Aberdeen Football Club have threatened to quit the Granite City after the local council rejected plans for a new training ground.
The club’s vice chairman said the club had no “plan-b” after Aberdeen City Council refused plans for training facilities at Calder Park but said the club would not enter administration as a result.
On Wednesday members of Aberdeen City Council voted 24-19 against plans to develop Calder Park, which the north east team and Highland League side Cove Rangers had hoped to share for training facilities.
AFC chairman said that the decision had “effectively killed off” plans for a £38m 21,000-capacity stadium at Loirston Loch.
Vice chairman Geroge Yule said: “I can rule out administration on behalf of the board. We’re not going to scare monger for the sake of it. We want to deal in facts but there are serious challenges out there economically that the club needs to face up to. We cannot continue to reinvest in a stadium that is more than 100-years-old only to stand still. This is a very progressive club here and we need to facilities around us to help us realise that vision.
“We can’t rule anything out right now and although the fans may not specifically wish to hear it, looking outwith Aberdeen City boundary and at Aberdeenshire is one of a number of options that we will need to consider as a board.”
He said the club would continue to invest in Pittodrie to ensure it is legally compliant and safe but that to redevelop the stadium would take three to four years and result in the ground having a capacity of 12,000 and not being fit to host any European fixtures.
Mr Yule said the club was feeling a “blend of disappointment and frustration” at the decision as members had engaged in a number of discussion about the site with city officials.
“It’s important people understand the link between Calder Park and the new stadium. Very simply the second access route to the new stadium, which was a planning requirement for the new stadium, was to be run through Calder Park,” he added.
“In addition to that, in conjunction with city officials, we relocated 300 car parking spaces at Calder Park away from the stadium. So these things were known in the run up to the vote.
“In terms of what we do next, well as you expect, we need to think out the box what we are going to do here. There is currently no plan-b because we have been working this with council officials over the years in many ways we didn’t see this coming.
“There’s an Aberdeen Football Club meeting already scheduled for Monday, they will do a full review of what the implications are for the club, but clearly now we need to try and identify what other realistic options are available to the club.”
He said financially the club’s five-year business plan had factored in a move to the new stadium and it had been hoped that the sale of Pittodrie would ease the club’s debt.
He said: “Any business who has a major revenue generating component taken out of its business plan has to face up to the reality that there are financial challenges ahead for us.”