Governing Scottish football bodies back £50million plans for new Dons stadium

Scottish football’s governing bodies have backed plans for a new £50million home for the Dons.

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) have thrown their weight behind proposals to replace Pittodrie with a new, 20,000-seater stadium at Kingsford, between Westhill and Kingswells.

It comes after business group Opportunity North East (ONE), the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) and the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association (ACSHA) come out in support of Aberdeen FC’s plans.

If built the new stadium would have a training facility in place for the first team to start using in 2018.

The plans have been met with opposition by many locals, who have concerns about the effects of noise pollution, loss of greenbelt land and the impact on local roads and walkways.

Both the SFA and SPFL have said the development is crucial for Aberdeen FC’s future.

Stewart Regan, chief executive of the SFA, said: “We fully support Aberdeen Football Club’s modernisation strategy. One of Scottish football’s most prominent and successful clubs, Aberdeen has a proud history of innovation and excellence on and off the field and these plans to develop a 21st-century football academy and stadium will reaffirm its position as a beacon for Scotland and the north-east.

“The plans will provide a world-class experience for an increased number of supporters, benefiting the whole game.

“They will enhance the match-day environment for opposition, provide a first-class, ultra-modern and connected stadium for future international matches, offer an aspirational destination for future Aberdeen players and, above all, ensure the city of Aberdeen has a community focal point to be proud of.”

Chief executive of the SPFL, Neil Doncaster, said: “The proposed development would complement the existing sports facilities in Aberdeen and enhance the region’s position as a Scottish sporting powerhouse.”

The Kingsford plans will go before Aberdeen City Council on May 10.

George Yule, executive vice chairman of Aberdeen Football Club, said: “We are pleased that the statutory consultation period, which ended at midnight on Monday, has seen a very strong and positive response from the public and a wide range of stakeholders.

“Private individuals through to major organisations representing the business, third sector and sports communities have expressed their support for our plans.

“We welcome the support from football’s governing bodies – the SFA and SPFL – which reflects the significance of our plans in terms of creating a focal point of national significance for excellence in footballing, sports and community engagement.”