Celtic and Hearts have both spoken out in support of Scottish Premiership rival Aberdeen regarding the football club’s plans to build a new stadium.
In January, Aberdeen submitted planning application to the city council for a new home ground and training facility, in a project that will cost approximately £50m (€55.1m/$65.2m).
However, the club has been hit with a number of set-backs regarding planning permission, while a number of local residents have raised concerns over plans to build the new stadium in green-belt land and the impact that the venue will have on traffic in the area.
Aberdeen City Council has also questioned whether it is necessary for the club to build its new training next to the stadium, stating that other teams to not have such a setup in place.
Senior management at Celtic and Hearts have now responded to this by saying that their respective clubs would also prefer co-located facilities, but are at present unable to due to land restrictions.
Peter Lawwell, chief executive of Celtic, said in a letter to Aberdeen counterpart Duncan Fraser that the current Scottish Premiership champion has no space to build a training ground at Celtic Park.
“However, given the considerable financial and operational benefits from co-location, I think we’d have all preferred co-location,” Lawwell added in the letter, seen by the Evening Express.
Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge has also given her support to co-location plans, writing in a letter to Lawwell 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”.
Budge added: “In short, Duncan, I would strongly recommend that you attempt to co-locate all of your facilities when you embark on your stadium development.”
According to the BBC, a pre-determination hearing for the project will take place on September 13 at Aberdeen Town House.