Hi Purple Army,

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

I am sure the majority of you will now have seen Wednesday’s club statement providing an update after we were forced externally to put our plans for a 2021/22 season on hold due to the lack of clarity over the future of Braehead Arena and it’s ice facilities. I can totally appreciate that frustration was starting to build with the lack of information coming from the club, especially with a number of rumours flying around on the grapevine. There has been a lot going on behind the scenes with the club for sometime now, negotiations, short, medium & long term planning, improvement assessments on key areas of the club etc. Due to confidential matters, we weren’t in a position to comment publicly, however the lack of progress and clarity forced us to make a statement on Wednesday to our fans, who have been fantastic and loyal during a extremely barren time. I’d like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience.

I’d like to thank everyone that has reached out via a call, email, text, social media post etc since the statement went out on Wednesday. The support has been fantastic, humbling and overwhelming at times. While it hasn’t quite come to that stage yet, none of us are willing to see this threaten the future of The Clan and the solid foundation we’ve all built over the past 11 years. I’ve been through a very similar situation in Newcastle with the demise of professional hockey there and likewise the Ayrshire hockey fans who became the bedrock of the Clan following the Scottish Eagles collapse 8 years prior. We’ve all worked far too hard not to see this great club achieve it’s potential, and rest assured we’ll do everything in our power to ensure The Clan have an exciting, prosperous and successful future.

It’s absolutely imperative that we keep Braehead Arena as an ice facility and with our exciting long term sustainability plans and substantial infrastructure investments, we are extremely excited about the future of the building and what we can do for ice sports in the West of Scotland. For The Clan, the opportunity is an absolutely game changing situation. In the current circumstances, we will continue to struggle to compete with the top four clubs in the league, continue to be a mid table club and have limited opportunities of growth & progression.

When the Clan was launched in 2010, and despite substantial losses in the early years, our aim was always to become a very solid and self-sustaining club – and we’ve certainly achieved that. I am extremely proud of the club we’ve all built, it’s one of the best supported and best operated clubs in the UK and highly respected throughout the hockey world. That’s all great, but we all want more don’t we. We want to be one of the best clubs in the EIHL, we want to be competing every single season at the top of the EIHL, competing for major silverware every season and have the opportunity to experience European competitions like the Champions Hockey League again. The only way that can happen is if we make the step to becoming the operators of Braehead Arena.

However, this isn’t just about the Clan. Braehead is the home to our friends The Paisley Pirates, the Braehead Peewees, numerous recreational teams, figure skaters and tens of thousands of public skaters every single year. It’s a home, a community, a happy place, a sanctuary, for so many. We all spend so much time at the Braehead Arena, we all have some fond memories, we all have some sad and outright disappointing memories. While I am more aware than anyone that during these highly difficult economic times, that decisions are going to be financially based, however I sincerely hope that the ethical implications are taken into account in the decision making. This is about people, community, physical health, mental health, ambitions, the future of Ice Hockey in the West of Scotland, the future of ice sports in the West of Scotland!

Continue to show your support for our plans, keep spreading the word, it can all help us achieve our ultimate target.

Find out how your can show your support HERE.

Sign the online Change.org petition HERE (many thanks to Cally Yorke for setting this up).

#ClanForTheFuture

Gareth Chalmers