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Raiders fans and players were shocked by the news that five players had been released with immediate effect last night.

Following a home defeat agianst the Isle of Wight in the National League challenge cup, a statement was released on the club’s facebook page which revealed captain Jason Buckman, number one goalie Euan King, import defenceman Dwayne Newman and forwards Shaun Yardley and Nathan Pollard had all been let go.

It said: “It will be of no surprise to Raiders fans that the move to Lee Valley has not been accompanied by the “expected” income. As a result the team has been losing money and the spread of fixtures and available ice time have clearly not helped.

“The team is not in a position to continually lose money in this way and there were very few options available to address the situation.

“Following a management meeting earlier this week it was decided that the most viable option was to reduce the size of the squad and in so doing reduce the weekly outgoings.

“It is therefore with deep regret that the team today announce that taking effect immediately the following players will be leaving – Shaun Yardley, Nathan Pollard, Jason Buckman, Dwayne Newman, Euan King.

“The “Peterborough five” have been with us all season, and in the case of Jason Buckman five seasons. We would like to thank them all sincerely for their efforts in this and previous seasons and assure you all that their release is no way a reflection of any issues with the individuals on or off ice.

“Thoroughly professional in their approach and outlook we wish them well with their futures

“We have no doubt that the talent and effort that these players have shown over the season will be sorely missed for the remainder of the year, but we have to temper our enthusiasm for the game with a dose of common sense in the face of severe financial restrictions.”

Raiders currently sit in fourth place in the National League Division One table, with 13 fixtures remaining, and are virtually guaranteed a top-eight play-off spot, with basement boys MK Thunder lying 20 points behind them.

They visit the Isle of Wight next weekend, but fans will be growing increasingly concerned as to whether or not the team can see out the season given its financial struggles.

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