Hi Purple Army,

I hope everyone is well and is looking forward to two big games against Cardiff and Coventry over the coming days.

When I initially started doing my blogs the intention was to do them weekly, at worst fortnightly, however the day to day demands of the club have prevented that. However I intend to change that going forward.

As many of you will have seen, we recently launched a brand new Teen Ticket for our home games in December. Like a lot of professional sports clubs right now, we’re seeing a slight downturn in attendances and we’re working hard to try and turn the situation around and get back on track with the growth we’ve seen over the past five seasons. There is no easy fix as it’s a number of issues, however we are constantly analysing what we can improve and what we can do to make the Clan what we want it to be.

I recently discussed the ticketing structure with the club’s ownership, hence we realised here in Braehead our offering for teens was non existent, so as many of you will have already seen we have decided to launch a Teen Ticket for 17, 18 and 19-year-olds. It’s to bridge that gap that currently exists between an under 16’s ticket and an adult ticket. We will also be announcing a number of further changes to our ticket structure early next week, so keep on eye on clanihc.com and Clan social media. Rest assured, we appreciate it’s a difficult time for a lot of people and we’re listening and working hard to try and adapt where we can.

What a league we have this year! I have been heavily involved in the sport in the UK now for 20 years and the EIHL is currently the real deal! In September I was in Cardiff and had a conversation with Todd Kelman, we both commented on how the EIHL is now as good as the Superleague was 20 years ago. While teams were full of 18 to 19 imports in those days, very few teams, if none were playing four line hockey. Looking back at last weekend, Milton Keynes won in Cardiff and Dundee won in Fife, the competition is immense and exactly what we want for the sport – on any given night any team could win, which is ultimately great for the EIHL and those that follow it! I love the team that Pete has put together this season, it’s competitive and hard working, it’s going to have it’s ups and downs, however I love the character and group of guys that we have this season. I carried out an interview today where I reflected on the year we finished 2nd and qualified for the Champions Hockey League – they were good times!

Can we achieve that again, of course we can! However the league has totally changed since then, the advantageous conference system has gone, the top teams are spending a lot more money now and no disrespect intended to the likes of Edinburgh – but the guaranteed 10 to 14 points against them has now gone. This season will be the first season since 2011/12 where we will get a true reflection of where teams really sit in the EIHL. The original conference system is the best decision the EIHL ever made, should it return 100% yes – and that’s not pro Clan at all, it ultimately benefits all the clubs somewhere down the line. Glasgow is the biggest city in the EIHL, this club has so much potential and we’ll continue to do what we can to deliver the best team on the ice every single season.

We have a very busy December coming up at Braehead with the Sheffield Steelers, Manchester Storm, Belfast Giants and Fife Flyers all coming to the Arena. It’s a pivotal month for the club every single season, as this is the traditional time of year that we start to see an increase in attendances. It’s also a time we can build some momentum on the ice as we look to move up the table heading into the new year.

We’ve said this numerous times and it’s a cliché in sport, but the Purple Army can make a massive difference. With the fans right behind us at Braehead, it’s a very intimidating place to visit for any team – we certainly won games (that we probably shouldn’t have) through the Purple Army in 2014/15 by having that vocal and passionate support. So if you’re planning to come to a game during December, I encourage you to bring your family, friends, work colleagues, pal from the local – everyone is welcome! Anyone you get can entice to come along and lets make the Purple Army mighty once again!

Thanks for your continued support!

Gareth