Edinburgh City set to remain at Ainslie Park until end of season with Meadowbank not ready until the summer

Edinburgh City are prepared to continue ground-sharing at Ainslie Park until the end of the season after it emerged that the £49 million Meadowbank redevelopment is not expected to be ready until the summer.

The League 2 club had hoped their stay at Spartans’ home ground in the north of the city would be a temporary one, but it is understood they have an agreement in place with their Lowland League landlords to see out the season.

The Meadowbank sports complex redevelopment has been delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and problems sourcing constructions materials.

Although no official completion date has been announced, council leader Adam McVey has revealed that Meadowbank is the intended venue of choice for Edinburgh’s local election vote count on May 5 and 6, suggesting it will not be ready until the summer.

The original Meadowbank closed for refurbishment in 2017. City have been ground-sharing at Ainslie Park ground since then, and had to secure an extension to the original three-year agreement last summer.

The revamped Meadowbank will include two 3G football pitches, with City expected to secure a lease on the main stadium pitch and Leith Athletic taking up the other one. The East of Scotland League club have been playing at Peffermill since the redevelopment began.

Hibs women may also be interested in using Meadowbank as their new home, with club officials understood to favour a return to the city after playing home matches this season at Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Stadium and Penicuik Athletic’s home ground.

Adam McVey at the £49m Meadowbank Stadium, where Edinburgh City are expected to play next season

The club released a statement explaining their decision to ban the group following Tuesday’s match against Albion Rovers at Ainslie Park.

It follows reports of missiles being thrown and threatening behaviour.

The club said in a statement: “To our loyal fans who have witnessed this behaviour over the past two games, please accept our apologies and be assured this will not be tolerated.

"We tried to give them a chance to conduct themselves within our guidelines, but they didn’t, so we have no option but to ban them from out games.”

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