CLYDE FC could be back in Rutherglen in under two years after Rutherglen Glencairn cleared the way for the clubs to groundshare.
On Monday night, members of the Glens approved their committee’s recommendation to support, in principle, the proposal put to them by the senior club.
And Clyde have not ruled out senior football returning to Rutherglen for the 2014/15 season if they proceed with the plan.
There is a scenario that could see the Bully Wee back in the Rutherglen for the start of NEXT season.
However, the Reformer understands that is unlikely as it would mean simply upgrading the Clyde Gateway Stadium to SFL standards while the club prefers the full redevelopment of the stadium to make it a focal point for the community.
Representatives from Clyde attended the Glens EGM this week to answer queries, one of which was how long the project could take.
Neither club chairman, John Alexander, or director, John Taylor, ruled out being back in the Burgh for the start of the 2013/14 campaign.
But yesterday (Tuesday), John Taylor told the Reformer: “I would say that’s possible, but unlikely.
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“I would think the earliest would be the 2014/15 if we are going for a full development option. If we want to do this right, we will need to take our time and decide exactly how we want to proceed.
“We’re pleased the members have agreed to take the proposal forward and we can now move to a stage where the clubs can look in more detailed terms about things such as cost and facilities.”
Both clubs have stressed that there are still a number of hurdles to overcome before any plan comes to fruition while Clyde still have a similar proposal on the table with East Kilbride Thistle.
Representatives for the two clubs will now meet to discuss legal issues in more detail while a draft proposal could be drawn up within the next few weeks.
If the project goes ahead, the stadium will be managed by a six-man holding company comprising three members from each club.
Glens vice-president, Alex McArthur, said there had been concerns about the Glens being “swallowed up” by Clyde, but these had been allayed at the meeting.
He said: “What we didn’t want was for us to become extinct, but Rutherglen Glencairn will always be there. We will maintain our standing in the community, that is very important.
“Overall, the members were quite warm to the proposal, but this is not a done deal. There are a lot of t’s to be crossed and i’s to be doted.
“There is still a lot of work ahead for both parties, but we are happy with the way things have gone and the members have now given the committee a mandate to take it to the next level.
“This is still a long way off, but I’m excited about it.”
Clyde last played a competitive game in Rutherglen in 1986. They endured a nomadic existence until 1994 when they moved into Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld.
However, the move failed to capture the imagination of locals, and many of their hardcore support from the Burgh found it difficult to get to the ground.
Ironically, they were the visitors to the Clyde Gateway Stadium for its official opening in 2008 when they took on Glencairn in a friendly.
The prospect of the Bully Wee’s return has captured the imagination of the town, with the majority of people backing the move.
James Kelly MSP said this week: “I am delighted at this announcement which paves the way for the return of Clyde to Rutherglen. It is great news for the Rutherglen area and will be very much welcomed by local football fans. Glencairn members are to be congratulated for their foresight in taking this important decision.”