It is with considerable regret and sadness that we must confirm the Paisley Pirates ice hockey team will not be competing in any competition during what would have been season 2020/21.
Over the close season, in common with most other sports, ice hockey was placed in doubt due to the current pandemic resulting from the many foreseeable difficulties which would ensue if the pandemic continued to disrupt everyday life. Further, some weeks ago, our landlords, Braehead Arena, made it clear to all users that the ability of other clubs renting the arena to continue in that facility was entirely reliant on the continuance of the Glasgow Clan to make it an economically viable prospect. This in itself placedparticipation in the 2020/21 season in major doubt. As of Tuesday, 15 September 2020 the Elite Ice Hockey League, that in which the Glasgow Clan compete, has confirmed their 2020/21 season has been suspended. As a consequence of this we now have no facility to train or play our home games.
We have during this time made exhaustive enquiries, consulted with players and game night volunteers over such options as using other rinks for training and home games in order to continue competing. The Convener of Renfrewshire Council, Iain Nicolson, has also made a number of representations on our behalf, all with a view to finding us ice time, To date it’s been a 13 year stay at Braehead Arena, and with a 74-year history this will be the first time since 1992, some 28 years, that the Paisley Pirates have not competed.
Further, the continuing health and welfare of our players and the clubs’ integrity is of paramount importance. Based on the current government guidelines and restrictions it is imperative that we comply with these to help us all journey through this pandemic. With issues such as local lockdowns and potential further restrictions imposed by the government, we can’t guarantee that the health and welfare of our players and staff could be upheld whilst fully complying with the guidance. Based on this, for the team to train and play away from home it’s simply not feasible as there are currently too many variables which could potentially jeopardise the sustainability of the club long term. We also feel the cost to supporters in following the team over most parts of Scotland and to Northern Ireland, in our view, is prohibitive.
For the record, we have affiliated to Scottish Ice Hockey and will continue to support the governing body and its members wherever we can. It is our intention to re-enter regular competition in season 2021/22, circumstances permitting, where we hope to again represent with pride the county of Renfrewshire in general and the town of Paisley in particular. We hope to see our fans back this time next year and please continue to follow our Social Media channels for updates.
THE PAISLEY PIRATES COMMITTEE