Derek McInnes urges city to back Aberdeen's £50m move

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has urged the city's council to approve the club's plans for a new stadium and linked training facilities, decribing it as 'the single biggest decision for this football club'.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

The proposed £50 million development at Kingsford, near Westhill, has attracted local opposition but McInnes insists leaving Pittodrie for the new site can be a “game-changer” for the club.

The Dons manager was speaking at a hearing at Aberdeen Town House where both supporters and opponents of the project were represented.

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McInnes claimed that when he took over as Aberdeen boss in 2013 he realised how bad the club’s training facilities were on his first day. He said the club was “bottom of the league table” for training facilities and warned that Aberdeen were in danger of falling behind their rivals.

“Others will leave us in the distance,” McInnes said. “Our performance and results will drop, leading to smaller crowds.

“How do we want Aberdeen to be regarded? Modern state-of-the-art facilities, or do we just stay as we are? It’s the single biggest decision for this football club.”

It has also been claimed that Aberdeen would have to play European matches in the central belt if they stay at their current home because Pittodrie would soon not be compliant with Uefa standards.

However, objectors are concerned about traffic, parking and noise from the development and have urged the club to look elsewhere.

Audrey Findlay, of Westhill and Elrick Community Council, said the proposed site was the last piece of green space between Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and that greenbelt policy was being swept aside.

She said she had been “shocked” by some social media attacks over concerns about the stadium plans.

A final decision on the development is due to be made on 11 October by Aberdeen City Council.