Groundtastic – Scots Scene – Winter 2007

Groundtastic – Scots Scene – Winter 2007

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 2007 and it will be evident to ground enthusiasts and football fans just how much has changed from the era in which it was written…

To view the previous Scots Scene articles that I wrote in Winter 2002, Spring 2003, Summer 2003, Autumn 2003, Winter 2003, Spring 2004, Summer 2004 , Autumn 2004, Winter 2004, Spring 2005, Summer 2005, Autumn 2005, Winter 2005, Spring 2006, Summer 2006, Autumn 2006, Winter 2006, Spring 2007, Summer 2007, and Autumn 2007, click here.

Enjoy a short step back in time.


CELTIC have unveiled their new training facility in Lennoxtown. Constructed on the former Lennoxtown Hospital site over the past two years, the 50-acre centre reportedly cost £8million and is nestled in Campsie Fells, around 12 miles from Glasgow in East Dunbartonshire. It boasts natural grass and artificial pitches, an indoor training hall, a modern fitness centre, sports science department, media facilities and a hydrotherapy pool. Celtic will move almost their entire footballing operation to the new premises, including the medical and sport science staff. It means that the club’s players will now only visit Celtic Park on match days. In addition Celtic Ladies, a new team launched in June, will play their home games at Lennoxtown.


HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN have revealed plans for a £51m redevelopment of Tynecastle, which will increase its capacity by nearly 6,000 to 23,000 and include a new 10,000-seat Main Stand, hotel and leisure facilities. The Edinburgh club are “at an advanced stage” in negotiations with City of Edinburgh Council about land adjacent to the stadium and have now entered a consultation process with the local community.  The project also includes proposals for a gym, a club shop and a restaurant. If planning permission is granted, Hearts will demolish their current 4,500-capacity Main Stand, which was constructed in 1914, next summer, with a view to the new stand being open by the end of the 2009/2010 season. In addition, the club insist that it will be possible for them to continue playing at Tynecastle during construction despite a reduction in capacity. Jambos deputy chief executive officer, Pedro Lopez said: “Playing at Tynecastle is a 100 per cent realistic option in terms of possibility. We can play there with three stands, but at the same time we need to look at the other options available and make up our minds. We wouldn’t rush to a conclusion; we’re looking at every component, not only economical but also emotional for the fans. There are several options we are considering and at this moment we’re not writing off any.”

Meanwhile, there is much confusion about how Hearts will finance the redevelopment as the club is in severe debt to the tune of £28m in debt. However, Lopez insists club owner Vladimir Romanov’s business empire will provide funding: “Of course, the vision for this club is for the club to be self-sufficient and self-funding in the future,” said Lopez. “That is why we are investing in facilities and the playing squad, so the team can succeed on its own. There are parties interested in financing this project and we are speaking with them. But you need to get the money from somewhere to make an investment. We are looking at our options, but it’s likely to be a loan.”


HIBERNIAN have begun a process that will eventually lead to the construction of a new East Stand at Easter Road. Speaking at the club’s AGM, chairman Rod Petrie said the board had already begun the procurement process “to obtain costings to see whether in the cold light of day an economic case can match the emotional desire to complete the stadium. It is likely that construction could take place during 2008. Optimistically, work could be completed in time for the start of season 2008/09 but although that is desirable, it is not a prerequisite nor is it essential.”


GRETNA are in talks with the Scottish Government over the development of the country’s first so-called Eco Stadium. The proposed stadium would be constructed on a site on the outskirts of Gretna and should alleviate the concerns of local residents about previous plans to redevelop Raydale Park.


A mystery consortium has bought AIRDRIE UNITED’S Excelsior Stadium promising to safeguard it for the football club. Speaking on the club’s official website, chairman Jim Ballantyne said: “We were effectively running [the ground] on behalf of the owners, Airdrie Stadium Ltd, a company controlled from Jersey. Unfortunately, however, Airdrie Stadium Ltd got into financial difficulties at the turn of the year, which resulted in control of ownership transferring to an offshore bank based in the Caribbean. This left the club in an exposed position as a full liquidation of the owners, Airdrie Stadium Ltd, would have put our tenancy in great jeopardy. As a result, we have been working extremely hard to rectify the position and we have been in detailed complicated legal negotiations for over six months to bring the ownership of the stadium back to Scotland. We are happy to confirm that this has now been achieved after we put together a consortium of ‘Airdrie friendly’ individuals to fund such a move. We have set up a separate company, Airdrie FC Stadium and Events Ltd, which will operate the stadium on a day-to-day basis and future profits from that company will be used to subsidise the football club operations. The individuals of the consortium wish to remain anonymous and this will be respected by all those involved in the club.”


Edinburgh amateur side LEITH ATHLETIC claim BRECHIN CITY have forced them off a school training pitch. Athletic thought they had use of the Firhill High School land on Monday nights but it has been booked by the Glebe Park club.


DEVERONVALE of the Highland League are planning to become the first in Britain to power its stadium floodlights with wind energy. The club hope to build wind turbines on top of two floodlights at Princess Royal Park. Those behind the project hope the whole stadium will eventually turn green. A feasibility study of the site has shown that two moderate sized turbines would not only power all of the floodlights in the ground, but also supply all the stadium’s energy needs. When the football season is at an end, the club said the turbines may even be capable of supplying electricity to surrounding households and businesses. The estimated cost of the project is thought to be about £400,000, most of which is expected to come from energy grants. However, a Deveronvale official warned that the initiative was dependent on Tesco gaining planning permission to build a store next to the stadium. The club said the move would release cash promised by the supermarket giant for local community projects.



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