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The 108th Aberdeen Football Club AGM

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The 108th Aberdeen Football Club AGM was held at Pittodrie Stadium on Monday. As ever there was plenty of open discussion and most people came away feeling the club is heading in the right direction. Topics included the new stadium, the current financial state of Scottish football and the decrease in attendances.


Chairman Stewart Milne revealed details on the loan he recently contributed to the club. He and SMG along with Aberdeen Asset Management made available a fresh £2.5 million loan to AFC. They came up with the extra funds in March to keep the bank happy during what are extremely difficult financial times for all businesses.


Manager Craig Brown was in attendance and contributed answers to some of the questions which were more football related. Craig praised the Chairman and the Board for the financial support he has received since coming to the club. It was also revealed that Aberdeen are working with their SPL counterparts on possibly increasing the U19s Youth league to an U20 League, with home games being played at Pittodrie.


Stewart Milne spoke to the media after official proceedings came to a close.


"I have a huge commitment to the football club. My company has a huge commitment to the football club. Hugh Little and Aberdeen Asset Management have a huge commitment. We are no different to the supporters out there. We have been concerned about the football performances this season so far. We understand the fans' frustrations.


"We believe we have a good squad here and they are capable of competing in the top half of the league. We have a good management team here. A combination of that and everyone working together will hopefully see an improved second half of the season and see the club finishing where the fans want us to".


Regarding the new stadium, the Chairman admitted there is a lot of hard work going on being the scenes to meet the many challenges which lie ahead but he is confident in the success of the project. "We have some major challenges which we have to meet over the next couple of months, enabling us to start on site at the beginning of April. That is when we have to start if we are going to deliver for the start of season 2013/14."


Really, going backwards at a rate of knots is the right direction??  :hammer:

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Really, going backwards at a rate of knots is the right direction??  :hammer:


That was my first thought. Was anyone there? Seems like the board got a very easy ride this year which is surprising, of course the recent results and Milne telling us he is putting more money into the club helped sweeten the majority shareholders.

Paper over cracks is what I see.

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Milne was asked this question more than THREE YEARS AGO at the 2008 AGM: -


There were two things that stood out for me from this year’s accounts.


Firstly, the value of European football. Our turnover jumped by over £5m to 30th June this year, an exceptional percentage increase for a business the size of Aberdeen FC.

The second thing that stands out is the financial viability of the proposed new stadium project. For a business that has an existing £12m debt due to be repaid in just over two years time, and is budgeting to make a loss this year to the year to June 2009, it is quite clear that the business can not afford to build a new stadium without a substantial injection of new funds.


We appreciate that there is a feasibility study in progress – at a reported cost of £600,000, the same amount that the business is budgeting to lose this year coincidentally – but how can we even justify the cost of the feasibility study, when there is absolutely nothing in the balance sheet to suggest that we can afford it, whatever they come up with as to where it should be?


We have had to endure, since you appointed Miller and Calderwood, them telling us every season, without fail for 5 years now, that we have unrealistic expectations, and on more than a handful of occasions. Not only is this just plain wrong, it is insulting to our intelligence and to the people of the North-east generally, but how realistic are your expectations that a new stadium is affordable?


Could you please tell us, Mr Chairman, where are the funds going to come from to make the new stadium a realistic prospect? At the moment, even with a return to European football which may or may not be achievable, the numbers simply do not stack up.


He didn't have a clue then and I'm not sure that he has a clue now. If he has secured funding for 80% of the new stadium and that the remaining 20% is the tough part, why doesn't he reveal how these supposed percentages stack up?


Why should we trust him after what he's done for us both on and off the pitch?


When pushed to respond in specifics, Milne admitted in December 2008 that additional funds would have to come from existing shareholders. Now he's saying that the shortfall has to come from existing shareholders, new shareholders and the private sector.


This is more than three years after the feasibility study was first started, three years after admitting that there was a shortfall in the finances for the proposed stadium and to my knowledge, not one source of additional funding has been revealed.


We can only assume that it's all lies and spin in his rhetoric in today's P & J.


My bet is that the 80% he talks about is simply the liquidation of Pittodrie and the lined up new debt facility.

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