Despite a strongly worded appeal from Phantoms, the NIHL Management Committee (LMC) are showing no signs of backing down on their decision to in-effect evict Phantoms from the National Cup competition.
The LMC have decided that Phantoms are equally to blame for the failure to play their final qualifying fixture against Hull Pirates and have declared the fixture “void” with no points awarded to either side …… a decision that has left Phantoms a point short of qualification.
The LMC claim that over the five months of the season to date, “no proposals considered to be realistic and credible to resolve this issue have been presented from the clubs to the LMC”, a view disputed by Phantoms who claim that the decision is “discriminatory and falls outside of the Rules of Competition”.
It is understood that Phantoms submitted no fewer than nine available dates for the game to be played but all were turned down by Hull on the grounds that they would have to cancel existing fixtures and were not prepared to do so …… a stance that was known to the LMC on each occasion. A last gasp bid to fit the game in on Tuesday 9th January was rejected by Hull on the grounds of not having enough notice for working players to make arrangements.
Both clubs did agree to play the fixture in early February but the LMC refused to sanction the date as it was “too late” in view of where the remainder of the competition would be at.
Phantoms remain adamant that they have not lost their battle for justice but with what would have been their quarter final round with Solway going ahead next weekend without them, it seems very highly unlikely that the LMC will back down.