It was arguably the best non-football good-news story to emerge from Pittodrie in years.

Yet, Aberdeen were either coy or downright anti-media when they announced via their website - at 4am yesterday - that their £14.5m debt had all but been wiped out.

Aside from two local newspapers, however, this information, which would have been shouted from the rooftops by other financially-squeezed clubs, was played-down by Aberdeen who may not have recognised that their fan base, eager to learn of such an astounding story, goes beyond the reach of their website subscribers and the readership of the morning and evening publications which cover the north and north-east specifically.

Willie and Elaine Donald would not have objected to such PR ineptitude. They are a quiet, likeable couple, founders of the Aberdeenshire-based WM Donald civil engineering and construction company who helped reduce the debt to under £200,000 by making their own sizeable investment, thought to be in the region of £3m. What makes this tale all the more interesting is that the couple, who shunned the media and were quoted only in a belated club press release, have no wish for a presence in the Pittodrie boardroom, despite now owning 20 per cent of the club.

A spokesman had no knowledge of the actual amount they had put into Aberdeen, but said it "would be used as part of a wider deal to buy out bank debt of £9.5m".

It was all part of a restructuring of the club as the Stewart Milne Group, led by club chairman Stewart Milne, and Aberdeen Asset Management, exchanged loans they had made to the club for equity and abracadabra, the millstone was gone.

In the official statement, Mr Donald said: "We decided some time ago that we wished to give something back to the community and we see the football club as a vital and central part of the community. We see our investment as an excellent opportunity to deliver our investment."

It was, indeed, an excellent piece of business all round for Aberdeen with chief executive, Duncan Fraser, reporting an increase in turnover from £7.85m to £11.15m after last season's in third place in the SPFL Premiership, their League Cup win and reaching the Scottish Cup last four. One would have forgiven them for shouting it from the rooftops . . .