A diehard Saints supporter who fought to block plans for a new road near McDiarmid Park said his club has been left with “no choice” but to end its fight with Perth and Kinross Council.
The Courier revealed that St Johnstone was getting ready to withdraw its objection to the council’s controversial Crematorium Road scheme.
Bosses had originally claimed the road would result in the loss of a £100,000 training pitch, which is crucial to the club’s future.
Chairman Steve Brown previously told councillors the pitch’s closure would force Saints to return to facilities at Stirling University, at a cost of some £40,000 a year. Now, after continued talks with Perth and Kinross Council, the club has indicated it could soon strike a settlement deal.
St Johnstone’s objection to the council’s use of compulsory purchase powers is the biggest obstacle standing in the way of the A9/A85 relief road, which will link the city with new development land at Inveralmond and Bertha Park, creating thousands of new homes and jobs.
Supporter Bill Cuthbert set up an online petition entitled Save Our Saints on influential website change.org. He said: “It looks like Saints have no choice but to come to some agreement with PKC.
“I only hope they can relocate their training facilities nearby, rather than going back to Stirling. Also, I hope they are not agreeing to give up any of the stadium facilities.”
Mr Cuthbert, from Falkland, added: “I cannot see the need for the new road as it will not ease congestion at the Tesco junction nor the Crieff road roundabout.
“The development land could still be accessed in other ways.”
A public inquiry will take place in November to determine whether the council’s land purchase attempt can go ahead. St Johnstone had asked for more time to lodge its submissions ahead of the hearing. However, the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals, which is leading the inquiry, said delaying the process would be unfair on other parties.
Developers the Pilkington Trust, the Stewart Milne Group and the trustees of Robert Reid are also opposed to the CPO bid.