Scottish FA agree deal to remain at Hampden Park
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 11/09/18 5:40pm
The Scottish Football Association has opted to remain at Hampden Park, and has agreed to buy the stadium from Queen's Park when the existing lease expires in 2020.
The SFA will pay £5m to the Scottish League Two side, although they say the total value of the deal will be in the region of £19m when liabilities to those involved in redeveloping the stadium in 1998 are taken into account.
Hampden Park was chosen over Murrayfield, the Edinburgh stadium that is home to Scotland's national rugby team, following a four-year review.
A statement from the SFA said: "Ownership of Hampden Park will enable the Scottish FA to control the future of the stadium. It will open up opportunities to continue to develop the infrastructure and create a national stadium that will inspire the next generation of football fans."
SFA president Alan McRae added: "It was a hugely difficult decision and I would like to place on record our thanks to Scottish Rugby for their professionalism throughout the process. They made a truly compelling case to move to Edinburgh and gave us a very difficult decision to make.
"This decision is about what was best for Scottish football and our members. It is about the future of football in Scotland."
Following their decision to purchase Hampden Park, the SFA have pledged to develop the stadium following consultation with fans.
SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: "While we are now committed to Hampden Park we also recognise that it needs to change.
"We have heard the fans' views throughout the process and agree with them that we need to improve access, transport links and the overall experience. We are committed to doing that."
Half of the fee due to Queen's Park for the purchase of the stadium will be paid by Lord Willie Haughey, the Glasgow-born businessman.
Maxwell expressed the SFA's gratitude to Lord Haughey for his £2.5m donation, and admitted that the offer was a key factor in the organisation's decision to stay at Hampden.
"Lord Haughey's contribution was instrumental in getting the deal done with Queen's Park," explained Maxwell. "If there was no deal with Queen's Park, I would be sitting here telling you we were going to Murrayfield.
"It played a vital part. The money Lord Haughey's given is hugely generous and we're incredibly thankful for it.
"He's a passionate Glaswegian and he played for Queen's Park. He was keen to see games continue to be played at the national stadium."
Scottish Rugby, whose bid to host Scotland matches at Murrayfield was turned down by the SFA in favour of staying at Hampden, said: "We congratulate the Scottish FA and Hampden Park for coming to an agreement and wish them luck as they develop their plans."
Despite agreeing to buy Hampden Park, the SFA says it is still committed to staging Scotland matches in other venues and cities across the country.
Queen's Park, the amateur fourth-tier side that play home matches at the 51,866-seater stadium, will move to Lesser Hampden - located next to Hampden Park - once the SFA takes control of the stadium.
In reaction to the announcement, the club said: "Queen's Park welcomes the Scottish FA's announcement today, whilst acknowledging there are still many complexities to be worked out with various stakeholders.
"This will undoubtedly have huge implications for our club and our first priority is to engage with the club membership which due to confidentiality clauses we have been unable to do thus far."