Edinburgh City set to update fans on Meadowbank delay and club 'strategy'

Edinburgh City chairman Jim Brown is set to update supporters about the club’s timetable for moving back to Meadowbank and explain a new “strategy” for the future.

With an official date for the opening of the new Meadowbank Sports Centre still to be announced, the use of alternative home venues to start the new season cannot be ruled out for the League 1 club, who have yet to announce friendlies or season ticket details for 2022/23.

Their first scheduled group match in the Premier Sports Cup is against Arbroath on July 16, followed by a visit from Cowdenbeath on July 20. The League 1 campaign begins on July 30, with fixtures for the season to be announced on Friday.

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The City of Edinburgh Council, which has been handed keys to the new £49 million centre, said last month its doors would open to the public “at the start of the summer holidays”. But with just three weeks to go until the end of term for schools in the capital, an official date is still to be announced.

After that Edinburgh City still need to have the stadium checked and approved to obtain a licence from the Scottish FA and they are not the only club affected.

East of Scotland League side Leith Athletic are also part of the agreement and hope to obtain a licence of their own by playing on the main stadium pitch in a ground-share arrangement. It is understood that Hibs women also plan to make the stadium their new home in SWPL1.

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The £49 million regeneration project which began five years ago is already two years behind schedule. A spokesperson for Edinburgh Leisure admitted recently there are “the usual snagging issues that need to be sorted”, but denied claims made about further delays caused by equipment not arriving in time.

Edinburgh City have been given planning permission to construct an additional stand to increase the capacity of the new stadium. But they have yet to say when work is likely to begin on the additional 1,441-capacity stand and supporters' shop to be built opposite the new main stand.

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Edinburgh City's new stand will stretch the full length of the pitch, consisting of 205 seats and 1,236 spaces for standing spectators.

That means they will be initially restricted to the 499 seats in the new stand to the south side of the athletics track when they eventually get the green light to move in.

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Brown will update and answer questions from supporters on a Facebook Live stream on Thursday night at 7pm following another meeting with the council and Edinburgh Leisure about the schedule for opening Meadowbank.

The Facebook Live agenda will include the club’s move to Meadowbank; club strategy; match day update; and season ticket prices.

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Questions are expected to be asked about the partnership agreement with Hibs which both clubs have been discussing for months.

The new Edinburgh sports centre is set to open at the start of the summer holidays.
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It could potentially see more young players loaned to City from the Easter Road club in addition to the women playing home games at Meadowbank.

On the pitch, meanwhile, City have announced that Lucas Berry, Anthony McDonald and James Farrell have been released after expiry of their contracts. Jack Leighfield leaves the club by mutual consent.

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Striker Nicky Reid and midfielder Kieran Watson are arriving from Penicuik Athletic.

John Robertson, Ciaran Brian, Ryan Shanley, Lee Hamilton, Callum Crane and Danny Jardine have signed new contracts.

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The athletics track at the new Meadowbank Stadium, which has a 499-seat stand. Edinburgh City are hoping to build another one
The athletics track at the new Meadowbank Stadium, which has a 499-seat stand. Edinburgh City are hoping to build another one