THERE are entire Netflix series with fewer dramatic moments than Stephen Dixon has experienced in his short time living in Scotland.

This has undoubtedly been the most tumultuous season in Glasgow (formerly Braehead) Clan’s 12-year history, one that has left their very existence mired in uncertainty.

Dixon, recruited in the summer from Cardiff Devils as player/assistant coach, was still getting his bearings when the ground began to shift under his feet. Perhaps it was the winless start to the season that prompted the Clan hierarchy out of desperation to offer a contract to Lasse Uusivirta but it would prove to be a costly piece of misjudgement.

It didn’t take more than a cursory internet search to learn that the Finn had an historic rape charge still hanging over his head, something the Clan support quickly discovered for themselves. The collective reaction was one of understandable dumbfounded fury. Belatedly reading the room, the club hastily reversed their decision to sign the defenceman but it was too late. The damage had been done.

Head coach Malcolm Cameron and chief executive Gareth Chalmers were both suspended pending an investigation that concluded with chairman Neil Black suggesting it was perhaps time for the club to consider a change of ownership. Sponsors left in their droves in disgust.

Cameron returned but not for long as the team’s on-ice struggles continued, the players toiling to find any form following a bout of traumatic turbulence that was not of their making.

Cameron’s sacking saw Dixon thrust into the position of interim head coach with a remit to somehow steady the ship, a lengthy injury list merely adding to what must have already felt like a thankless task. At 37, Dixon is no callow novice but this has surely been a period unlike anything he has ever experienced during a lengthy ice hockey career.

The Uusivirta signing was such a PR blunder it is hard to imagine how anyone could have thought it was a good idea. Dixon concedes that moment – and the subsequent weeks of turmoil – took its toll on the changing room.

“It was certainly a tough situation for everybody,” he says with a dollop of understatement. “There’s a good leadership group in the room and there are guys who care a lot about the club. That period was pretty difficult on a lot of them, even though we tried to keep it as positive as we could.

“There was a lot of talk around the club [about Uusivirta’s signing] but we still had to go out there and perform, try to entertain and win games. But it was definitely an unfortunate situation. Guys aren’t really involved with that side of the game but you can still feel things from the outside. As players we had talks together and everyone had their thoughts on it.”

Did it split the dressing room? “No, I don’t think it came down to that. Guys didn’t take any of that stuff [Uusivirta’s past] lightly. It was just very unfortunate how that whole situation came up.”

Cameron’s departure has thrust Dixon unexpectedly into the head coach role and he thanks those around him for making the transition easier than might have been the case.

“I came here as a player/assistant coach to help Malcolm and learn that way,” he says. “But obviously there have been some changes.

“Coaching was something I thought might get into eventually as it’s a natural progression. It just happened a little quicker than I had expected.”

The exact nature of Chalmers’ ongoing involvement with the club is somewhat unclear. Although no longer Clan chief executive, he remains managing director of Braehead Arena, the team’s home, and is still active behind the scenes. Dixon doesn’t detail exactly who he reports to as interim head coach but says he is happy with the backing he has received. As to the long-term direction of the club, he insists he’s as much in the dark as everyone else.

“There are a lot of things as a player that are out of your control,” he adds. “The guys know about that stuff [the club being up for sale] but it’s not been a distraction as far as I know. Those guys [in management] have been great. There are a lot of people around here that really care for the club and give us whatever we need to try to help us succeed.”

There is no relegation from the Viaplay Elite League which is perhaps a good thing for Clan given, at the time of writing, they remain at the foot of the table with just three wins to their name. Downing tools and coasting through, however, isn’t an option, not when the club continues to be backed by a remarkably loyal fanbase who turn out in vast numbers for often little reward.

“Expectations were high for the club this season so nobody had foreseen a start like this,” admits Dixon. “I knew Glasgow was a hockey town before I came up but I didn’t know to what extent. The OSC [official supporters club] do a lot of great things and the guys feel that loyalty from the fanbase. We want to turn it around to thank them for sticking by us in these tough times.”