Homesbook Factoring Caplan

Club Statement: Relocation Update

The club was contacted by a journalist from The Trinity Mirror Group on Thursday seeking information on whether the club had approached Clyde Gateway about the construction of a purpose built stadium at Cuningar Loop in Rutherglen. The club has confirmed its willingness to make a statement to the journalist however, as is normal practice for the club, we issue information to our supporters as and when we can and, unless it is unavoidable, we do it in advance of making media announcements. We have been advised that the journalist will be running a story regardless of whether comment is secured from the club.

It is well understood practice that the club conducts commercially confidential business in the way that would be expected of a professionally run and accountable organisation. It is therefore disappointing that information has been passed to the media in what was described as the journalist having been “very well briefed”.

As a club we have maintained our focus on securing a long term sustainable location with a business model secured in its community. We have stated this on many occasions as we believe that is the essential ingredient in allowing the club to increase its scale and infrastructure and consequently its capacity to compete on the park. We are clear on this with our supporters and we are clear on this with any stakeholders we engage with at alternative locations. The principles we promote are universally welcomed at all levels whether with political leaders, community focused organisations or potential sources of finance. Our track record on community development work, which is recognised and valued by our major financial partners, our community and others – including the Scottish Government – stand testimony to the delivery of our objectives.

Each time we consider a location it is part of a careful options review, and whilst frustrating for all of us, the processes are neither quick nor straightforward.

We do not know what will be contained within the article to be run by the media, and as such we will simply state the facts in so far as we are either able to state them in accordance with what commercial commitments allow, or as far as we are aware that information might already be, or might become known, in the public domain.

The club recently began positive negotiations with North Lanarkshire Leisure (NLL), our landlords at Broadwood. During these negotiations we advised NLL that we had for some time been looking at alternative locations for the club following many years of dissatisfaction at Broadwood, and that other than Broadwood we were actively looking at three potentially viable sites. At that point the review of Broadwood was little more than an exercise for good governance as experience had shown that nothing that the club had to offer was valued by NLL. The recent change of leadership at NLL has brought a change of approach that has returned Broadwood to being a very serious contender for our permanent home. The club’s vision has been enthusiastically welcomed and a number of actions have shown significant goodwill towards the club. The negotiations regarding the alignment of the club objectives with that of NLL are ongoing. These will remain confidential but NLL understand that if a sustainable business and community model can be established at Broadwood then there would be no need to leave an excellent stadium, which can rightly claim to be a developing and vibrant sporting community hub.

The alternative sites which have our attention should have remained entirely confidential but for the actions of the Trinity Mirror Group informant. To deal firstly with the site that has attracted the media attention, we can confirm that we have engaged in exploratory talks with Clyde Gateway, the owners of Cuningar Loop, about the building of a purpose built stadium designed for extensive community use. We have a long way to go here as the site is not without its issues and having the right partners is essential when dealing with a major site that is contaminated and requires remediation and subsequent construction. 

The club, through its discussions with Clyde Gateway, has been able to bring together an extensive portfolio of appropriate light infrastructure stadium drawings, suited to the land available. If the project plan is successful it has the potential to provide the opportunity for an independent future for the club.

There are two other sites where our involvement has not yet reached the public domain despite the very large number of parties whom the club has engaged in discussion and negotiation. These parties have all managed to maintain confidentiality and we will respect that. One site is an existing stadium that has no current senior or junior activity and we sought approval to develop this location as a community hub wrapped around a senior football team. The other is a site where a complete new build purpose built stadium and community hub would be constructed. The latter is currently the subject of a feasibility study and, like any project, will be considered on its merits in delivering the Clyde FC objectives.

One final point in terms of locations was raised by the journalist. We can confirm that we have not had any involvement with the redevelopment of the Shettleston Juniors ground for some time and that site does not feature in any of the above. 

Our only objective remains the sustainability of a club with nearly 140 years of history. It is disappointing that others with shorter-term aims risk damaging the options available to the club by their desire for publicity.

We appreciate the support we have in making the right decision, whilst running the club and its many facets beyond the single focus on location. We remain indebted to the volunteers and supporters around the club who have achieved so much in recent years as we continue to support the squad and develop our sponsorship partnerships for the long term. 

We will keep supporters as updated as we can without embarrassing our potential partners with media leaks.