Renfrewshire councillors have rallied behind ice hockey team the Glasgow Clan in their bid to take over the running of Braehead Arena.

The club are looking to become the new operating company of the venue and have entered into negotiations with the new owners of the shopping centre, Global Mutual, following the collapse of Intu in November.

But as no agreement has yet been reached between the parties, the team have had to put their plans for the 2021/22 season, the appointment of a new head coach and players, and season ticket sales on hold.

A petition calling for Global Mutual to hand over control to the club has attracted more than 8,000 signatures.

And now elected members in Renfrewshire have recorded their support for the team taking over the arena, which also plays host to the Paisley Pirates and junior team the Braehead Peewees.

At a meeting on Thursday, a motion from councillors John Shaw and Eddie Devine backing the club’s bid was passed unanimously and chief executive Sandra Black will now write to Global Mutual calling for the firm to “expedite a decision in favour of the Clan”.

The motion stated: “Council welcomes the bid by the Glasgow Clan to become the operator of the arena which would secure their future in Renfrewshire.

“Council understands any decision to move forward with operating the venue as a ‘dry’ arena – without ice – would be devastating for the Clan, the Paisley Pirates, Braehead Peewees, local recreational teams and tens of thousands of other ice users.

“Council calls on Global Mutual to take into consideration the huge community of fans and ice users who could lose out if a decision is made not to appoint the Glasgow Clan as operators.

“Council agrees the chief executive will write to Global Mutual expressing the council’s support for the Glasgow Clan bid and calling for them to expedite a decision in favour of the Clan to allow them to plan for the season and years ahead.”

A successful takeover by the Clan would ensure the stadium continues to function as an ice rink.

The Elite Ice Hockey league has this week announced its plans to return to action with a new season set to start in September.

But Councillor Shaw said it remains in the balance whether the Clan can compete in that league until an agreement is reached.

He said: “Just the other day the Elite Ice Hockey league announced the resumption of their league, but unfortunately their unsure whether it will be nine or 10 teams.

“Glasgow Clan should be that 10th team. The Clan tell me their appointment as the operating company would not only secure their future for the long-term in Renfrewshire, but it would also be a game-changer for the team allowing them to progress their plans to become one of the UK’s premier professional ice hockey clubs, competing for major silverware every season at home and hopefully on the European stage.  “Let’s make this happen.”

Paisley councillor Eileen McCartin added: “I have been very supportive of the Paisley Pirates over the last 15 years and I am anxious to ensure that both professional and amateur ice hockey continues in Renfrewshire.

“The council needs to support the Clan, and to stress to the new owners of Braehead how essential it is for ice to remain in Braehead.”