The SFA should move to Murrayfield for the fans’ sake

It’s been a question which fans of the Scottish game have pondered for years.

 

Should the home of Scottish football be Hampden or Murrayfield? The answer might not be so far away.

 

Hampden is the National Stadium and has been the regular home for Scotland internationals and domestic cup semi-finals and finals. Murrayfield is the home of Scottish rugby and has very rarely hosted football matches over the years.However, having been a temporary home for Hearts in the last few months while Tynecastle Park is renovated, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) have made a case to the Scottish Football Association (SFA) that Murrayfield becomes the new national football stadium once the SFA’s lease at Hampden expires in 2020.

 

South Stand, Hampden Park. Source: Google

 

For many, that is a decision which should have been made years ago. Since its completed redevelopment to an all-seated stadium 18 years ago, Hampden has been anything but ‘fan friendly’. If you’re unfortunate enough to get a ticket in the east or west stand during a game, then you’ll find yourself an unnecessary distance from the pitch. The stadium’s design means that any talk of a good atmosphere isn’t usually what you hear after a match. For supporters who travel by bus, it can be a good 25-minute walk to the stadium too.

 

At Murrayfield there’s an opportunity for fans visiting home internationals or domestic cup finals to experience something in a much more enjoyable environment. The move to Murrayfield for the SFA would mean more seats for bigger crowds and public transport on tap. Those crowds would be closer to the pitch too, which means better atmospheres.

 

It’s also worth noting that the rest of Britain’s national stadiums are all in the capital cities (London’s Wembley, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium and Belfast’s Windsor Park) so the shift from Glasgow to Edinburgh for the national team would follow a trend. One of Scotland’s best ever players, Kenny Dalglish, has this week backed the SFA to stay put. “How can Scottish football move from Hampden? It’s home,” he said.

 

Scotland’s national team first started playing there in 1906 so it’s clear why traditionalists aren’t keen on the change. But Scottish football needs a shake up from top to bottom and a vibrant new home for the SFA should be heavily considered.

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