In a rare case of solidarity two high-profile Scottish clubs stand behind Aberdeen FC's plan to build both their new stadium and training centre within the same plot.
Aberdeen City Council has questioned whether the football ground and training facilities need to be on the same site, in Kingsford, arguing that other clubs operate satisfactorily without co-location.
In a report addressing this issue Aberdeen FC highlight that detaching the two crucial uses and building them seperately would be a serious issue. First, it would make the club's operations more difficult to manage. Second, it would also be significantly more expensive than building everything in Kingsford. The club's estimates suggest the price tag would rise from £50 million to £56.3 million.
According to documents obtained by the Aberdeen Evening Express, Scottish football heavyweights Celtic and Hearts both officially supported the Aberdeen stadium scheme, arguing in favour of co-location.
In a letter to Dons chief executive Duncan Fraser, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell wrote that the Hoops had no space to build a training ground at Celtic Park. He added: “However, given the considerable financial and operational benefits from co-location, I think we’d have all preferred co-location”.
In a letter to Mr Fraser, Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge wrote that she sees this as “a major disadvantage for the club, for the players, for the supporters and indeed for the local community and, had we had any alternative, we would definitely have gone for co-location”.
She added that co-location brings cost efficiencies and told Mr Fraser: “In short, Duncan, I would strongly recommend that you attempt to co-locate all of your facilities when you embark on your stadium development.”