HOUSING giant Tulloch Homes has sought to allay fears over the future of Caley Thistle’s stadium – insisting the football club would be "at the heart" of any future land development.
The leaseholders for the ground were responding to criticisms made last week by former ICT chairmen and shareholders Alan Savage and Doug McGilvray, and McGilvray’s son Iain, who questioned their handling of the stadium deal in a letter issued to shareholders.
Tulloch, whose chief executive George Fraser is also a former club chairman, defended its role, insisting it saved the club from going to the wall in the early 2000s.
The issue surrounds the land the stadium was built on, which belongs to the Inverness Common Good Fund while the "fabric" of the stadium belongs to Tulloch, which is in the process of gifting three stands to the club.
Savage and the McGilvrays raised questions over a point in ICT chairman Graham Rae’s annual report, which stated that car parks surrounding the stadium would remain the club’s to use, prior to any planning consent.
This sparked fears the club could be without a lease and its future in jeopardy, the trio adding that "private interests have taken precedence over the good of the club".
However, Mr Fraser said the letter contained factual inaccuracies and that there had been no more generous benefactor to the club than Tulloch.
"We are both surprised and disappointed at how our offer has been characterised and questioned in this note to shareholders," he said.
Mr Fraser added: "Any future development of the land would require the agreement of the Common Good Fund and planning can only be granted by Highland Council.
"To be 100 per cent clear, any future master plan for the area would absolutely require to place the football club and the stadium at its heart.
"The prospect of any such plan being realised is years away, but for any future proposal to succeed it would definitely require substantial car parking provision to be maintained at a convenient distance from the stadium."
Alan Savage, via the Orion Group, and the McGilvrays were contacted for comment, but did not respond.