Oxford officially apply to join third tier

Oxford City Stars have confirmed they have submitted an application to join NIHL2 South.

Following the widely reported complications last week with the new NIHL set-up, the Stars say they were given until 5.00pm on Monday to commit to a single D1 structure – something the directors believe would put the financial stability and long-term future of the club at risk.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “Both Russell (Shrives) and James (Schall) explored every avenue open over the short time they were given to make a decision on what the club did next, and had desperately sought additional funding in an attempt to bridge the gap between current club resources and those required to take part in the new NIHL1.

“The Directors also had to field a number of advances by other organisations to take control of the club, all of which were rejected without consideration.”

Schall spoke to BIH over the weekend and admitted the past few days had been difficult for the club to contend with.

“It’s been a shattering and painful experience – all of a sudden on Friday morning we had to figure out what additional funding we needed to compete and then go find it, which has ultimately proved to be too tough in the time-frame we had,” he said.

“We passionately believed we should not put the long term health of the club at risk by spending money the club didn’t have to try and battle it out. This is an incredibly difficult choice, but our fans, coaches and players have been amazing in their support.

“I also would like to say that the club will not stand in the way of any players who wish to try their hand in the new second tier.

“We had a handful of brilliant players who wanted to give it a go for Oxford and I personally feel we’ve let them down and I can only apologise for not being able to find the tens of thousands of pounds necessary to support them in the new league set up.”

(Image permission: Paul Foster)

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