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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Edinburgh resign from Scots Union
Edinburgh owner Bob Carruthers
Bob Carruthers had threatened legal action against the SRU
Edinburgh have stepped up their war with the Scottish Rugby Union by resigning from their parent body.

But, despite claims to the contrary by the SRU, the club insist that they will still be able to fulfil their Magners League and Heineken Cup fixtures.

And Edinburgh owner Bob Carruthers says "it is business as usual" despite SRU claims that Edinburgh players are no longer insured to play at club level.

Carruthers has threatened legal action following a dispute over funding.

An Edinburgh statement read: "It is not a condition of ERL's agreement with SRU plc that ERL is a member of SRU.

"ERL played a number of games, including Magners League games, last year as a professional team affiliated to SRU prior to voluntarily becoming an associate member of SRU at the invitation of Graham Ireland, secretary of Scottish Rugby Union.

"ERL have now cancelled that membership and reverted to the original status of a professional rugby team playing under the auspices of the SRU.

Edinburgh Rugby's contracted players are no longer insured by the governing body's scheme for the purposes of training or playing

SRU statement

"IRB rules do not require professional teams to be associate members of SRU.

"Any attempt by SRU or SRU plc to prevent ERL playing games will constitute a breach of contract and will be dealt with in the Court of Session.

"ERL have repeatedly offered to go to mediation with SRU.

"SRU have now formally rejected that proposal and, accordingly, court proceedings are being prepared.

"ERL deeply regrets that an accommodation has not been reached with SRU and is very concerned that SRU does not wish to mediate and would rather spend its limited resources litigating with ERL.

"ERL will continue to run Edinburgh Rugby and fully intends to fulfil all of its playing and contractual commitments."

Carruthers last week claimed that the SRU owes Edinburgh a six-figure sum in promised revenue, although this has been rejected by the governing body.

He also claimed that the SRU's chief executive, Gordon McKie, had threatened to close his club down if he took their dispute to the courts.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

The SRU has reported Edinburgh to the International Rugby Board after the club withdrew players from Scotland international training.

And Scottish Rugby said in a statement that: "Under IRB regulations, as a result of Edinburgh Rugby's withdrawal from membership, no club or team that is a member of any rugby union and in membership of the IRB is now permitted to play against them.

"Furthermore, as the club is no longer an associate member of the SRU, it is not entitled to be a member of the SRU club accident insurance scheme, which is only open to member clubs.

"Therefore, Edinburgh Rugby's contracted players are no longer insured by the governing body's scheme for the purposes of training or playing."

The Magners League was hoping to publish its fixtures for the coming season within the next seven days.

And Celtic Rugby director David Jordan said: "We're obviously keen to know what's happening.

"But we have had no formal communication from the SRU and, until we hear otherwise, we are going on the basis of the status quo, which is that Scotland will have two teams in the competition."

Meanwhile, Edinburgh are unlikely to stand in the way of Scotland internationals reporting for World Cup training this week.

SEE ALSO
Edinburgh face SRU closure threat
05 Jul 07 |  Scottish
Edinburgh chairman resigns in row
05 Jul 07 |  Scottish


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