Dons man­ager makes pitch for bet­ter home

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JON HEBDITCH

He is one of the city’s most fa­mil­iar faces – but not one you would ex­pect to see hold­ing court at the Town House.

Derek McInnes is more used to shout­ing from the side­lines than be­ing quizzed by coun­cil­lors.

But the club, who have resided at their beach-side Pit­to­drie Sta­dium since 1903, were hold­ing noth­ing back in a cru­cial op­por­tu­nity to con­vince politi­cians of their need for a new home.

And so it was that the man­ager beloved by the Aberdeen faith­ful for bring­ing the north-east club back to win­ning ways swapped the dugout for the coun­cil cham­ber.

Such has been the in­ter­est there were queues to get into the meet­ing and se­cu­rity searched bags for any ban­ners or mega­phones that could be used to dis­rupt it.

Queues snaked out­side on the dre­ich Gran­ite City day with a mix of young and old. While mega­phones and ban­ners were banned, a num­ber of red shirts could be seen in the packed pub­lic gallery show­ing their fealty to the Dons.

Ex­tra se­cu­rity was laid on with staff in­sist­ing on vis­i­tors wear­ing badges to iden­tify them. A com­mon prac­tice in busi­ness but an un­usual scene at the town­house.

A di­vided pub­lic watched as speaker af­ter speaker lined up to make their views known on pos­si­bly the city’s most di­vi­sive is­sue since the row over Union Ter­race Gar­dens in 2011.

Among them Mr McInnes, flanked by club of­fi­cials and wear­ing a smart suit, bright tie looked more city trader than foot­ball man­ager.

And in an arena used to po­lit­i­cal spin, the gaffer spoke with dis­arm­ing hon­esty about his de­sire to im­prove the club and its “bottom of the league” train­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

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