Derek McInnes: Aberdeen’s training situation is embarrassing

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Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has told a public meeting his club’s training facilities are “embarrassing”.

And he urged councillors to back plans for a new stadium and training ground at Kingsford and help the club bring success to the city.

McInnes addressed the meeting and revealed he realised how poor Aberdeen’s training facilities were on his first day in the job back in April 2013.

Quoted on the Aberdeen website, McInnes said: “Within five minutes of a simple passing drill on a surface in such a state that it was almost impossible to achieve, t he reminder to myself that no other professional club in Scotland would have trained on a poorer pitch that morning.

“Yet we regard ourselves as a major player in Scottish football.

“It was totally unacceptable and, on driving back to the stadium afterwards, I vowed never to train there again. We’re still training there.”

McInnes revealed they had to hire an artificial pitch to train on the day before a game against Hearts on December 30 last year.

“We would normally name our team, shape up our team on a Friday before any match and I was keen to do so on this occasion,” he added. “It is always a risk doing so in public view for fear of the team being out there on social media, but we had no choice.

“However, we had to cut short our training session because some Royal Bank of Scotland workers had also booked the same pitch for a kickabout in their lunch hour.

“Now bankers are never the most popular of people, but that day especially so. The frustration of that scenario is clear, but also it’s embarrassing, almost laughable.”

McInnes added that they “cannot be sitting here in 10 years time still trying to get this done”.

“Now, I wasn’t born in Aberdeen or brought up an Aberdeen supporter, but I love this club,” he said.

“We are a brilliant club to work for, to be part of. Full of brilliant people with energy and passion, who only want the club to be successful. We are just not as brilliant as we can be currently.

“But with these new facilities, we most definitely can be.”

A final decision is set to be taken by councillors in October.