Aberdeen aim to quit Pittodrie for new home by 2019

Aberdeen have targeted the 2019-20 season to be in a new stadium, with the preferred option remaining Loirston Loch in the south of the city.

Pittodrie has been Aberdeen's home since 1903. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Pittodrie has been Aberdeen's home since 1903. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS

Dons chairman Stewart Milne told the club’s annual general meeting that raising the necessary cash could be “challenging” but he envisaged being in the new ground in less than three years’ time.

Pittodrie has been Aberdeen’s home since they were founded in 1903. It was the first all-seated stadium in British football and has a capacity of just under 21,000.

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The club are reluctant to redevelop the ground and would rather sell and move to a purpose built stadium near to Cove Bay.

“Raising funds over the next 12-24 months could be quite challenging but we would like to think we could be in a new stadium for ’19-20,” Milne told the meeting.

“Being realistic, by the time everything is planned out and agreed at Loirston, we’ll be well through to the middle of next year and maybe slightly beyond that.

“All the different elements need to be re-masterplanned so there is a transport strategy that works for the stadium, the school, the new settlement in development and also the new Cove Rangers stadium.

“All of that work is quietly going on in the background.”

Aberdeen are in a healthy position both on and off the park.

They are riding high in the Premiership, in second place behind Celtic, having finishing runners-up last season.

The club posted record turnover of £13.077 million last season and a profit of £509,000, following the elimination of a near £14.5m debt last year.

However, Milne warned that the club was not immune to the difficulties facing the local economy from problems in the old industry.

“We’ve come through an extremely difficult five or six years and we’ve started to make real progress,” he said.

“Most of the clubs have been able to offload the debt they’ve been carrying and strengthened their financial position.

“But everyone recognises what’s happening in the north east with the oil sector. If the corporate structure is struggling, that filters down into the streets.

“Although we’ve had a very good year behind us, we are very much aware that big challenges lie ahead.”