On this day in 2004: Inverness promoted after successful ground share appeal

John Robertson, pictured, is back for a second spell at Inverness Caledonian Thistle
John Robertson, pictured, is back for a second spell at Inverness Caledonian Thistle - (Copyright PA Archive)
6:00am, Mon 22 Jun 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Just when a technicality looked to have denied Inverness Caledonian Thistle their first Scottish Premier League stint, the very same issue came to their rescue on this day in 2004.

From March to June of 2004, boardroom wrangling had left Caley Thistle fearing the worst, with Partick Thistle for a long time expecting to avoid relegation from the top-flight.

Scottish First Division winners Inverness did not have a stadium with the required capacity of 10,000 and so put forward proposals to ground share with Aberdeen.

The motion was initially rejected but then Edinburgh duo Hibernian and Hearts came to the rescue, enforcing another vote of Premiership clubs – and top-flight football was on its way to The Highlands, eventually, and via Pittodrie.

The Caledonian Stadium got to host top-flight football after the required seating capacity was reduced - (Copyright PA Wire)

Inverness initially failed to convince the 12 SPL clubs of their proposal for a ground share with Aberdeen.

But then Hibs and Hearts called for the issue to be re-examined – and second time around, the motion was passed.

Inverness’ first application was thought to have failed only because the top-flight clubs thought ground sharing plans had to be in place by March 31.

The SPL clarified regulations that ground sharing plans could be submitted up to June 1, and reduced league entry requirements for stadia from 10,000 to 6,000 seats.

That capacity reduction ultimately allowed Inverness to stage SPL football in the Highlands in the second-half of their maiden top-tier campaign.

Sign up to our newsletter