LIBERATING FOOTBALL TRAVEL

Edinburgh City

Back to Meadowbank but Citizens struggle to stay afloat

A fan’s guide – the club from early doors to today

The capital’s third club to reach senior level, in 2016 Edinburgh City became the first team in Scotland to gain promotion through the newly established play-off system between the champions of the Lowland/Highland Leagues and League Two.

The unfortunate victims were East Stirling, who had clung on that league status for more than 60 years. In a dramatic afternoon at Stenhousemuir, a late Dougie Gair penalty settled the tie and sent Edinburgh City into the senior league for the first time.

Penalties had also decided City’s fate the previous year, when Cameroon defender Joe Mbu blasted his decisive spot kick against the crossbar and sent Brora Rangers through to the final play-off.

Formed in 1928, Edinburgh City played in the Scottish League as an amateur outfit in the 1930s, performing spectacularly badly and going out of business by 1955.

The club that reappeared in 1986 was really Postal United, founded in 1966, who took over the name but changed their colours from red to City’s white and black. ECFC regularly entered the Scottish Cup then began applying for league status.

Losing out, first to Gretna then to Annan, City at least progressed in the East of Scotland League, the sixth flight, winning it in 2006.

They joined the inaugural Lowland League in 2013-14, won by Edinburgh rivals Spartans. By 2014-15, the winners, City, were given a chance of a full league place by play-off – before taking full advantage in 2015-16.

In the new set-up, winners of the Lowland and Highland Leagues play off for a chance to face the bottom club in Scottish League Two. At stake is full league status. Sadly, given Edinburgh City’s dreadful start to 2016-17 in League Two, the lowly Citizens nearly found themselves in another play-off, this time for survival.

But survive they did, overcoming Dumbarton, then Annan, to win the 2022 play-offs for third-tier League One status in 2022-23. These deciders were the club’s last at Ainslie Park, where they had been installed since 2017 while Meadowbank was being overhauled.

Moving back in for the new campaign, the briefly renamed FC Edinburgh surprised many in League One, goals from promising young Edinburgh-born striker John Robertson pushing the club to within sight of the Championship play-offs.

A string of defeats then welcomed in 2023-24 as a new ownership struggled to cope with the demands of the professional game. Failing to pay players and losing them, including Linfield-bound Robertson, the club was already bound for League Two when the SPFL slapped it with a six-point deduction in January 2024.

Ground Guide

The field of dreams – and the story behind it

The original Edinburgh City played at long-disappeared sports venues such as Marine Gardens and City Park. The current club plays at the Meadowbank Stadium, created for the Commonwealth Games of 1970 and vacated by Meadowbank, now Livingston, Thistle, in 1995.

City’s home since 1996, Meadowbank stands on the site of its namesake speedway stadium popular in the post-war era then knocked down in the late 1960s to make way for the new one. East of Scotland League side Leith Athletic, who share the present-day stadium with Edinburgh City, also used it as their home ground either side of World War II.

Modern-day Meadowbank holds just under 1,300 spectators, 500 of them under cover in the main stand, set apart from the pitch by an eight-lane running track. Home fans should enter through turnstiles A-C to access the east side of the Main Stand and standing area alongside it. Visiting supporters enter via turnstiles F-G, and the west side for sitting and standing, nearest to Wishaw Terrace.

getting here

Going to the ground – tips and timings

Lothian buses 4, 26 and 44 run every 20mins from stops PK and PD on Princes Street to Meadowbank Stadium, journey time 10mins.

There is very limited parking at Meadowbank Sports Centre, London Road (EH7 6AE). The club suggests using the free parking available along Marionville Road (EH7 6AE) and Dalgety Avenue (EH7 5UE).

getting in

Buying tickets – when, where, how and how much

Tickets for Edinburgh City can be bought online or at the turnstiles (card only). 

Standard admission is an across-the-board £15, with seniors and under-18s charged £10, under-12s £5.

Where to Drink

Pre-match beers for fans and casual visitors

Around the stadium, at Jocks Lodge you’ll find snooker hall/sports bar The Ball Room and, right behind the ground on the corner of Marionville Road and Dalgety Avenue, The Hoppy, a cheery pub for match screening and karaoke singalongs.

Edinburgh City run a social club (Mon-Thur from 5pm, Sat-Sun from 2pm, match-day Sat from 11am) at 74 Lochend Road South, about 15mins from Meadowbank.