FORMER world champion Alex Arthur has hit out at Edinburgh City Council for failing to provide proper accommodation for a boxing club and other sporting organisations based at Meadowbank Stadium, which closed at the weekend.

Meadowbank Boxing Club is grateful to have been offered premises in the new £40 million-plus Meadowbank Sports Centre when it opens in 2020, it is having severe difficulties in finding temporary premises until it can return to its home, where the club was based for more than 40 years.

Arthur, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 1998, had some of his most important fights at Meadowbank on the way to becoming world professional super-featherweight champion, including a superb bout in 2006 against Ricky Burns, the last Scot to hold a world title.

Arthur’s two sons, Alex Jnr and Machlan, an 11-year-old tipped as a potential star, are both members of Meadowbank ABC and their father is furious at the council.

He said: “This is a real boxing club with real boxing people including the head coach John McCarron.

“It is a tragedy that this club is being so badly affected, especially at the moment as we have an abundance of youth talent at Meadowbank.

“For example, there’s young Owen Paton, the only boxer from the east of Scotland who was at the European Championships. And of course I have to mention my son Machlan who is unbeaten after eight fights.

“We have got nowhere to go, it’s just ridiculous.

“There are other sports clubs who were operating out of Meadowbank until the weekend and they have nowhere to go as well.

“While we appreciate the need to move out so they can rebuild Meadowbank, the council should have done much more than they have for the clubs.

“It offered us two places but neither was usable and I think they just did it to say they had offered us something.”

Meadowbank ABC administrator Stewart Murray’s son Stephen won the Scottish 52kgs championship last year but is now doing an apprenticeship. Murray said: “They offered us a place in Portobello that used to be an old launderette. Compared to what we were used to at Meadowbank it was just chalk and cheese and we couldn’t even consider it.

“We are hiring Drummond High School but the problem there is that any equipment we take in there, we have to take down at the end of the session.

“We understand we will get back into the sports centre once Meadowbank is rebuilt, so we just need to find somewhere until then.

“We can’t leave this lying, we have been there 40 years so the council really needs to help us now.”

Among other Meadowbank-based clubs struggling to find somewhere to go, Edinburgh Athletic Club has also not found a new premises, again after more than 40 years.

The club stated on its website: “ We move forward without a home for now but utilising what facilities we have found across the city, staying united and keeping the standards high over the next couple of years until the new Meadowbank is open.

“The determination and commitment of each and every member will ensure the continued success of Scotland’s award-winning club.

A council spokesman said: “We are aware of the impact closing Meadowbank Sports Centre will have on regular users which is why extensive notice was given.

“Where possible, we have been working with users including the boxing club to search for new training sites.

“We explored a number of potential venues for boxing training, but unfortunately, the club deemed all of our options to be unsuitable.”