Groundtastic – Scots Scene – Spring 2008

Groundtastic – Scots Scene – Spring 2008

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 Spring 2008 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, Autumn 2007 and Winter 2007, click here.

Enjoy a short step back in time.


First Minister Alex Salmond has revealed that a feasibility study will take place regarding the possibility of Scotland hosting Euro 2016. Salmond said that initial exploratory talks had taken place with the Scottish Football Association. Scotland would require new or significantly upgraded stadia to meet UEFA requirements for the tournament, and if the number of teams involved rises from the current 16 that could pose difficulties.

Discussions are ongoing regarding the construction of a community stadium for Aberdeen, which could be built in Cove. The possible development near Loirston Loch would include a new home for ABERDEEN Football Club. The Arena project team of Aberdeen City Council and AFC will present an outline business case for a stadium and ask councillors to promote Loirston. Officers recommend a 22,000-seat stadium, potentially rising to 30,000 depending on financial backing. The whole project is expected to cost about £53m. If councillors give approval for the project to move forward the stadium could be built by 2012.

FALKIRK have been given the green light to construct a South Stand at the two-sided Falkirk Stadium. The new seating area will accommodate approximately 2000 fans – raising the over capacity to over 8,000 – and will be modelled on the existing North Stand. Funding has been secured after discussions with the Bairns board and a local private business investor. Work on the new development should begin in April 2008.


GRETNA were given special dispensation by the Scottish Football Association to play their Scottish Cup fourth round replay against Morton at Palmerston Park – home of Queen of the South. Gretna have been ground-sharing with Motherwell at Fir Park but both teams postponed home games following the death of ‘Well captain Phil O’Donnell in December. In conjunction with the bad weather that hit Scotland this led to a backlog of fixtures and special dispensation was granted. Gretna eased their fixture congestion a little by losing the rearranged game 0-3. 


HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN have submitted plans for a new 10,000-seat Main Stand to include a hotel and flats. The whole project will cost the Jambos over £50m when the club is already estimated to be £30m in debt. Hearts hope the project, which would increase stadium capacity to 23,000, will begin in the summer and be completed by 2010. Chairman Roman Romanov said: “Today’s submission of the planning application is a major step forward in realising our aim of providing a first-class football stadium in Scotland’s capital city. Our plans will bring great benefits to both Hearts and the city of Edinburgh. As such, we are hopeful that our submission will be looked on favourably given the added value and economic benefit that it brings. In our mind, the result will undoubtedly lead to Edinburgh being home to one of the country’s top football stadiums. It will also offer benefits to those that live and work in the surrounding area. We are very focused on delivering a truly spectacular development for our players, supporters, sponsors, partners and neighbours. The newly-developed stadium will ultimately lead to the creation of over 300 new jobs and provide an economic boost of at least £1.2m per season to both the immediate area and the wider city economy.”

MOTHERWELL will rename their main stand after former captain Phil O’Donnell, who collapsed and died of heart failure during a match against Dundee United at Fir Park on December 29. Club owner John Boyle said that the stand would be renamed for next season.

RANGERS have revealed that they are currently considering a number of plans for the development of Ibrox. A Rangers statement said: “The club would like to inform its fans that it is currently assessing a number of proposals for the development and regeneration around Ibrox. At present, we are analysing three strategies, which would enhance the development of the existing outline planning proposals for the Hinshelwood area to the south of the stadium. One of the strategies includes the total rebuilding of Ibrox Stadium while retaining the brick facade, the tradition and the integrity of the Bill Struth Main Stand. The club stresses that, at this time, it is assessing these proposals and no decisions will be reached imminently. Further details will be announced at the appropriate time.”


ST MIRREN will have to seek permission from the Scottish Premier League to move into their new stadium halfway through the 2008-2009 season after initially hoping to have their new home built for the start of that season. Buddies chairman Stewart Gilmour informed the club’s annual meeting that the new 8,000-seat ground at Greenhill Road would not be complete until November 2008. Barr Construction started work on the new stadium in January.


COWDENBEATH’S plans to move to a new stadium as reported in GT #51 have gone up in smoke after local councillors blocked plans to build houses and/or a Tesco supermarket at Central Park – the Blue Brazil’s current home. The club had agreed to sell Central Park to McCartney Homes in a £2m deal but after the council insisted leisure facilities must be kept on the site of the old ground they quickly pulled out of the agreement. It seems the ‘Fife Maracana’ will be around for a while yet.

Edinburgh Council has agreed to an SNP/Liberal Democrat motion to proceed with a full refurbishment of the Royal Commonwealth Pool ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and to call for a further assessment of the options for Meadowbank Stadium. Labour and Conservative councillors said they would prefer to demolish Meadowbank and return to the previous administration’s plan for a new stadium at Sighthill but the SNP/ Lib Dem motion at least implies a commitment to attempt to find a solution that does not involve any sell-off. For more information on the Save Meadowbank campaign, visit

Highland League outfit CLACHNACUDDIN may be forced to leave their council owned Grant Street Park ground after failing to pay rent for the last three years. Debts due to unpaid rent are now thought to be five figures. As a result council officials have drawn up a report and invited club chairman David Dowling to explain the situation at an Inverness City Committee meeting on February 4 – after we went to press.

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