The case for retaining Hampden as the home of Scottish football has been dealt a blow after a survey found just 15 per cent of fans were happy to stay put. READ MORE – The Pros and Cons of the SFA ditching Hampden The Scottish Football Association (SFA) is weighing up whether to quit the National Stadium when its lease expires in 2020. It will cost “many, many millions of pounds” to maintain the historic venue on Glasgow’s south side over the span of a new 20-year lease according to SFA chief executive Stewart Regan.
Now a poll of fans has suggested many believe that cash could be better spent elsewhere. The Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA) carried out a survey of just under 3,000 of its members and found only a sixth wanted to see major internationals and cup finals staged at Hampden.
SFA bosses have already held talks with their rugby counterparts about staging showpiece fixtures at Murrayfield and that prospect was backed by 34 per cent of the poll’s respondents. Meanwhile, another 25 per cent called for major matches to be taken on the road around the country. Just over half of the supporters rate the overall experience of Hampden – which is owned by Ladbrokes League One side Queen’s Park – as “bad or very bad”.
Now SFSA chairman Simon Barrow has called on Regan to consult fans before making a final decision on Hampden’s fate. He said: “The results of the research is concerning. Clearly the status quo is not working, and with such widespread views on the question of the national stadium we believe that a full independent consultation should be conducted before any future decisions are made about Hampden Park.
“It is too big an issue for the SFA to consider alone.
“It is also clear that fans themselves must be involved as key stakeholders in this decision. “Given the issues that have been highlighted by the research we would also be in favour of further work being done to explore the options to update and improve the current stadium.”