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Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 14:24 UK

Council company to sue Clyde FC

Clyde director John Ruddy
Ruddy believes the local authority have reasons for evicting the club

Broadwood Stadium Company say they will take Clyde FC to court to recover rent and other debts of about £270,000 it says is due to them.

The company, owned by North Lanarkshire Council, has set Clyde an eviction date of 26 April from Broadwood stadium.

Clyde director John Ruddy believes NLC have a "hidden agenda", adding the sum in question is nearer £150,000.

But the company say their continued existence is in jeopardy and they cannot subsidise Clyde any longer.

Councillor Jim Logue, chairman of Broadwood Stadium Company, said it was with regret that they were taking this action, but added that Clyde had left them no other option.

"We have given the directors of Clyde FC every opportunity to deal with their significant debt levels," he said.

"However, we have received only minimal payments for money owed for stadium rent, hospitality and pitch hire for coaching classes.

"Meanwhile, there has been a significant increase in their previous high levels of sums owing to the company.

"This has resulted in us trading at a significant operational deficit, which puts the financial position of our own company in jeopardy."

He added: "It is more with regret than in anger that we have been forced into going to the court to recover rent and other debts due, but the club has left us no option."

Clyde's director of football affairs, John Ruddy, told BBC Scotland that the amount of debt was "miniscule" in terms of football club finances.

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And he was of the opinion there was more to the authority's chosen course of action than meets the eye.

"The council have blanked us all week. They clearly have a hidden agenda for this situation and for the ground," he said.

Clyde relocated 10 miles from their original home on Glasgow's south side to Cumbernauld in North Lanarkshire in 1994.

Since then they have rented Broadwood Stadium from the local authority-owned Broadwood Stadium Company - an arrangement which Ruddy insists has benefitted the whole town.

"The outstanding sum of £150,000 represents damn good value for money for NLC," Ruddy said.

"When you consider when just one match is televised live from Broadwood the name of Cumbernauld is highlighted throughout the world.

"The council spend millions of pounds on public relations and media, but just one international match at Broadwood puts all of their effort into insignificance."

However, after 26 April the club must find an alternative venue for their one remaining home fixture of the season against Dundee.

"The way it's looking they intend to carry out their threats," Ruddy said.

Broadwood Stadium
North Lanarkshire Council claim Clyde have not paid the rent on the stadium

"Despite our e-mails, phone calls and letters, NLC are refusing to have any talks with Clyde but they've leaked this whole situation to the media.

"It was a journalist that told us that the council want to have talks on Monday.

"They'll talk to the newspapers but not to their partners trying to resolve a major issue. That's scandalous."

Ruddy said the club had already received "massive support" from other football clubs, including offers of matchday facilities from five clubs.

In a statement the club insisted they have drawn up a repayment plan to deal with any outstanding invoices.

They claim they have paid their debtors on time every month since August 2005 - in accordance with an agreement struck to treat any historical debt as a form of loan.

The statement added they are committed to the Cumbernauld area and may pursue compensation for loss of earnings.

A spokesman for Clyde said earlier that the situation is unlikely to lead to the club going out of business.

The troubled club are currently running a fund-raising campaign to combat their current financial plight.



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