EURO2008 - The Fans Campaign
Edinburgh Council could scupper Euro Bid!
Sir Tom Farmer warned Edinburgh City Council that their ruling over the land adjoining Easter Road could help scupper Scotland's EURO2008 aspirations before they even get started.
The Hibs owner is a major part of the consortium aiming to purchase the 'Lochend Butterfly', a parcel of land alongside Easter Road, to create a development that will be used by everyone in the Edinburgh community and beyond. The development plans include a new East Stand at the stadium, which would take the capacity to 20,000 - with an option to increase that to 30,000 should a Scottish bid for EURO2008 be forthcoming.
However the City Council have rejected the consortium bid, preferring another by an as yet undisclosed bidder who have not revealed any plans for development of the site. Hibs.Net has been swamped by messages from Hibs fans around the world, and last week attempts to meet the representatives of the Council to ask the questions being put by these fans failed, with the Provost's Office citing the sensitivity of the bids as a reason for refusing to meet representatives of the fans.
Late last week however, the Council showed signs of relenting, a spokesperson saying that the request for a meeting would be considered at the start of this week.
No official announcement has yet been made by the Council over the future of the land, and Sir Tom Farmer clearly believes there is still time for the Council to look favourably on the consortium bid - in particular with an eye to Edinburgh being part of any EURO2008 bid. Sir Tom said: "If we are to attract these types of events to Scotland, the proper facilities must be in place. The development we have put forward is for the use of anyone and everyone, and if it is turned down now the door is closed. There will be no other chance." Sir Tom also agreed with the Hibs.Net-led campaign for transparency by the Council, adding: "The Council should openly state their intentions for the area, and say why our proposals have been rejected."
Support for the consortium also came from the Scottish Parliament, with shadow Sports Minister Fiona McLeod saying: "We must support clubs like Hibs and Aberdeen in their attempts to improve Scotland's sporting facilities. We need everybody involved to get behind the EURO2008 bid."