Chalmers: Relocation not an option

Clan's Chief Operating Officer Gareth Chalmers is fighting to keep the club at Braehead Arena (PHOTO: Evening Times)

Glasgow Clan Chief Operating Officer Gareth Chalmers says relocation to another city is currently not even on the agenda for the club amid uncertainty over the future of their home venue.

Braehead Arena is in the hands of asset management firm Global Mutual since Intu went bust at the end of last year and are listening to offers to become the new operator, with Clan among the bidders.

But the possibility that another interested party could be set to remove the ice facilities at the building is a real one as Chalmers looks for a resolution to the ongoing situation over the 3,500 seater venue.

“The top and bottom of it is our very future is on a knife edge here,” Chalmers said. “We’ve looked at all options and assessed what’s available as an alternative.

“The truth is there isn’t any.  At the moment, there isn’t a venue in Glasgow that can sustain ice and the level of capacity we need to make professional ice hockey viable in Glasgow.

“We’ve looked into a relocation as back-up plan and considered moving to another city for a period of time, but that really isn’t even in our mindsets.  We’re invested in Braehead Arena and Renfrewshire, that’s our priority.

“We love our home, it’s been integral to the growth of the club since 2010 and we see it as very much part of our future.

“It’s the only option in town and we want to take the facility to the next level, it’s not just about the Clan, it encompasses the Paisley Pirates and other ice user groups as well.”

The uncertainty has meant Clan have had to suspend their preparations for a 2021/22 season, including the recruitment of a new coach and a team, not to mention season tickets.

The coronavirus pandemic saw the club sit out 2020/21, so the focus was on a return to action later this year and Chalmers has urged for some clarity in the hope they can move on.

Clan’s last home game was against Manchester Storm at the end of February 2020 (PHOTO: Al Goold)

“We’re looking for Global Mutual to give us some kind of assurance regarding their plans for the building,” he added. “Our plans are now effectively on hold for a new season, including the search for a new head coach.

“It’s got to the crunch point where we’re seeing other teams in the Elite League are making their plans, such as season ticket sales and entering the player market.

“We’ve been left in limbo so we need some answers so we can start planning for our future.

“The longer this takes, the longer our plans are delayed so we’re encouraging an immediate and prompt outcome to this for all ice users and the wider community.

“If the worst case situation should occur, I can assure the fans that we would never go down without a fight. As ever, the best interests of the club are at the forefront of every decision at the moment.”

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