Giving Supporters Representation

Scottish Supporters Network

Supported by:   Supporters Direct Scotland

AllForAurora Launch Event

Date: 22nd August 2017

By Ryan Crombie

Supporters Direct Scotland attended Aberdeen FC’s “AllForAurora” launch campaign on Tuesday evening, in which the club promoted their £50 million plans to build a stadium and sports complex at the Kingsford site to the east of Aberdeen.

The evening saw representatives from within and out with the club lend their support to the proposals. Club chairman Stewart Milne and vice-chairman George Yule took to the podium inside Pittodrie to explain to the guests how the plans submitted to the council by the club, which include a 20,000 seater stadium and a complete training and community complex, are crucial for the clubs’ progression and so that Aberdeen FC can continue to compete with the best clubs in the country. The two Aberdeen men emphasised throughout the presentation that to ensure a stable future for the club and to allow it to progress to the next level was through the implementation of these facilities.

The propositions for the complex, in the words of Stewart Milne, are “to create an inclusive football community facility which positively impacts the lives of everyone in the region and will underpin Aberdeen FC’s long-term success and sustainability.”

But what tangible impact would the plans have on the football side of things? Club manager Derek McInnes was on hand to illustrate to the guests the benefits of having a dedicated training facility owned by the club. McInnes explained on the night how his team are regularly kicked off training pitches early due to bookings directly following their slots and shed the light on one particular incident. On the week of the away victory to Ross County in the Scottish Cup, one of the training facilities that the club use had double booked the pitch. The team turned up and had to share a pitch with the local ladies lacrosse team and only had half a pitch to complete their work on. McInnes expressed his frustration at such “amateur” preparation for an important Scottish Cup tie.  

McInnes went on to back the plans, expounding that having state of the art facilities could allow the club to attract and retain big name players in the years to come, whilst being able to develop youngsters through the pathway system with the excellent pitches the club will have at their disposal.

The proposals, which will go before a council hearing next month, have divided opinion across the city however and there are those who disagree that relocating to Kingsford would be beneficial for the club. The official organisation opposing AFC’s plans are the “No to Kingsford stadium” group who fear that the local area does not have the required infrastructure to deal with the major development while they have also raised concern over losing green-belt land on the edge of the Westhill area.

Speaking to some Aberdeen supporters who also oppose the move, they feared that moving to the edge of the city would see the club abandoning its identity and that any possibility of redeveloping Pittodrie should be explored. Issues for others vary from getting from the city centre to the stadium via public transport and how the stadium will generate atmosphere.

Studying the plans submitted to the council, it is evident that they would see Aberdeen Football Club become one of the most progressive clubs in the country, providing high quality, modern facilities to players and the community. Whether they get the go ahead or not from the council remains to be seen but for all the positives that the proposals promise there are issues that need to be addressed before the whole of the city can get behind the promising Kingsford stadium and training complex plans.

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