Scottish Premiership soccer club Aberdeen FC has attracted investment from the USA for the first time, with Boston-based businessman Tom Crotty buying US$1m-worth of shares, which will boost the club’s plans for relocation and a new £50m (US$66.2m) Kingsford Stadium.
The news comes following the club’s announcement it has secured 60% of the funding required for the first phase of its plans to move away from Pittodrie Stadium after expansion plans of the aging 20,866-seat venue were not viable due to restrictions from the surrounding land.
Instead, AFC decided to raise funds and build a training complex that could be used by the community – something that attracted Crotty to invest when he heard the club’s ambition.
Crotty, who is heavily involved with the US charity Grassroots Soccer, said, “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.”
Along with Crotty’s investment, The Dons, who were once managed by Alex Ferguson, who lead them to win the UEFA Super Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983, now have over £6m (US$7.9m) for phase one, and if planning is granted will be able to start construction immediately. However, a decision for the new stadium has been delayed until next year.
The proposed community sports facilities and training academy will include outdoor, floodlit 3G pitches, as well as indoor areas for sporting and recreational activities.
“I’m really happy to be part of what is a very exciting time for the club, both on and off the pitch. My experience of soccer is that it has a profoundly positive impact across whole communities. This is why my investment is directed toward enhancing the community facilities on offer as part of the club’s modern and progressive development,” said Crotty.
November 22, 2017
Written by James Billington