Queen’s Park survival key to Hampden’s potential sale to SFA

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Queen’s Park’s members are taking a pragmatic approach to talks between the club and the Scottish FA about selling Hampden but the overriding concern for supporters is that the League One side are allowed to continue to play at the national stadium.

The SFA is considering making an offer for the 115-year-old stadium, which the governing body currently rents from Queen’s Park. The lease between the parties ends in 2020 and the association is considering whether to continue to stage high-profile cup games and Scotland matches at the stadium or move to Edinburgh to BT Murrayfield.

Hampden Park, which the SFA could look to buy from Queen's Park. Picture: John Devlin

Hampden Park, which the SFA could look to buy from Queen's Park. Picture: John Devlin

The Queen’s Park board held a meeting with their members on Wednesday night, with club president Alan Hutchison talking through the background of the approach and canvassing members for their views.

Supporters association secretary Keith McAllister said: “Selling Hampden is not something that we had been expecting to hear as an option and the meeting was an opportunity to tell those with Queen’s Park at heart what could happen.

“As members and fans we would love to keep Hampden as our home and any deal should accommodate Scotland’s oldest club still continuing to play their games there. It is a magic piece of Scottish football that a small amateur side plays their games at such a big arena.

“I have met hundreds of football fans from across the world who have come to take in the unique atmosphere of a Queen’s Park game.”

From a supporters’ point of view, the sale of the ground should only be countenanced if the future of the 150-year-old club was at risk, as McAllister explained: “There was not a lot of detail regarding what a sale would bring or what the SFA moving to Murrayfield would mean. However the over-riding factor in any complex deal involving a football club is that the club survives. In fact, survives is not the right word. This club is thriving at a youth and community level, as well as over-delivering by playing in League One so the over-riding factor has to be that the club continues to thrive.”

The SFA says a final decision on Hampden’s future will not be rushed. A spokesperson said: “The Scottish FA Board met last month to review the opportunities available beyond the term of the existing lease for the use of Hampden Park, which expires in 2020. It was decided to progress two options: remaining at Hampden Park and moving to 
BT Murrayfield.

“We are now working with all key stakeholders to consider the strategic, financial, operational and supporter-related aspects of each option with a view to making a decision later this year.”