'Not a community club any more': Inverness' new training plan slammed

Inverness have announced that they are moving their training base to Fife.

‘Not a community club any more’: Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s new training plan criticised SNS Group

Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s decision to move their training base to Fife has been heavily criticised by fans, with the club accused of abandoning its community and supporters.

The newly-relegated side announced on Friday that they are moving their training base 135 miles away from their home stadium after signing an agreement with fellow League one side Kelty Hearts to train at New Central Park Stadium.

Inverness claim that the move will help them to sign players based in the central belt, saying that their location had made recruitment difficult in recent years.

They say that where they train “should not be an impediment to the quality of the players we can attract to Caley Thistle, or to our potential to progress”. 

While insisting that Inverness will remain their home, the board of directors said that the move was the best chance to attract the best players and help the team progress.

The club’s announcement has been met with a furious backlash on social media from fans who are upset at the decision and see it as another mistake from the club following relegation.

Steve Riley from Inverness fans’ podcast the Wyness Shuffle said that the move robs the local community of any connection with the players who appear for the club.

“We’re now not a community club any more,” Riley told STV. “We’ll be a football business that appears in the Highlands twice a month.

“What the fans will miss out on is all the community engagement with players during the week at schools, charities etc.

“At a time when the club likes to use ‘togetherness’ as a tag line, it feels like the opposite of that.

“Fans are going to feel alienated from the club a little bit.

“I think there’s going to be a backlash in terms of ticket sales as well. I think fans were clamouring for change and it’s not happened. I get the struggles that the club has geographically in terms of attracting players but we’re not that far away.

“It’s not the end of the earth and we’ve brought players up in the past.

“I think we just need to be a little bit smarter. It’s a massive data club and not in a good way. I think fans are really not happy. And I think this (discontent) will drag on a little bit longer.”

Riley said that he understood that manager Duncan Ferguson may find it easier to attract players as he tries to gain promotions back to the Championship, but says the decision “takes the heart out of the club”. He called for better communication with fans

“I was hoping that it would bring the city and the club closer together and today’s announcement means it’s not going to happen,” Riley said.

“I hope that this is a one-off or one season shot where you win League One, go back up and then it’s back to business as it was last season. But League One, as Falkirk will tell you. it’s not so easy to get out of. There’s a massive rebuild for Duncan Ferguson this summer so maybe that’s why he wants to move to the central belt to get players from there.

“But I just think you’re taking the heart out of the club with this decision.

“It was good news the other day when they said they would stay full time. I applauded that because it’s probably a stretch on the club finances to do that. But if we don’t go up after one season, we won’t be full time.

“So it’s a roll of the dice both on moving to Kelty and also staying full time.

“It’s a massive gamble by the board.”

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