City are currently in the first season of a three-year ground-sharing deal at Ainslie Park with Spartans, allowing the ageing Meadowbank – built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games – to undergo a £41 million renovation. City hoped to return to Meadowbank, their home since 1995, after the renovation, but that is now in doubt due to the latest planning application for the stadium.
The League 2 side have grave concerns about the potential supporter experience, as well as safety and the facilities, and now insist they are “highly unlikely” to return.
A club spokesperson said: “Representatives of the club have met with City of Edinburgh Council on a number of occasions.
“The planning application submitted to the council does not, as it currently stands, reflect the requirements of a member club of the SPFL or the club’s aspirations for the future.
“In particular, the proposed 500-capacity spectator stand and single turnstile are insufficient to accommodate the level of attendance which has been achieved at many of the club’s games.
“Furthermore, the provision of just three rows of seating will offer a very poor viewing experience for spectators, while there is no obvious provision of a pitch perimeter barrier separating the spectator stand from the running track and playing field.
“The proposed changing facilities for players and match officials… do not reflect the space requirements of modern day professional football clubs and refereeing teams.
“Unless significant amendments are made, it is highly unlikely that the club would be in a position to return to the new Meadowbank at the end of its current ground-share agreement with Spartans Community Football Academy at Ainslie Park Stadium.”