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What makes Pittodrie so special?

Life is short and fragile, we need to hold on to, and enjoy the things we love while we have them. In all things Aberdeen, and Aberdeen FC, one of the things that binds all our supporters together, is that Pittodrie is a special place. It is of course the one stable thing in our football team. The players, the managers, the directors, come and go.

I spent a long time staring at Pittodrie in my younger days, wondering at it’s beauty, and trying to understand what made it work as a piece of design. This is pre The Dick Donald Stand, when it’s vastly differing stands still created a cohesive stadium design. With four floodlights to hold it all together. Who knew? I came to the conclusion, the reason Pittodrie worked, was because it was a small, large stadium.

This in turn, made our club, a small, large club. This is the eighties, before TV money (neoliberalism) destroyed football for clubs like ours. We had a team that could, with the right manager beat anyone, and we had a stadium, that on Pittodrie’s Greatest Night, could scare the life out of Bayern Munich. The Bayern players commenting on Pittodrie afterwards.

The height of Pittodrie

The small large stadium comes from the floodlights. The huge towering and very beautiful beacons. They are the ‘unworldly’, like the steeple on a church or cathedral. Giving us the sense of being part of something much bigger than us. The lights drawing in the congregation from afar. Beaming out their white light, fighting the cold dark North East sky.

Under the lights we are far more at ease as supporters. Far less self self-conscious in the dark, to sing to cheer. The lights light up the pitch, the players, not us. We are also on the beer as it’s an evening game.

The church metaphor is more than a fun connection for football. There are psychological reasons why going to football matches, concerts and church are good for us mentally. Lots of people, part of something bigger, shared experience.

This is also what makes Union Street so special, and does relate to Pittodrie. The sense of scale. Despite it’s disgraceful treatment by councillors for the last decades, the original concept is superb. The width of the street, the straightness, the length, and if we just ignore that monstrosity at The Capital, the height of the street is part of the harmony and balance, that just works. The uniform height of most buildings broken up by church steeples reaching for the sky. Like floodlights do.

Aurora

Looking at the new stadium, even the 3D video can’t hide, the new stadium isn’t going to be a great experience inside at a game. It’ll be clean, it’ll be modern, but there will be no wow effect. There will be nothing special to it architecturally, no sense of scale, and no sense of wonder, to drag you back, to mystify and beguile young kids, and hook them for life. A generic McStadium.

The new stadium will be a large small stadium, and so the club will become a large small club.

Bringing that back to Union Street. If Pittodrie is Union Street, then Aurora is a new shopping centre. Shiny and exciting at first. Very quickly, tacky and generic, without history or longevity. But it won’t matter, because when it’s too late, those responsible will be long gone.

So enjoy Pittodrie while you’ve got it. Even though it has been very deliberately run into the ground.

The Aberdeen megastore

The Dandy Dons Union Street Aberdeen FC Dandy Megastore™ exclusive designs and ideas. A look inside the Aberdeen FC flagship Union Street Store.

Further developments from the initial design and concept. Giant banners to be added, hanging down the height of the building. A little bit like the Nazis, but without the fascism, as another Scottish team have that covered. When it’s dark, red lights will shine into the sky hundreds of metres above Union Street. They will be able to see them from Dundee.

Other elements to the Dandy Megastore™ will include:

The Donald Family Cinema

After you’ve seen around the museum, pop into the 50 seat cinema. Occasionally the Cup Winners Cup Final on a loop will be broken up by actual matches. And depending on how the live game is going, the Gothenburg game might go back on before the end.

The cinema will have a bar, as we are good people, who can be trusted with a beer, in a glass, in a cinema.

Ian Donald will come round with ice creams on a tray at half time, with a wee torch, and tell those talking too much to shush.

The Pittodrie Virtual Reality Experience

Wonder at the Pittodrie virtual reality experience through the ages. In the 1920’s part, you will feel the itch of your flat cap, and it will feel like someone is pissing down your leg, and you have rickets.

Through the decades the delicate sound of sweety wrappers changes, reflecting the appearance of new sweets arriving on the market. The aroma of Pandrops changes to Spangles and onto Menthos, and all the time no matter what decade, over your shoulder some miserable bastard will be moaning like hell.

When you reach the Bayern game in 1983, once again that feeling of someone pissing down your leg will hit you. But this time it will be real, and it will be you pissing yourself, at the sheer unadulterated joy of Pittodrie’s Greatest Night.

Heaven – the sports bar

Named after the Swedish nightclub Dandy supporters found themselves in Gothenburg on the 11th of May 1983. Mein host, Craigie Broon will regale you with stories from back when he was Scotland manager if you misbehave or cause any trouble. Fortunately Sir Archie Knox will ensure the bar has speedy service, with all the beers at optimal quality, as throughout his career he is used to doing all the work while others get the credit.

Former players will occasionally work as guest barman for the evening. Former players that can be trusted near alcohol, a till, credit cards, and to give the correct change from a twenty quid note. So Brian Irvine, Russell Anderson and, and, oh there must be more than that. Surely. Aye we’ll get back to you on that one.

There will be Harper’s Lager, but not by the bottle. Only on draft. So finally, Harper’s a barrel… Here all week, enjoy the beef burgers.

The REAL Aberdeen Angus Steak and Burger Restaurant

We all love Angus the Bull. So much, we’d like to eat him. Enjoy the succulent beef of our region that others have marketed in restaurants way better than us, in the surroundings of the Aberdeen FC flagship restaurant. REAL geddit?! REAL!!

Quality locally produced ingredients, prepared by specialised chefs, the way they are prepared for the professional athletes at AFC. Aberdeen FC are a brand associated with health and fitness, with it’s own young, fit brand icons. A brand that will never go out of date plus tapping into the North East’s finest ingredients being world renowned for their quality… it’ll niver work min.

Special Beers exclusive to the Dandy Megastore

Brewsheep! Hello court case, if not brewed by the fellas up the road. Exclusively designed by The Dandy Dons (the artwork) these craft beers, brewed with local ingredients?, with an oak? finish and, I don’t know, hoppy, tasty, beery, with the added essence of two European trophies (now we’re talking). Beers. Dandy beers.

This silly design, is just me messing around. But notice how nice it looks. It looks nice because something is missing. The Aberdeen FC badge. Designed by Donald Addison, who taught me briefly at Gray’s School of Art (and was my neighbour for about five years) the badge is a wonderful piece of design. But it’s designed to be on a football strip. There is a tendency with merchandise in football clubs (and not having a go at Afc) to just stick the badge on something. That’ll do, sell it in the shop as merch. And it usually looks very tacky. Use the components of the badge maybe, but not the whole thing. It says it’s official, that’s all it needs. End of design lesson/lecture.

I have a lot of Aberdeen FC craft beer ideas…

The Aberdeen FC Museum

We trust Chris Gavin and the rest of the Aberdeen Heritage Trust team to deliver something sensational for the museum. In particular the section on The Northern Light fanzine.

As a contributor to The Northern Light, I’m expecting my two covers to feature prominently. Perhaps a shrine, where visitors can light a candle in thanks for our collective genius and the campaigns to get Portaloo and Smiffy sacked that would have happened anyway.

Like the Clash, Nirvana and Elvis, it all ended too soon for The Northern Light. Probably most like Elvis on that list. On the toilet, bloated, and full of shit…

The Gordon Reid Gallery Rooms

By way of an annex to the Super Dandy Mega Store, Aberdeen Art Gallery will finally get it’s act together, and have the greatest North East artist of a generation, Gordon Reid, featured in his own permanent gallery rooms. They will come from far and wide to witness the great man’s art in the flesh. But probably not from Boomtown Books, the Donald Family, the Milne Family… actually quite a long list won’t make it.

The St Clair Casino

Top floor. The St Clair Casino. Relive the magnificent journey in the casino. Let the dice roll, the beer flow, and dinnae forget the cairds. At the end of the evening a croupier will shake you about a bit, for that wee bit sea sick feeling.

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There is currently free shipping if you purchase two or more items from the actual Dandy Dons shop.
https://thedandydons.com/t-shirts/
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herald-scotsman-aberdeen

Do you remember when we used to respect Scottish journalists?

No, me neither.

This, this is all sorts of awfulness, even by The Glasgow media’s standard. And The Herald is supposedly not a tabloid. https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/17956331.neil-cameron-derek-mcinnes-best-aberdeen-manager-since-alex-ferguson/

I am not sure who or what Neil Cameron is, but I don’t think journalism is really his thing. He slides between fact, fiction, opinion, stereotypes, attempts at humour, and sheer bigotry like a turd escaping your arse after a particularly heavy session and a curry the night before.

It’s not a particularly impressive record for what is Scotland’s third biggest football – at least according to those in the North East.

Listen to the sneer in that. Where exactly have you heard this? Hearts and Hibs have similar or larger season ticket sales. Hey, any excuse for a dig though.

However, because St Mirren sacked the greatest club manager in football history – it remains one of the all-time baffling decisions . Translation: I’m too lazy/incompetent to research it.

There can’t be another club anywhere on the planet which has enjoyed such a dramatic spike in fortune. Translation: I’m too lazy/incompetent to research it. Nottingham Forest, Ipswich, Manchester City? Without me even leaving the UK.

Aberdonians are a funny lot. They have a real hit for themselves because they don’t live in Slumdee or Weegieland where “they rake in the bucket for something to eat, find a dead rat and they think it’s a treat.”

Jesus wept. ‘They have a real hit for themselves’ Is that even a phrase? Let’s take a song that is a cheeky/provoking piece of banter and make it a defining characteristic of a region of Scotland’s supporters. But presumably not the ones who support The Old Firm. (Oh it exists, and shut up, I’m not in the mood, I had to read his whole article to write this).

There is arrogance about their wealth which has come from the oil.

There is an arrogance about Glasgow based ‘journalists’, that marks them all down as arseholes.

Everyone from within ten miles of the city limits is guaranteed a job at the BBC. That’s a fact, by the way.

Is this a joke? Is this an in joke? Are you chatting directly with Richard Gordon? What the f*ck are you?

And there is a cracking cultural scene. I like the place.

I’m an absolute c*nt of a human being, but I’d better add some sort of ‘balance’.

There is a large section of the football public who can’t accept that Willie Miller has retired

At least 60% of our support never saw him play. Did you write this in 1994?

That the current manager once played for Rangers and comes from the west coast is a factor

Percentage wise of the Aberdeen support 1% maybe, if we’re being generous. We have an idiot section in our support, just like any other club. But if you want to define us all by that fine. We’ll define you by the journalist that hacked the dead child’s phone.

Oh, and Miller is Glaswegian and grew up a Rangers fan. Same, too, Alex McLeish.

Did you so some research?! Really? Well done fella. We. All. Know. This.

Although an argument could be made for Alex Smith…

Let me stop you right there. He was a shit manager. He proved he was a shit manager by doing precisely nothing in management after Aberdeen. Except playing the victim to the god awful Glasgow media to attack/blame Aberdeen supporters at every feckin’ turn. Which the media lapped up, as they still do attacking Aberdeen supporters to this day. The two cups were the Fergie legacy cups. The leftovers from Ferguson’s team, and the money generated through the Ferguson years for Charlie Nicholas and Hans Gillhaus. Don’t argue with me people, I aint listening.

Angry, perhaps, that Real Madrid haven’t been taken to the cleaners recently. 

Is this humour? Anyone?

And when that happens, Aberdeen will slink back to mediocrity. Then they really will have something to moan about.

Says man moaning about Aberdeen supporters.

I need to lie down.

So the last article upset a good few people. https://thedandydons.com/the-aurora-video-seriously/ Never my intention, happy to admit I worded things wrongly, albeit not intentionally. I believe the core part of my point is worth explaining a bit deeper. With my own mock-up. And changing the scenario a bit.

It’s all about business. Currently Pittodrie is a one day in fourteen business. A game every second week, that brings in lots of people and money, the bulk of which is the 15 million per year turnover of the club. The core Aberdeen FC business.

Included in Pittodrie is the Aberdeen FC shop, and the ticket office. Both of which contribute to the business, but their real busy days are match day. When the shop in particular is incredibly busy. Due to lack of space, there is no Aberdeen FC museum or cafe.

A fair walk up the road from Pittodrie, is a very busy street called Union Street. Where there are countless bus stops, a train station, a harbour, and a bus station nearby, as well as hundreds and hundreds of shops. Some on Union Street, some in shopping centres, all of which contribute to a very busy section of the city of Aberdeen, and the North East of Scotland. Thousands of people are in the vicinity every day, some of whom will have travelled quite a distance to get there.

So the point of my ‘Aurora seriously’ article regarding the museum, the cafe, and the shop, is whether Aberdeen FC play football at Pittodrie or Kingsford or somewhere else, why on earth isn’t the cafe, the museum, the shop, and the ticket office in the centre of town? If situated there, they could become a seven day a week business earning far more money for the club, as well as advertising games, and leaving a footprint on the city it shares a name with.

Aurora could still have a museum, I’m sure there will be plenty stuff, and a cafe and a ticket office, and they could use their staff from the seven day business for the one day in fourteen business.

My real point of irritation though, is they could be open now, open five years ago. The kids getting a photo with Angus the Bull, players dropping past for guest appearances. Buy a coffee in the cafe and help the club. They could even open a bar. That there aren’t Afc strips available near Union street is shameful. The strips are adverts for the club. Tourists are not finding their way to Pittodrie.

For anyone wishing to point out there was a shop before that didn’t work. It was shut under Patterson. When we were failing on the pitch. There wasn’t a museum, a cafe, or the ticket office there either. And rentals in town are much, much cheaper than back then.

Also the museum would be run by the Heritage Trust. Which has charitable status. So no business rates for that part of the operation.

It’s not a clever idea. It’s an obvious idea. But it’s not happening as Aberdeen Football Club is run by someone only interested in new building projects.

The follow up. Inside the shop.

aberdeen-aurora-stadium

Phase 1

We-ll aint that great. We will sleep easier knowing about that Groundsman’s Compound. The Teddy Scott Pavilion looks nice too. The training pitches, finally! And well done on that achievement.

Set blaster to Phase 2

The museum? That will be so busy on matchdays. So busy you’ll need to book six months in advance. How will it be the other thirteen days a fortnight when there’s no game during the season? Will it be closed? Maybe not initially, but just how long after the opening will that museum be shut on not match days due to, nobody being there.

A ticket office, really? Will that be the only ticket office by any chance? All the way to Westhill for a ticket. And the shop? So Westhill will be the only place in the world, you can physically purchase an Aberdeen Football top?

That cafe, be busy on match days I’d imagine. How will it be for the other thirteen days a fortnight? Will it be closed? Staffing. Has anyone considered how you are going to get staff out there in the quantity that will be required for one day per fortnight? Is that cafe going to be staffed by highly trained and skilled employees? Or underpaid temps getting dogs abuse from irate Dandies paying top dollar for very poor service?

So why are all those elements at the new stadium, when clearly they ALL ought to be in central Aberdeen where there are now much cheaper rents to be had, and could function as an all year round fifty two weeks a year business? There could of course be temporary versions of all those elements in the new stadium. You could even use your own FULL TIME staff from the 52 weeks a year business in central Aberdeen to staff them.

Is it incompetence, is it disinterest, or is it very deliberate to make the absolute turkey that is that truly awful stadium that’s way too far away from the city centre, look like it’s worth waiting for. ‘Look at the shiny shiny you’ll get with the new stadium’. In the same way the training facilities were used to manipulate the agreement for the new stadium. They have no reason to be connected to each other. Unlike the Aberdeen stadium, and Aberdonians.

Enjoy Pittodrie while it lasts.

question

I appreciate people don’t like negativity. Everyone loves the club, and wants everything to go well, including me. This is arguably the biggest decision in Aberdeen FC’s history. Surely it’s worth looking at. I think we are all aware in a Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson, Theresa May world, there are no journalists anymore, at any rate responsible ones. There are none who would ever question a super rich member of society who has a large advertising account for his company. Doesn’t mean he’s bad, but if he were, don’t expect the press, local or national to point it out.

Not only do I not know if my concerns are correct, I genuinely hope they are wrong. I’d love to love Stewart Milne. I want the new stadium to be a huge success, something we are all proud of and the match day experience to be so amazing we make plans to enlarge inside five years.

The comments on Facebook. Also interesting. Not one disagreeing with my calculations (on part 2). Some insults. Some blind hope, some, let’s wait and see (aye cause we can put it back like an M&S jumper if we don’t like it), some beautifully trusting faith in Aberdeen Council and Aberdeen directors to have ‘sorted it all out’. Would you be interested in this snakeskin oil by any chance? And a brilliant, ‘it’s just part of being a real supporter’, as if getting to, or out of a game ought to be like an SAS survival course. Or you’re not a ‘real supporter’.

All I’ve done is tried to point out something that has concerned me all along in this process. I have watched and listened to the Aberdeen FC directors with keen interest. Whereby we got to see the other directors (pre Cormack) as spokespeople for the move for a while, (justifying changing a bulb in a floodlight as reason to move) as I guess it appeared they thought Stewartie fronting it may raise concerns? Then, Stewartie was back to front it…

During communications the training facilities kept being interchanged with the stadium as if they were one and the same. Very few football clubs have their training facilities next to their stadium. The word ‘landlocked’ got dished out again and again. As I said in the first article, why weren’t we moving because we were ‘landlocked’ last time? Why has this word only come out of Pittodrie in the last eighteen months? Do a Google search on ‘Pittodrie landlocked’. See how far that phrase goes back. Aberdeen FC under Stewart Milne have been ‘moving’ for twenty odd years.

We’ve all in life spotted a liar when they change their story.

Doesn’t mean it’s a lie, but it could do with explaining. There were other odd comments. ‘Well it’s not the ideal place, but we’ll just have to get on with it’.

From the person who applied for planning permission!? Seriously, is no one else questioning that?!

There was another one along the lines of, in this area we need to be quiet and the building needs to be discreet to respect the neighbours.

Why in the mother of fuck would you put a fucking football stadium there then?! It’s not a new patio. It’s a football stadium. A focal point and place of pride for a city, a region, the whole north east of Scotland.

An awful lot of the duplicity and manipulation that is clear in the selling of this project, ought to have far more people questioning it. Aberdeen Journals aren’t going to do it.

I suspect quite a few of the larger social media presences have their eyes on the Chris Gavin Afc career strategy. There may be a job somewhere later on down the line. Or it may be they are concerned at losing an element of their audience. My audience definitely falls on any criticism of Milne.

Why is everyone so trusting of a multi-millionaire? Who’s track record at Pittodrie doesn’t stand up to analysis? This is the biggest decision in Aberdeen FC’s history. The biggest decision, and we are being led off a cliff, like sheep.

If you’re all happy great. If you live in Huntly, Inverness, Westhill, Arbroath or wherever and not only does it not affect you, but the journey will be better, brilliant. Fill yer boots. But it appears to me a very loyal, very important section of the Aberdeen FC support, that could be considerably bigger than the 3000 I guesstimated in my calculations are being thrown away. Also if you think you’ll get out of that stadium in your car inside an hour and a half, well you might be in for a shock. Because none of this is being planned from any sort of transport perspective.

The biggest decision in the history of Aberdeen Football Club. Location, location, location.

I will not mention the new stadium or the decision making behind the new stadium, in any negative context ever again, forever and ever, so help me Willie Miller. Amen. Because I don’t like upsetting people.

Part1: Cove Rangers and the end of being a one city team

Part 2: Parking the bus – The new stadium, how many, how long a wait?

bus-stop-sign
bus stop

Following the article on Cove Rangers and the new stadium, a good question appeared in the comments. ‘Just how many buses will be required?’

Let’s presume the same people are going to the new stadium. Let’s say a game against Hearts, Saturday 3pm. Fifteen thousand Aberdeen supporters. How many of those would not have their own transport, and would need to get back to Union Street, either to get to where they live in the city, or get to the train/bus station, or to begin Saturday night. How many might that be of the 15000 Aberdeen supporters?

Might it be 3000? I’d say that’s a conservative guess. It may well be more than double that.

How many people can you get in a double decker bus? I did a bit of Googling, and let’s say 100 people. That’s going to be one very uncomfortable journey for all concerned, but transport is transport, and a handy number for arithmetic.

That would be 30 buses needed immediately after a game, to move that section of the support quickly and efficiently. Are 30 buses going to be waiting outside the stadium after the game? Or more likely in my opinion, ten buses, planning to make three journeys shuttling the support back. How long after the final whistle will that third journey begin?

Google puts a car journey between Westhill and Union street at about 17 minutes. So enough time after the full time whistle to get to the buses, the first shuttle buses leave at 5pm. Let’s presume, rather optimistically, this bus doesn’t stop between the stadium and Union Street. Call it 20 minutes. A 5 minute turnaround, twenty more minutes, back to the stadium. Fifteen minutes to fill up that bus, 6pm the second shuttle buses leave, 75 minutes after the full time whistle. Same journey, back they come for the third shuttle journey. Leaving Kingswells at 7pm arriving on Union Street at 7.20pm. After you’ve waited in line (or you’ll lose your place) for how long after the match?

Now take all those figures, drop them into a midweek twenty thousand capacity game finishing at 9.15pm, in the dark, below freezing, and someone underestimated the crowd. How many buses will be there?

They gonna go back to the shiny new stadium? Would you ever run that risk again? As I said here, this element of the support is being thrown away, under the bus. A new stadium will have shiny new object syndrome for a bit, geographically it will be easier for others to get there, and get out. But the solid block from the city will be difficult to replicate. As will their loyalty. One nasty downturn in league form, a poor managerial choice, those new supporters going to hang around?

Only a fool would trust a multi-millionaire. There is a reason these people got so wealthy.

Part one here: Cove Rangers and the end of being a one city team

Part three: Questioning the narrative.

I am of mixed North Eastness. I am an Aberdonian by birth, but also grew up in Huntly and Buckie, and watched a fair bit of Highland League football as well as visits to Pittodrie as a kid.

This far from unusual geographic background gives me a loyalty to the Dons, and to the Highland League, and gives me a pathological loathing of Cove Rangers that is possibly a little irrational.

When Cove applied to The Highland League I so hoped they wouldn’t get accepted. A team from Aberdeen wasn’t what The Highland League was about. They were clearly only going to use it as a stepping stone.

And here we are all those years later. Just as Aberdeen are about to move their stadium. More than twice the distance that Cove’s stadium will be from Aberdeen city centre.

I came up with the slogan One City, One Team… Not that it matters, but if you look at the Facebook timeline of The Dandy Dons it appears about four years ago. One city, one team, two European Trophies. Just me arsing around.

But the one city, one team concept is incredibly important. Particularly when you see how Dundee is divided with their two teams. And here we have Cove Rangers, what began just a few years after Gothenburg (as a serious concern), a football team created specifically to tap into the Aberdeen support, and coming to fruition just as the decades of mismanagement of Aberdeen FC are coming home to roost.

A swift search on Google Maps has a walk from Cove’s stadium to Union Street, at 56 minutes. And there are pubs on the route. It’s not going to games that is an issue. People arrive at staggered times. It’s leaving stadiums that needs to happen quickly and efficiently, where it may be very cold, and very wet.

Stand at the corner of King Street and Merkland Road after a game at Pittodrie and watch the crowd dissipate into the city after a match. Follow the crowd up to Union Street. Watch it thinning out bit by bit, until you get to Union Street and it merges into the city, into Union street, with all the bus stops, close to a train and bus station and disappears as if by magic.

Now at Kingsford there will not be enough buses waiting at the new stadium to transfer the city based crowd to Union Street. (or those who need to get to the train or bus station). There will be panic, there will be considerable numbers leaving the match early to get on those first buses, there will be considerable numbers waiting for the buses to return for the next journey, or the one after. As the bus company needs to make money. It needs to have fewer drivers and buses ferrying people over a long period of time. A whole shift. And you can’t leave the queues as you’ll lose your place, and you can’t start the journey walking as it’s too far. You will only be overtaken by full buses.

Aberdeen FC are throwing a considerable section of the Aberdeen based support, under the bus.

Landlocked

“Pittodrie is landlocked”. Strange because when we were moving twenty years ago to Loirston, we were not landlocked. We were moving, much like St Mirren, St Johnstone and a number of English teams at the time, as our city centre property, had such high value. To sell that land would generate enough money for new land, AND the stadium build. Or close to it.

Well that changed. Pittodrie is worth less than twenty years ago. And may still be falling in value. Retail is dying, city centres no longer highly sought property areas. So they needed a new reason why Aberdeen FC had to move. And landlocked was, hmm, not sure what word to use here. When did you first hear the phrase ‘landlocked’ out of Pittodrie? Try Googling to see when that phrase first came out of Pittodrie.

The falling value of Pittodrie also means the land around Pittodrie is falling in value. To purchase the land wouldn’t be expensive. Who wouldn’t AberDNA a Pittodrie rebuild stand by stand over a number of years. Because all property becomes available again eventually.

It’s as if some people watched Aberdeen V Real Madrid in 1983, and thought, how do I royally fuck that up.

A fascinating article here from 442 magazine on football clubs moving stadium. https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/how-build-new-stadium-those-who-have

Part 2: Parking the bus – The new stadium, how many, how long a wait?

Part 3: Questioning the narrative

pittodrie-stadium

pittodrie-stadium

With the team playing great and winning regularly, the home crowds haven’t quite reached what most people would have expected. Times are hard for quite a few in the North East and that has to be a factor, but there may be other contributing factors.

Based purely on a couple of people I know, a few long term season ticket holders got ‘broken’ during the Craig Brown years. Not specifically the fault of Brown or the Brown era, it was the cumulative eras of sheer awfulness from late Calderwood to McGhee to Brown. It was also the first time I’ve ever seen crowds down to 5000. Perhaps there are more that just had enough. While Hearts support is very solid, they had years of financial doping with a relatively successful team most of the last decade. While Hibs are proving the Glasgow media myth of Scottish football needing the Old Firm to be bullshit, by showing how a support behaves when it’s top of the league. Any league.

So what possible things could be done to entice supporters along?

I can’t help thinking the club would benefit from having the ticket office and shop on Union Street. Which would be even more important if the club moves to Westhill. Having a presence on Union Street would be good for the club and city. Effectively a giant advertisement in the centre of the city with an enormous amount of people in close proximity. No cash gates has destroyed the impulse element of football, and there are quite a few people that are not happy paying online. A shop on Union Street (please not that fucking awful building in front of Marischal College) would add the possibility of supporters impulse buying in advance. I can’t possibly know but it might be enough to get a thousand on the gate, and presumably double what they sell in merchandise. Location, location, location. At the very least it would pay for itself. If they get a big enough retail space, their relationship with Adidas could make it a combined Afc/Adidas retail outlet and ticket office.

They could also use Angus the Bull far more from within the shop. Angus the Bull is a brilliantly created character. Those mascots just work or they don’t. Sorry kids, spoiler alert, whoever designed him did a sensational job. (Whoever came up with the seagull needs to stop smoking that shit!)

So what else could be done? How do we get 5000 more to every home game?

 

game-day-pittodrie

game-day-pittodrie

A 3pm kick off on a Saturday at Pittodrie.

guggenheim-bilbao

guggenheim-bilbao

The Guggenheim Gallery in Bilbao. Just the sort of modern, out there design Aberdeen F.C’s new stadium should have, except with floodlights, big towering floodlights. A stadium so imposing, no seagull would dare shit on it.

Let’s say for the sake of argument, Aberdeen F.C. will eventually get a new stadium. That stadium will need a name, and the stands will need names. Since we are probably not going to be asked, and decisions may already have been made, what would be your preferred names?

We also have a proposed new training complex, but hopefully Ally Begg’s Twitter campaign to get it named after Teddy Scott will do the business. This article is open for comments, or use the Facebook comments, it would be great to gather lots of ideas. It’s imaginary land, you can do what you want. Part of my reason for wanting decisions like this to be made or at least discussed, is we are all getting older, and some people might not get to see a new stadium. Arguably the way things are going, none of us will…

We’ve got four stands (even if it’s oval) two of which are slightly more important than the other two, due to their size. I will use the current Pittodrie stand names as a guide to where I mean.

The current South Stand in a new stadium. ‘The Miller and McLeish Stand’.

The Richard Donald Stand in a new stadium. ‘The Donald, Anderson, Milne, Family Stand’. Named after the three sets of directors’ families. We could shorten it to the DAM stand, or change the name order, it becomes the MAD Stand. (I’ve thought this through).

The current Merkland Stand in a new stadium.  ‘The Gothenburg Greats’ Stand’

The Main Stand in a new Stadium. ‘The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand’.

Which leaves the name of the stadium. It has previously been said sponsorship of the stadium name would be important. Well whenever I hear of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, it makes me want to puke. So my favoured name for a new stadium is. Pittodrie. Not New Pittodrie, just Pittodrie. Again, who says you can’t take your own name with you? And I’m pretty sure the postman will eventually work out the new address…

I’d also like a ‘Stewart Kennedy Corner area’, a ‘Doug Rougvie Corner Area’, and a ‘Peter Weir Corner Area’. Leaving us one corner area to be named later. But the way things are going, Jonny Hayes may have first dibs on it.

And the Donald Coleman dugouts.

And also, three of the stands in Pittodrie currently have no names. What is stopping the club naming the South Stand, “The Miller and McLeish Stand” now, if that were the name chosen. And saying, the name will follow to the new stadium.  Miller is sixty, Sir Alex Ferguson mid seventies. It’s um squeeky bum time…

So over to you, what would you name the stands, and the stadium.