Council leaders have ended a stand-off over proposals to build a new Dons stadium at Aberdeen beach.
A long-awaited meeting has been held between local authority top brass and Dons bosses amid ongoing uncertainty over a potential replacement for Pittodrie.
The development has been touted a key part of major plans to rejuvenate the seafront.
It comes after the local authority was accused of “growing cold” on the idea of a new Aberdeen FC stadium, which has been wildly popular among supporters.
In August, council chiefs admitted they have made no contact with the Dons all year.
The silence raised doubts that the project could ever come together.
How did we get here?
The meeting between co-leaders Christian Allard and Ian Yuill and Dons chairman Dave Cormack and chief executive Alan Burrows is understood to have taken place in late October.
That’s more than a month after council chiefs were cornered in chambers with queries over the likelihood of building a new stadium at the beach.
The apparent breakthrough comes as they prepare to discuss the revamp of the city waterfront again next week.
The football ground – which would cost as much as £80 million – has been featured in the beach masterplan from day one.
And it was estimated it would bring Aberdeen a billion-pound boost, with the stadium dominating most design images of the beach transformation.
But Aberdeen FC bosses say the project is reliant on some cash from the council.
This has put the two parties at odds, with the SNP and Liberal Democrat ruling group previously vowing not to part with a penny towards the building.
Could this be new hope for proposed beach stadium?
During the latest discussion in chambers, exasperated Labour group leader M Tauqeer Malik stressed the importance of the football stadium as he pleaded for action.
He said: “Without the new stadium, anything we do at the beach is just cosmetic.”
Fellow party colleague Ross Grant echoed his words, saying it was time to “move away from this realm of disrespect” and start fostering a “healthy relationship with the club”.
‘Nonsensical impasse’ at an end
Conservative group leader Ryan Houghton has pressured the administration to pursue talks with the club several times this year.
Today, he told us: “It’s good to see the nonsensical impasse has ended and that the administration are finally giving this the consideration it requires.
“Now we hope to see plans come before council In the near future, so all 45 councillors can get a full understanding of any proposal.”
Council co-leader Ian Yuill placed the blame for any delays on the Dons, slamming the football club for voicing their concerns through The P&J.
Such delays have been evident in our correspondence with the local authority, too.
When we approached them for an update on the situation, it took press officers nearly two weeks to reply.
And after 12 days of waiting, we received the following statement: “We can confirm a meeting was held between Aberdeen City Council and the chief executive and the chairman of Aberdeen Football Club.”