Action from Murrayfield courtesy of Ian Coyle

Scott Neil thanked fans and volunteers as he pulled the curtain down on Edinburgh Capitals after 20 years and said: “I hope it is not game over.”

He claimed to be bitterly disappointed that the new Edinburgh Capitals board were not given the chance to try to move forward.

And Neil, who has been at the helm for two decades, said on the club website that there will be a desire to work in the background to revive Capitals.

He said that there were “innocent victims” in the demise of the Murrayfield-based club and the ex-Great Britain forward added: “We all fought so hard to develop and maintain the best standard of ice hockey possible and, whilst it would have been easy to drop and play at a lower level, it was never something I would entertain.

“Edinburgh should be an Elite League city.”

He added: “I admit that mistakes have been made, especially this year, but they were honest mistakes made with the intention to recruit a squad capable of winning at least the Gardiner Conference.

“We all thought the change in recruitment direction this season would have led to more on ice success, but it just did not work out that way.”

Capitals finished bottom of the 12-strong league and he said: “We have all juggled and sacrificed time, money, resources and lifestyles to try and maintain an Elite League team in Edinburgh.

“It is heart-breaking to see the best business plan, with the best people and the highest committed funding ever, being rejected.

“Our robust and sensible three-year business plan would have provided an opportunity and a chance for the team to flourish.”

He claimed there were some innocent victims in all this and said (Edinburgh butcher) George Ferdinando signed his name to a new company (Cool House Marketing) in November to make sure the Capitals kept playing on the ice.

Neil said: “A tremendous amount of work was done in a short space of time to secure the continuation of games.

“A lot was being done behind the scenes to ensure a more prosperous and stable future for the Capitals going forward.

“George has been left holding the baby to an extent and I hope others will help and continue to support the Capitals to fulfil on-going obligations with the dream that we can once again lace up the boots in Edinburgh Capitals colours.”

He added: “It’s been an amazing journey and I sincerely hope that this isn’t game over.”