I watch a lot of YouTube videos in bed at night in an attempt to lull myself to sleep. I have mixed results with this tactic. It sometimes works if I am in the mood to listen to some soft rock, but most of the time I opt for punk rock bands of the 70’s or Britpop anthems from the 90’s.These tracks only serve to energise me, but last night I found myself having to make the conscious decision to turn off my tv in the wee small hours of the morning. I had been watching the vlogs of Footy Adventures, which I would heartily recommend to those of you who are interested in football stadiums and architecture.
I stopped watching one video where our knowledgeable guide was visiting all 42 football league grounds in Scotland. I did not want to switch this off, but if anyone needs their beauty sleep then it is me.
These vlogs reminded me of a series of articles that I was sharing with my blog readers, back in 2015/16.
Between 2002-2008 I was Scottish Correspondent for the wonderfully professional Groundtastic – The Football Grounds Magazine. I can not speak highly enough of the editors and contributors to this glossy magazine that is jam-packed with interesting information and photographic gold.
I haven’t been a subscriber to the magazine since my marriage imploded in 2008 and I was forced to leave Scotland. Since then my dexterity has deteriorated to such an extent that I now find it impossible to simply thumb through a magazine.
Imagine my excitement then when I visited the Groundtastic website to discover that they now have a digital edition available I’ll definitely be subscribing.
Anyway, over the next few months I will be sharing a number of articles that I penned during my time North of the Border, including my regular Scots Scene news round-up of potential football ground developments and improvements. The following is from Winter 2004 and it will be evident to ground enthusiasts and football fans just how much has changed from the era in which it was written…
Enjoy a short step back in time.
CLYDE has announced they will not be building a fourth stand at Broadwood. North Lanarkshire Council has decided not to go ahead with the project after the SPL decided to reduce the minimum seating capacity of their member’s grounds from 10,000 to 6,000. Broadwood’s current seating capacity is 8,200. Instead the council have decided to use the £1.6m allocated for the construction of the fourth stand to improve facilities used by the whole community in Cumbernauld. Councillors have approved a £350,000 refurbishment for five synthetic pitches beside Broadwood Stadium – one 11-a-side and four 5-a-side – in an effort to boost use of the facility. The remainder of these monies could be used on further improvements including an indoor climbing wall, indoor athletics training area, indoor skateboard and roller blades park, an artificial ski park and health and fitness suites. Councillor Jim Logue told the Clyde website: “Following a review of the existing facilities and consultation with local communities, we have decided that the creation of a fourth stand is not in the best interests of the community and will concentrate on the overall development of community facilities at Broadwood. The new pitches will meet the needs of both our budding and established footballers now and in the future.”
Mowlem Construction has commenced work on a second stand at the Falkirk Stadium. The North Stand will have a capacity of 1,984 seats, giving the stadium a capacity of 6,100 – large enough to meet the relaxed SPL ground criteria for next season. FALKIRK chairman Campbell Christie said: “This is excellent news for Falkirk Football Club. The construction of the North Stand enables the stadium to comply with the SPL requirements and will be a huge boost to management, players and supporters. The challenge now for all involved will be to develop the East and South Stands.” Building work should be completed by March. In the meantime, Health and Safety chiefs have slammed the club for building the stadium within a “blast zone“ around Grangemouth chemical plant. Health and Safety boss Alistair McNair said: “We strongly advised against putting a 10,000-seater stadium so close to a major accident hazard site.”
Work has still to begin on two modular stands at INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE’S Caledonian Stadium that would give the ground the seating capacity of 6,000 required to host top-flight football. ICT’s director of football, Graeme Bennett is adamant, however, that the work will be carried out imminently. Bennett said: “The situation with our own ground is outwith our hands because it doesn’t belong to us [Caledonian Stadium is the property of a separate trust], although the council knows where the goals are. I can understand what the council is saying about putting stands up now only for them to lie empty for four or five months. But it is not like it is building Wembley. There is no chance of us playing in Aberdeen next season. We have always planned to go back to Inverness. Even if we are relegated, we are going to get the stadium in place.” Meanwhile ICT have won permission to play their ‘home’ CIS and Scottish Cup games at Caledonian Stadium.
CELTIC’S Champion’s League clash with Barcelona at Celtic Park was delayed by 30 minutes with thousands of fans stranded outside the ground. Strathclyde Police made the decision to delay the kick-off due to abnormal congestion in the approaches to the stadium. The players were also prevented from warming up on the field of play as police feared any loud cheer as players took the field would cause a hazardous surge from fans desperate not to miss any action. Ronnie Hawthorn, the head of safety and security at Celtic, dismissed reports blaming faulty turnstiles for the congestion. “We can categorically state all turnstiles at the stadium functioned normally before and during last night’s match and were not in any way to blame for the delayed kick-off. The safety of fans is of paramount importance to Celtic FC and Strathclyde Police and we are currently working together to identify the cause of this abnormal congestion in the approaches to the stadium.” UEFA decided not to open a disciplinary case and respected the decision to delay the match.
RANGERS have made a planning application for a £150m sports and leisure complex to be built on the land adjacent to Ibrox and the Albion car park. The proposed £20 acre development includes a hotel and private flats but its centre-piece will be the Ibrox Sands Entertainment Complex comprising a roof-top football pitch, a casino, shops, restaurants and bars. The project should create over 200 full time jobs and could create an extra £29m in revenue each year for Rangers, who are currently struggling with huge debts. If Glasgow City Council approve the plans, work should begin during the first half of 2006.
Fans attending the CIS Cup first round encounter between STIRLING ALBION and Queen’s Park at Forthbank Stadium were given quite a fright when the stadium fire alarm sounded on the stroke of half time. Central Scotland Police ordered the 669 fans to evacuate the community stadium and two fire engines were summoned to what proved to be a false alarm. Spectators were allowed back inside for the second period. Stirling won the game 3-2.
The covered terracing, floodlights and dugouts from Falkirk’s Brockville Park have been rebuilt at Beechwood Park – home of SAUCHIE JUNIORS. The Alloa-based outfit have also built a new 250-seat stand and are about to start work on a covered terrace.