The chief operating officer of the Glasgow Clan has said support from around the world has helped the club take calls to hand the arena over to the club ‘to the next level.’

Gareth Chalmers has thanked supporters and clubs around the world for their support following the news that plans for the upcoming season have been put on pause over the future of their arena. 

The Aspray Glasgow Clan is looking to become the new operating company of the Braehead Arena in a bid to maintain and develop ice hockey in the area. The club has entered negotiations with the new owners of Braehead Shopping Centre, Global Mutual.

READ MORE: Save our Glasgow Clan petition nears 9,000 signatures 

With the future uncertain with a decision expected in the near future, a petition has collected over 9,000 signatures calling for The Clan to be handed over the ice facility at Braehead.

It had gathered support from around the world with hockey clubs, players, coaches and more all backing the club. 

Chalmers told The Herald: “The support has been fantastic, we’ve had people and clubs contacting us through the hockey world offering their support. It’s been overwhelming at times, it really shows how important and respected we are as a hockey club.”

“I’d like to thank the Clan fans for all their support so far, whether that’s been via phone calls, emails, texts, on social media. The support has been phenomenal and absolutely fantastic to see.

"This is so much more than a hockey club, it’s a community, it’s a happy place, a sanctuary for so many people.

"We all want the same end result, we all want to see the Clan back on the ice, and we all want an exciting and successful future – we can do this together.

He added that the situation regarding the future of the arena has been at the forefront of his planning saying:  “While we made the situation public last week, the situation has been going on for sometime so I’ve been extremely busy planning for various different outcomes, pulling information and figures together, while continuing to correspond regarding the situation. 

HeraldScotland: Glasgow Clan chief Gareth ChalmersGlasgow Clan chief Gareth Chalmers

“Obviously when the news went public, it took everything to the next level, but that’s exactly what we wanted.”

And fans have been reaching out to show their support for the club and what it means to them.

Kerry Russell OSC Secretary and Roddie Brown OSC Chairman said: “We are all really nervous to hear that there may no longer be ice hockey at Braehead. We hope that we will hear some positive news soon and we can get back to having our brilliant match night experiences watching the Glasgow Clan. 

“The Glasgow Clan is a huge economic entity for the area, the players all live locally, staying close to the arena, frequenting local pubs, restaurants.

“There is also the tremendous pocket power of the Purple Army. Most of our supporters spend money on retail, food and drink before and during a typical match night. Losing the ice at Braehead would have a detrimental impact on so many shops and restaurants at the shopping centre.”

Many fans have been quick to suggest that they will not return to Braehead if the Clan are taken off the ice, with hockey for many being the only reason to attend. Ross Jardine, 28 has been a season ticket holder since 2015 and said that he would be unlikely to visit the shopping centre due to his own circumstances. He said: “If Clan go, I won’t be back in Braehead

“Not as a boycott but there’s just nothing in it I can’t get closer to home.

"I’m in Falkirk, and I make the trip through to skate every Monday plus whatever Clan game’s on. But the shopping in Stirling’s closer and so’s their rink”

He added: "Even my barber is a Clan fan. I met him through Clan and drive through to Dennistoun for haircuts”

Deryck Sellar, 30, echoed the sentiment that many would not return if the Clan did not return to Braehead. He said: “Fans would be crushed and they would no longer have a reason to travel to Braehead Shopping Centre.

"Some of these fans are coming from as far away as Edinburgh, Falkirk, Troon, and Saltcoats (to name a few) and they choose to bypass local options to go spend their money in Braehead because they’re either there for Clan games or they have a sense of loyalty to Braehead.

“However, if you remove Clan as a factor then these fans will have no reason to come to Braehead because they have locations much closer to them where they would go and spend their money.”

Clan fan Sarah Barbour, 30 said: “I don’t do well in crowds but at Clan games, it's almost like I'm having too much fun to even notice how many people are actually there. The atmosphere and buzz of the whole of Braehead on game day is something you can't compare to anything else.

READ MORE: Life on ice: How Glasgow Clan have rallied to prepare for post-shutdown

“They really do mean it when they say hockey is for everyone. I just hope that the Purple Army never stop making noise about this because the arena is so important to so many people from players to fans to volunteers”

Former season ticket holder Lesley MacGregor, 52, said that her 17-year-old son Tom only started playing hockey from going to Clan matches. She said: “It will be so sad if we lose The Clan/ice hockey in Glasgow, I gave up our season tickets just last year as my son's games are on at the same time, but if it hadn’t been for the Clan he wouldn’t be playing”

Long-time fan Aidan Brysland, 25, added: “Clan are so much more than just a hockey club, we are a community and a family and I hope that with the current uncertainty around the arena that Global Mutual can see just how much The Clan brings to the community in Renfrewshire and even beyond.”

Last week a spokesperson for Global Mutual said: “We are committed to finding the best possible solution to ensure the long-term viability of the Braehead Arena. Our team is currently evaluating proposals from a number of interested parties and we will communicate our decision as soon as possible, most likely by the end of this month.”

You can sign the petition HERE