US businessman Tom Crotty has committed £775,000 (€873,000/$1m) in funds to Scottish Premiership football club Aberdeen for its proposed new stadium project.
Aberdeen in January submitted planning application to the city council for a new home ground and training facility as part of a £50m initiative. However some locals have expressed opposition to the plans, with concerns having been raised over the building of the stadium on green belt land.
The club is yet to receive final approval for the project, but recently stated that it hopes the city council will make a decision before the end of the year.
Should the work get the go-ahead, Crotty will invest in the project, with the club confirming that it has now secured more than 60 per cent of the £6m in funds required for the first phase of the initiative, which, also includes a community sports hub.
“I’m really happy to be part of what is a very exciting time for the club both on and off the pitch,” Crotty said in a statement published on the clubs website.
“My experience of soccer is that it has a profoundly positive impact across whole communities. This is why my investment is directed towards enhancing the community facilities on offer as part of the club’s modern and progressive development.
“The club has an opportunity to co-locate its community work alongside its professional football academy and stadium to create a purpose-built complex that will enhance the experience for players, act as a real magnet for young football talent and a focal point for grass-roots community initiatives.”
Crotty does have links with the club, having set up US charity Grassroots Soccer with the son of former Aberdeen goalkeeper Bobby Clark. Club director Dave Cormak as also involved with the process of securing Crotty’s support.
“I didn’t know much about AFC but Dave and Bobby made a very compelling case for the club’s vision and plans,” Crotty said. “I’m passionate about the positive impact that football can have on young people and the wider community.”
Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne added: “It’s great to see Dave’s efforts in attracting US investment to the Club come to fruition. A key part of his new role at the club was to help us source and secure investment from America and we’re staggered by this first pledge.
“Tom’s investment in the club is an endorsement of our vision and long-term strategy.”