As a fan of the Braehead Clan since their inaugural season and an avid member of the ‘Purple Army’, I’ve seen the rise of a formidable force in the west of Scotland.
The team has evolved from showcasing their talent to a couple of hundred fans, into one of the most ‘must-see’ sporting teams around the Glasgow area.
The organisation continues to grow and thrives on maintaining an image as one of the most professional outlets in the Elite League.
At least, that’s what I thought. You can imagine my surprise following the recent ‘Bruton/Holt’ saga, if that’s what you want to call it.
For anyone who is unsure of the back story, here’s a quick recap. Chris Bruton, a former fan favourite of the Clan, was apparently a ‘bad’ teammate and the club wanted rid of him.
The opportunity to trade Bruton to the Coventry Blaze and in turn add former Clan player Neil Trimm to the roster came along. The Clan seized this opportunity and the trade was made.
Now here’s what should have happened. The trade is made and each team sends out a press release. These state the new signing and that things did not work out with their previous employee.
The players pack their bags, and are wished well on their future endeavours. The fans are now aware of the news of the trade and that something sparked the decision.
As expected, the rumour mill goes into overdrive, but that’s okay. The clubs involved have handled the situation with diligence and maintained the utmost of professionalism at all times.
Now here’s what shouldn’t have happened. Clan’s netminder, Chris Holt, opens up about the situation on the fan-orientated ‘Purple Army Podcast’ and slates his former teammate, calling him a ‘cancer in the dressing room’, and openly discusses how the entire Clan locker room are glad to see the back of Bruton.
I won’t lie, when it appeared on my social media feed that Holt was giving the inside gossip about the whole situation, I was a little bit curious about what he had to say.
I’m passionate about the team I follow and like everybody else, I wanted to know what happened, even if I have absolutely no right to. I just didn’t expect it to be done in such an unprofessional manner.
Hearing a veteran player and an apparent professional air his dirty laundry on a podcast was over the top. In turn, Bruton responded with a statement of his own, wanting to rise above the ‘public banter’ and maintain respect for the game at all times.
When used correctly, social media can be a wonderful thing, but it also has its downsides which is evident in this scenario.
Current players using social media outlets to publicly slate former teammates and exacerbate a situation is ridiculous.
Public spats make a mockery out of the game of hockey in this country, especially when collectively we’re all trying to raise the profile of what many of us consider to be the greatest game in the world.
I can understand why people would be eager to hear what Holt had to say. As fans, we have no God given right to know what happens behind the scenes, so sometimes it’s good to get a look behind the proverbial curtain.
I’ll leave you with a question – was Holt right to speak out publicly about the Bruton situation?
(Image permission: Carol Ann Jardine)