John McLellan: Would planned Meadowbank stadium be too small?

Edinburgh City take on Forfar at Meadowbank Stadium (Picture: Toby Williams)
Edinburgh City take on Forfar at Meadowbank Stadium (Picture: Toby Williams)
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With passions beginning to run high about the plans for the new Meadowbank sports centre, there has been speculation about its suitability or otherwise for semi-professional football.

An internal council email acknowledges the concerns raised by Edinburgh City FC but emphasises the ground will be built to the SFA’s ‘bronze’ stadium criteria and allow the club to resume playing there.

However, the SFA this week also confirmed its club licensing department has not seen the plans for the new facilities and cannot say whether it will or will not pass muster.

Edinburgh City’s statement earlier this year was careful to avoid saying the proposals did not meet SFA requirements needed for the Third Division, but did outline the aspects with which they were unhappy.

A close reading of the SFA’s club licensing manual shows most of the club’s concerns are not strict requirements and one contentious area, whether there is an adequate barrier between spectators and the pitch, is only an issue if the ground fails to receive a safety certificate, which is issued by the council. A barrier is not stipulated in the government’s “Green Guide” to safety at sports grounds.

Similarly, Edinburgh City complains that the stand capacity is too low, but the minimum for Bronze is 500, which is what’s proposed. Even if receiving SFA accreditation is a formality, the question is whether Edinburgh City will seek it.

The Save Meadowbank campaign is holding a public meeting next Wednesday, April 18, at 7pm in Meadowbank Church.

READ MORE: In pictures: Meadowbank Stadium through the years