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Chairman’s New Year Message

Firstly, and foremostly I’d like to wish all Clyde supporters a Happy New Year. Times are not easy for many people now, and I hope that the football in the months ahead can provide some welcome respite.

At this time of year there is often a period of reflection on what has been, and discussion on what is ahead of us. In years to come, we will reflect on 2022 as the year the club moved from Broadwood and became fully committed to an aspiration of a ground of our own. But for the moment, the disappointing first half of the 22/23 season is, understandably, at the forefront of our minds. I am acutely aware of the challenge we face on the pitch. Jim Duffy was appointed not only because of his experience and knowledge but also because of his desire and enthusiasm for the challenge ahead. I have welcomed his approach and I know he will do all he can to try and change our fortunes on the field. No-one is giving up. The effort of the players has been commendable, and we are thankful for donations which will help us in our efforts to back the manager to augment the squad in the transfer window.

For the club moving forward, finance will remain the biggest challenge regarding funding our first team squad. Our income streams are not strong enough – a reality that has been masked in recent years by exceptional covid-related funds. In the short term it will predominantly need to be personal donations that bridge the gap. We have been here before, but the reality is that we would always keep returning to dependence on the generosity of supporters unless we took the steps to secure the self-sufficiency of a home of our own. I am proud we have made definite steps to achieve that, and this will continue apace this year. However, be assured no door will be closed or barrier put in place for any genuine contributions of support as we seek to boost our player budget for 2023/24. I would like to thank those individuals who have continued their financial backing of the club, especially in this climate.

Some of us love to review and analyse, but I think it is important that as a club we look at the years ahead. That doesn’t mean we don’t learn from past events, but it does mean we don’t focus on the past at the expense of moving forward with purpose.
The facilities and warm welcome we experience at Hamilton are appreciated. But our tenancy here is merely a necessity during a transitional phase while we pursue a greater goal. We have “settled in”, but there is always the inherent danger of settling in too comfortably. It is therefore important in the year ahead that our objectives are clear for all to see and for supporters to back.

We are a Glasgow club seeking a return to our roots. We want to re-establish ourselves in a community associated with our proud history, a community where we can make a difference and build a future for our club at a venue which enables us to compete with our peers. To achieve this will not be easy, and I know there are those who doubt it can be done. But the truth is that any alternative plan represented a far greater risk to the club. Returning to Glasgow and to our own stadium will require a team effort, transparency and acceptance of the challenges we face together.

For me, 2023 represents a chance for the club to move forward together and it is an exciting time I’ve mentioned transition, but that needn’t be replacing like for like. This is an opportunity for growth. The Relocation Group has strengthened with experienced individuals coming in to fill crucial roles. It will continue to adapt as it supports the Foundation’s bid for Crownpoint. The Foundation itself is strengthening and working hard on developing its footprint in the East End of Glasgow. The board is also stronger at the end of 2022, and further key roles will be filled in the coming year. The volunteer base remains strong, but with more opportunities emerging to get involved. We have, in development, an action plan for strengthening the club as we look towards a new era. Its purpose is to ensure that everyone at every level throughout the club is clear on what role each of us has in ensuring the longer-term aspirations are met, but without any distraction from the core objective of maintaining the highest possible level of competitiveness on the park. This will be distributed in the new year.

I am not in denial in the scale of the task we face or in the urgency to achieve it. We are genuinely in a race against time. However, we have a tremendous story to tell and each of us has a part to play in writing its next chapter.