Stewart Milne’s New Year message to Aberdeen supporters is that new chairman Dave Cormack will definitely deliver their new £45 million stadium despite the latest delay in moving from Pittodrie.
Milne stepped down as chairman last month after finally seeing the completion of the Dons’ training ground, which has been named Cormack Park after his successor.
The hope was the adjoining state-of-the-art 21,000 capacity stadium at the Kingsford complex on the outskirts of the city would be ready for the start of the 2023-24 season. That’s now been put on hold, one reason being the value of Pittodrie slipping from £20m to just under £12m.
But Milne is confident it will happen and insisted that remaining at Pittodrie is not an option.
“I know people want to hear a concrete date but we have to be realistic, it has stretched everyone to get phase one completed,” Milne said. “This is something for the next 40 or 50 years, so we have to do the process properly.
“The funding plan will have to be between 40 or 50 million so raising that will be a massive task. One way or another we will find a way to do it.
“People maybe think we are pushing it down the line and are not properly committed to it, but we are. The pressure is on for us to move to Kingsford.”
News of the delay sparked hope among some Aberdeen supporters that the club would remain at their historic Pittodrie home after all but Milne insists that is not possible.
For a start there is not enough room in and around their current ground to carry out the work needed to make that a financially realistic
Not only that but it would cost as much to renovate Pittodrie as it would to deliver the new
“Staying at Pittodrie isn’t a viable proposition,” insisted Milne.
“There is no other option [but to move to a new ground]. If we were to stay here under the current footprint then the capacity would have to go down to 12 or 13
“There just isn’t enough space. The pitch needs to be bigger to meet Uefa standards and the room isn’t there. There would have to be more space around the pitch as well.
“To get the sort of facilities we need for the corporate side of things, we wouldn’t be able to have a capacity more than 13,000 and the club could never live with that.
“In addition to that we would spend as much redeveloping Pittodrie as we would moving to a new, bigger, purpose-built stadium and the reality is, we wouldn’t be able to raise the funding to redevelop