SNL side Aberdeen Lynx have slammed Scottish Ice Hockey and have dramatically withdrawn from the league over an administrative dispute, vowing not to return until there are improved measures in place.
The club issued a statement via their Facebook page confirming they would not fulfil the second leg of their Scottish Cup tie with Dundee Comets, where they were leading 7-5.
But a row has broken out after the club were punished over playing a suspended player, Jack Flynn and the handling of the admin side from the league, in which Lynx accused SIH of not uploading relevant disciplinary information which led to the dispute.
And in the statement, Lynx have called for “more professionalism and integrity” going forward.
They said: “Having won the first leg of the semi final against the Dundee Comets, we were informed we had played a suspended player on in three previous games against the Comets.
“The rules of the SIH Handbook dictate that as a result, a number of penalties be applied to the player involved and the coach and that any games won by Aberdeen Lynx have the result overturned to a 5-0 loss.
“The Lynx Coach had been regularly visiting the SIH online system where player penalty points and game sheets are stored and believed the player in question to have nine penalty points, one fewer than the threshold for suspension.
“There was however one gamesheet from a game in November which had not been uploaded onto the system and therefore wasn’t visible to him or anyone else.
“This was a game during which the Aberdeen Lynx Club Chairman, who normally uploads the game sheet, suffered a broken wrist and suspected heart attack and was taken to hospital at the end of the game.
“The game sheet was submitted to SIH by email as a photograph as soon as the Club Chairman was physically able to do so. The Aberdeen Lynx organisation then paid a late submission fee of £50 as a result. It was this game where the player in question received the extra point that took them over the threshold.”
Lynx went on to question why three games since have taken place, all against Comets in the space of just over a week in March were allowed to be played without the issue being raised.
While they admit it’s the role of the club to monitor their own disciplinary issues, the club feel they’ve been treated harshly by SIH, who have handed down six game and five game bans to the coach, Owen Reynolds and Flynn respectively as well as the reversal of the scoreline from last week’s first leg.
They added: “It is noted that the onus to monitor penalty points sits with the team/club however the question as to why three games were allowed to be played before the issue was raised is still significant.
“Currently SIH take no responsibility despite being the governing body of the sport.
“This, coupled with a number of administrative failures, examples of inconsistent or non-application of the rules, including significant player and coach suspensions and the exclusion of an SNL team at the start of the season.
“Many of which were overturned when appealed have brought the team to a position that they have made the decision to no longer compete in a sport which is run by the current administration of SIH.
“We would also like to thank all of our players, fans, supporters, sponsors and volunteers for their unwavering hard work and dedication over the years. We are hopeful that the sport will be run with more professionalism, integrity and in line with best practice next season.”
No-one was available at the SIH for comment, but they did issue a brief statement on their website, which read: “Scottish Ice Hockey can confirm it is aware of the statement released today on social media by Aberdeen Lynx.
“The SIH board is due to meet next week and this issue has been added to the agenda.
“We will make no further comment with regards to this matter at this time and will release a statement after the meeting.”