‘Mini Murrayfield’ delay not ideal says Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. Picture: Bruce White/SNSEdinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. Picture: Bruce White/SNS
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. Picture: Bruce White/SNS
Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill admitted it was frustrating that plans for a “mini Murrayfield” new home for the club on the back pitches of the international stadium are on hold but remains hopeful the issue can be revolved.

On Monday it was announced that Edinburgh will continue to play their home matches on the international pitch at BT Murrayfield into the 2019-20 season.

The club applied for planning permission for a new purpose-built 7,800-seater stadium on the back pitches on 31 May last year, which was granted, but seven months on, the club continues “to work with the council in order to bring the building warrant process to a conclusion”.

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Edinburgh played in front of over 36,000 spectators in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Munster a week past Saturday but, outside of 1872 Cup and big European games, that is a rare occurrence. Most games are played out in front of just a few thousand which makes for a soulless atmosphere in the cavernous 67,500-capacity national stadium.

“It’s not ideal,” said Cockerill of the delay. “We want to have our own stadium, our own identity and separation from the union, for obvious reasons.

“But some of these are out of Edinburgh’s control. We can only work as fast as the authorities will let us so once we get the green light we’ll go ahead.

“We want to be in our own stadium and sell out 8,000 seats, have an atmosphere and build the fan experience for the club. It what it is. Bureaucracy is bureaucracy and we have to wait our turn.”

Edinburgh had a spell playing home games at Myreside in a partnership with George Watson’s College in 2017-18 before cutting that short and moving back to BT Murrayfield.

The capital pro club announced plans for the new “mini Murrayfield” stadium in June last year.