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Constructing an argument around football stadia

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A tweet last Sunday morning by sports journalist Jim Spence about the furore around the delayed opening of the new stand at Tynecastle, Heart of Midlothian’s historic stadium, has caused a furore of its own. Jim, whom I am reliably informed is a very decent man, tweeted that:

“We’ve all become so demanding and unforgiving. @JamTarts have knocked their pans in getting Tynie ready. It’s not ideal situation but in a world of Royhinga massacres and Bairns starving we need some ***** perspective.”

This, perhaps unsurprisingly, caused quite a stooshie.  Read the comments at this link to get some idea of just how much and then ask yourself if a construction project (for that is what we’re talking about) is actually that big a deal compared to the REAL problems the world faces.   A sense of perspective seems to be all that Mr Spence is asking for, but football fans being football fans a sense of perspective is often absent. And of course, the fact that social media make it hard for people to read nuances and meaning in tweets or other posts doesn’t help either and nor did the fact that Hearts didn’t manage to win the first match in their newly renovated stadium.

The Hearts stadium is not the only one making the news just now.  Aberdeen FC have not had their problems to seek in getting their next ground up and running, as this report from Scottish Construction Now makes clear.  Given that the Aberdeen chairman is Stewart Milne, you would think that they would know how to play the game/system but that’s not how local politics and planning laws work.  I remember when St Johnstone created the first modern, purpose-built football stadium their then chairman was Geoff Brown, owner of GS Brown Construction, who famously said that the site would have the toughest Clerk of Works in the industry (i.e. him!) to ensure it would be completed on time (it was). Perhaps Aberdeen and Hearts should have employed Geoff to get things done, but he’s enjoying retirement now - and presumably enjoyed his side’s visit to the other, extremely well renovated, Edinburgh stadium last weekend…

Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment







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