THIS SATURDAY: #ClanClassics stream, Braehead Clan vs Dundee Stars, we’re heading back to the 2016/17 season and an exciting Scottish clash…

SOTB: There are 3 CHANCES to win THIS SATURDAY, with a #11 Matt Haywood, #37 Nolan LaPorte and #61 Scott Pitt 10th Anniversary jerseys up for grabs. Buy your tickets HERE.

EQUIPMENT RAFFLE: You could be winning a pair of #41 Scott Tanski game worn gloves. Buy your tickets HERE.

Hi Purple Army,

I hope everyone continues to stay safe and well during these testing times.

Firstly, Happy New Year to everyone, it’s good to see the back of 2020 for so many reason’s, here is to an exciting, positive and prosperous 2021!

As I touched on in my last blog, the past 9 months have been nothing short of catastrophic for the club. Losing our last 3 guaranteed homes games, a chance of a playoff home game, the playoff finals weekend, leaving a minority of sponsors unable to pay + the lack of season ticket money income – we’ve very much been in a battle for survival.

I’ve probably been one of the most pessimistic people regarding the pandemic. I was in Germany the week it was really starting to take hold in Europe and inevitably saw what was coming. I decided to ask our staff to work from home, even before the season had been suspended as the focus of the club had turned to working remotely away from the office.

I am extremely proud of how we’ve adapted to the situation from our virtual GCA Awards night in May, our weekly Clan Classics streams, our weekly Shirt off the Back, 50/50 and Equipment raffles via Raffall, our limited edition themed jersey auctions via eBay, our weekly Clan Chat’s with former Clan players on Youtube, our focus on adapting to online merchandise sales – the list just goes on!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank a number of people who have really stepped up to assist the club through extremely unprecedented times. Craig Anderson (for the Clan Chat’s, media coverage and Clan Classics commentary), Rory Houston (for pulling together our fantastic Clan Classics streams), Al Goold (for all his help with images from past season’s), Gordon Currie (for his superb work in our brand and graphic output) and the OSC (for the support in organising virtual events while continuing to financially support the club). I’d also like to say a special thanks to Gerry McLaughlin who has been a fantastic support for me personally, we’ve both been running the club on a daily basis since March and he has done a fantastic job retaining a core group of sponsors, even without any team on the ice!

Thank you to John Strange of Aspray Glasgow West for stepping up to become the club’s title sponsor following the collapse of the intu Group. We’ve got a core group of sponsors who have stood by us and supported the club during this period, which we are extremely grateful for. I am sure you’ll have seen a number of sponsorship announcements recently, we’ll be continuing to make even more over the coming weeks.

Finally I’d like to say a massive thank you to the Purple Army for sticking with us through thick and thin, I appreciate it’s not the same having a team on the ice week to week, but everyone has continued to stay engaged with us, watch our Clan Classics streams, buy our raffle tickets, buy our merchandise – it’s greatly appreciated and certainly won’t be forgotten heading into our 2nd decade. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So onto the future. We’re in the process of completing the final documentation to allow us to access financial support from Sport Scotland. I have been speaking the Scottish Government and Sport Scotland for sometime now, so it was very reassuring to learn that they had allocated a £200k fund to assist the professional clubs in Scotland. Unlike our counterparts in England whose funding is to allow them to play a diminished season, our funding is very much focused on getting the club through to the start of a new season.

Right now, we are very much focused on sustaining the club until we can return to the ice. We’ve still got a number of hurdles to overcome not only for the club but also for the league as a whole, it’s going to certainly be a huge period of change taking into account the Arena situation, EIHL situation, Brexit and the economic fallout from the pandemic, however as I’ve said before, we’ll be adaptable and ready to forge ahead.

On a personal level I am excited about the future and what can lay ahead. We’ve almost had a perfect storm scenario transpire for the club and if we continue to navigate the choppy waters, I am highly confident we’ll come out the other side in a much more beneficial situation for the club. We’ve needed change and the external situations have certainly escalated that. Ultimately, like yourselves, myself, the organisation and the ownership want success, we want to progress further and there have been varying factors really deterring from that happening.

There is no doubt 2021 is going to be another difficult year, however the light is at the end of the tunnel, if we continue to stick together, we’ll certainly get there and see the Clan return to the ice.

Thanks for your continued support!

Gareth Chalmers