Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne insisted delivering the proposed £50 million stadium and training complex at Kingsford is the biggest challenge the club has ever faced.

Addressing the 114th AGM inside Pittodrie tonight the club chairman insisted the Reds hope to have the £10m training facility ready for summer 2019 and that 60% of funding has already been secured.

Milne also confirmed they aim to have the £40m stadium ready for the start of the 2020-21 season.  Aberdeen will discover if they get the green light for the stadium at a pre-determination meeting on January 17.

The AGM took around 35 minutes. It would undoubtedly have lasted longer had manager Derek McInnes opted to move to Rangers earlier this month instead of staying at Aberdeen.

Addressing around 75 shareholders Milne said: “This is going to be the biggest challenge this club has ever faced.

“One is to get the planning permission and then to raise the £50m and then to deliver the project.”

Milne admitted there would be a share issue to fund phase two which will be the  proposed £40m stadium.

Milne thanked boss Derek McInnes, who was in attendance at the AGM, for delivering a third successive Premiership runner-up spot and two cup finals last season.

Aberdeen are currently in second spot again in the Premiership, just two points behind league leaders Celtic.

Milne said: “We reached two cup finals and came very close in the Scottish Cup.

“We have had four consecutive seasons in Europe and it is a long time since we achieved that. After Saturday’s performance (4-1 win against Hibs) who would vote against five.”

The financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2017 were unanimously received by the shareholders with no dissenting votes.

It was a year when Aberdeen posted increased revenue and operating profits with turnover rising by almost £2m to a record for the club of £15.281m.

The wage bill rose from £6.8m to £7.8m, but maintaining the wages to turnover ratio of 51% from the previous year.

Aberdeen registered an operating profit of £533,000, up from £448,000.

Directors Gordon Buchan and chief executive Duncan Fraser who retired by rotation were both re-elected unanimously.

A shareholder thanked Milne for his role in boss Derek McInnes opting to reject Rangers and stay at Aberdeen earlier this month.

Originally published in the Evening Express – 18 December 2017