Flitting for the
New stadium proposal was unpopular, but chairman knows Aberdeen need it
PROJECT BRAVE may be the title which an SFA working party has given to their wide-ranging package of proposed changes for the youth football set-up in this country. But it could just as easily have been what Aberdeen named their plan to move from Pittodrie, their spiritual home since they were founded way back in 1903, to a new stadium on the outskirts of the city.
Suggesting the club leave a beloved ground to which supporters have made a weekly pilgrimage for decades and have a strong emotional attachment was always destined to meet vociferous opposition.
Proposing the north-east club depart the venue of their famous win over Bayern Munich – Paul Breitner, Dieter Hoeness, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge et al, in the quarter-final of the European Cup-Winners’ Cup in 1983, and many other memorable triumphs was guaranteed to appal many.
Yet, Stewart Milne, the Aberdeen chairman and major shareholder, and his fellow directors have been undeterred by the often hostile resistance their scheme has met and the assorted setbacks which they have encountered along the way.
It underlines the importance of the move to the club which has finished second in the Ladbrokes Premiership in the last two seasons and is challenging strongly to end as runners-up once again this term that they have persevered for so long in the face of so much.
“We started this back in 2001,” said Milne, the wealthy local housebuilder who joined the Aberdeen board in 1994 and has been chairman since 1998. “We have been at this for getting on for 17 years now.
“It rankles that we have put so much into this to get these facilities delivered and have hit so many hurdles along the way. But if we are still sitting at Pittodrie in five years’ time, we are going to have serious problems to confront.”