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City Building ends boxing club link

CITY Building has ordered a stop to corporate hospitality at the all-male St Andrew's Sporting Club.

Corporate hospitality is to end at St Andrew's Boxing Club
Corporate hospitality is to end at St Andrew's Boxing Club

The arm's-length external organisation, or Aleo, said it had dropped the boxing club for business reasons.

However, the move comes after months of intense questioning on the issue from SNP councillor Graeme Hendry, who is highly critical of public money going to exclusive gentlemen's clubs.

City Building confirmed it bought £1200 tables at St Andrew's bouts to entertain staff and associates on three occasions last year.

However, it said the events - to which it could not routinely invite female employees or business partners - had previously been seen as a big opportunity to network.

A spokesman said: "City Building continually reviews all strands of our marketing strategy and has decided that due to the reducing benefits of attending the St Andrew's Sporting Club, we will not be attending these events in the foreseeable future."

The Aleo is wholly owned by Glasgow City Council and run by a board of councillors chaired by Labour's Paul Carey.

Chief executive Graham Paterson, in correspondence with Mr Hendry, said the board had approved its hospitality at St Andrew's.

Mr Hendry said: "The decision by Mr Carey to allow the use of this club for hospitality is baffling when you consider it only allows males. This is clearly not appropriate for a company which has a diverse and inclusive workforce.

"Mr Carey should tell us if he knew it didn't allow female members and how this fits with the company's image. I am pleased that my questioning has led to them stopping the use of this kind of hospitality."

City Building has previously highlighted its ability to attract women to traditional male construction roles and has female managers who would be expected to attend corporate hospitality events.

St Andrew's has been a Glasgow institution since it hosted the all-Scottish British lightweight title bout between Jim Watt and Ken Buchanan in 1973. It now runs a dozen events a year from the Radisson Blu, including two balls open to women.

Owner Tommy Gilmour said: "It's a diabolical liberty to use a legitimate business that pays its taxes and has raised half a million for charity to attack your political opponents.

"We have had events when women were allowed in but they would barely have filled a table out of 400 people. There are women who like to come and get dressed up but I'm not sure the boxing itself does much for them."

david.leask@eveningtimes.co.uk

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