Debt free Aberdeen FC to begin new stadium & training facilities

Stewart Milne
Stewart Milne

Work to deliver a new stadium and state of the art training facilities for Aberdeen Football Club could start early next year after the club won approval to wipe out its debt.

A motion to rubber-stamp a deal that will wipe out the club’s net debts of £14.49 million swept through unanimously at the Dons’ 111th annual general meeting at Pittodrie last night.

Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne vowed the club will now move forward with plans to build a training complex at Bridge of Don and have them ready in time for next season.

Milne said: “This is a massive step for the club. It puts the club in a fantastic position and we can press on with our number one priority of delivering new training facilities.

“In an world we would like to have the first phase in operation for the start of next season. To deliver the whole thing is going to be a substantial investment and we will need to raise the money to do that.”

Once the training ground is driven through the new stadium will then be fully addressed but there is work going on behind the scenes. Loirston continues to be the favoured site after other possible locations were looked at but rejected. Discussions have started again with Aberdeen City Council over Loirston.

The chairman admitted that a further share issue may be needed to help provide funding for the stadium.

He added: “After we get the training facilities sorted we’ll work on delivering the stadium.”

The club’s debt has been wiped thanks in part to an undisclosed sum provided by local businessman Willie Donald and his wife Elaine, owners of civil engineering firm WM Donald.

Chairman Milne paid tribute to the couple, from Netherley, near Stonehaven, who have been long-time corporate supporters of the club.

He said: “Willie and Elaine have built up a very successful business over the past twenty plus years or so and they were very keen to put something back into the community. They have always been very good supporters of the club.

“It is a fantastic thing that they have done for the club and the community.

“They were able to see that the investment that they put in enabled us to put all the other elements (of the financial plan) together and their crucial injection of new cash enabled us to deal with effectively (getting rid of) £14.5m of debt in one fell swoop.”

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