Hampden Park lacks atmosphere, says Lord Willie Haughey
Last Updated: 12/09/18 2:21pm
Lord Willie Haughey, one of the businessmen who helped bankroll the Scottish Football Association's purchase of Hampden Park, says he shares Scott Brown's frustration about the stadium's lack of atmosphere.
Lord Haughey and Sir Tom Hunter gave the Scottish Football Association (SFA) more than a £1m each to help fund the £5m purchase of Hampden Park from Queen's Park, securing the venue as the long-term home of Scottish football rather than moving to Murrayfield.
Brown said Hampden Park is "possibly one of the worst stadiums I have played in for atmosphere", suggesting it would be better for Scotland matches to be played at Celtic Park, Ibrox, Easter Road or Tynecastle.
That view has been echoed by sections of Scotland's fanbase, but Lord Haughey is confident the SFA can put measures in place to improve Hampden Park's atmosphere.
He told Sky Sports News: "I think they are right to complain. I think especially for the people in the ends where because of the running track you are so far away from the pitch.
"And the atmosphere you get at Celtic Park and Ibrox cannot be replicated there so we have to look at that and I'm sure (SFA chief executive) Ian Maxwell and the team at the SFA will actually be focusing on that."
Lord Haughey, who grew up in the shadow of Hampden Park and played for Queen's Park at junior level, is relieved the matter has now finally been laid to rest after months of speculation and uncertainty.
"I definitely thought it [the home of the Scotland national team] was heading towards Murrayfield," he said.
"They looked as though they were edging it with all of the PR that was going on, and I just thought it would be a tragedy if Hampden was going to lose out as the home of Scottish football.
"I am absolutely delighted now that it's been put to bed and that this will now be the venue forever more for the national team. I think now the hard work starts for the SFA and the powers that be. And hopefully, with a bit of input from Tom and myself it will help to create a stadium and atmosphere that everybody will be proud of."