The Scottish Football Association yesterday struck a deal to buy Hampden from Queen’s Park FC, in a £5 million deal that would allow the Spiders to relocate to, and redevelop, Lesser Hampden as their new stadium.
Scottish football’s governing body claimed in a statement that former Celtic non-executive director Lord Willie Haughey had been instrumental in the sale, donating a substantial amount - reported to be £2.5 million - of the total amount.
However, it has emerged that Scots entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter - estimated to be worth more than £1 billion - pledged to match Lord Haughey’s contribution.
But instead of donating £2.5 million, the former Sports Division owner and the peer are each contributing £1.25 million to the sale price.
Speaking on talkSPORT on Wednesday morning, Haughey joked that the money had come from Scott Brown’s testimonial.
The former Scotland captain caused a stir late on Tuesday after he described the national stadium as being “one of the worst I’ve played in for atmosphere”.
Haughey said: “I hear that Scott Brown is not happy. He will be even worse this morning when I tell him I gave his testimonial money towards the £2.5 million.
“I am disappointed that Scott thinks that – especially with all the great days he’s had there. But I am sure for the players as well we can make the atmosphere a bit better.”
Haughey and Hunter have also vowed to discuss further investment with a view to helping transform Hampden into one of Europe’s leading arenas, and giving Scottish football “the home it truly deserves”.