Glasgow Clan’s future is in doubt as uncertainty over the ownership over Braehead Arena continues, according to their Chief Operating Officer Gareth Chalmers.

The Elite League ice hockey club have been out of action since the end of February 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic and were looking to start preparing for a return to action later this year, including the hiring of a new coach.

But they’ve had to put their plans on hold as they look to buy the arena from current owners, Global Mutual, who took over the site following the bankruptcy of Intu Braehead Leisure at the end of last year.

In the face of other bidders, Chalmers has urged the London-based asset management to give the reassurance and clarity they need that could decide their fate, insisting staying at Braehead Arena is their only option.

“We’re looking for them to give us some kind of reassurance on what their stance is so we’ve had to put our plans on hold for a new season, including the recruitment of a new head coach,” he said.

“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, while we’ve been left in limbo so we need some answers so we can start planning.

“The top and bottom of it is our very future is at stake here.  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 sort of attendance Braehead can bring.

“We’ve looked into relocation as well and moving to another city isn’t even in our mindsets.  We’re fully invested in Renfrewshire and the surrounding area so that isn’t even an option for us.

“We love our home and 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 make it work for us and the other ice user groups it would affect, such as Paisley Pirates.

Clan have played in their current home since 2010, when they were formed and have grown over the last 11 years, going from crowds of 800 in their first season to regular sell outs of around 3,500 in that time.

Since the news came out, many fans and organisations have sent messages of support for the organisation, including Still Game actor Greg Hemphill, who is a regular attender at the arena.

Chalmers says he also has support on a political level too and if the club were able to take over, their plans could be ‘game changing’ in terms of taking them to the next level, but the other side of the coin would be bleak.

“From a political standpoint we’ve spoken to various contacts including the Scottish Government, Renfrewshire Council and Sport Scotland, which has all been very positive,” he added.

“They’re helping us behind the scenes and they’re fully supportive of our plans. We’re all working very hard together to try and maintain Scotland premier ice facility and professional ice hockey in Renfrewshire.

“Our priority is Braehead Arena, for us to operate the venue is a game changer in terms of transforming the club on and off the ice. If we don’t, we’re homeless and nowhere to play.

“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.”