebook page saying he was “saddened” by the allegations made against him.
“We have worked tirelessly with the EIHA and Alexandra Palace, who I’m very grateful for their support, and desire to make sure hockey remains at Alexandra Palace,” the statement read.
“The last time a team folded at Alexandra Palace it took over three years to get senior hockey back in this historical building. I was not willing to let that happen again.
“Racers’ management are owed massive credit to bring hockey back to the Palace after the long time with no senior hockey.
“Unfortunately the relationship between the Racers’ management and Alexandra Palace has broken down which is their business and should be dealt with between them.
“I, and no-one else from the Huskies, will get involved in a tit-for-tat on any level of social media as this does no favours to hockey at Alexandra Palace or the greater good of the sport – a sport that has already had rough time of late.
“I understand fans will make up their own mind and judge on these matters, but we at the Huskies, along with Alexandra Palace, are focused on keeping ice hockey going.
“Thank you for your support so far and I look forward to see you come September for what seems to be an exciting season ahead.”