THE Scottish FA are to buy Hampden from Queen’s Park at the end of their existing lease in 2020.
A statement released ahead of an official announcement later this afternoon says that the decision follows a ‘lengthy and rigorous process’ and that the stadium will be bought for a sum of £5m.
It means that Scotland national team games and Scottish Cup finals and semi-finals will continue to be played at the National Stadium.
The SFA board had been considering an offer from Scottish Rugby to move away from Hampden and hold matches at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.
Ownership of the stadium means there will be work done to redevelop the stadium ‘for the benefit of Scottish football fans’, according to the SFA’s chief executive Ian Maxwell.
And as a result of the purchase, League Two side Queen’s Park will move to Lesser Hampden, adapted with the proceeds of the sale of their historic home.
Half of the cash required to buy the home of Scottish football is being provided by Lord Willie Haughey.
Club statement on the SFA's decision to remain at HampdenQueen’s Park welcomes the Scottish FA’s announcement today,…
Scottish FA President Alan McRae said: “Today’s announcement has been the conclusion of a four-year process to review our national stadium beyond 2020.
“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.
“I would like to pay tribute to the inspiration, energy and hard work of Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, and his Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay — both are true leaders in Scottish sport.”
The choice between Hampden and Murrayfield has divided opinion across Scottish football, and has become a long-running saga.
The decision had been due to be made two weeks ago, but was postponed to gather more information.
“This decision is about what was best for Scottish football and our members. It is about the future of football in Scotland,” Mr McRae added.
“I would also like to thank everyone who has been part of this process and to recognise the enormous generosity of Lord Haughey.
“Finally, it has also been a hugely challenging time for Queen’s Park, Hampden Park Limited and all of the people who will be directly affected by this decision.
“We appreciate all their efforts to reach an agreement today and look forward to working with them to shape the future and continue to develop a national stadium that we can all be proud of.”
Scottish FA 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.
“With all the commitments that have been made to the Scottish FA and Hampden Park Limited throughout this process, taking ownership of the Hampden Park site will create the potential to transform the home of Scottish football for the benefit of Scottish football fans.
“Ownership really will change the game. We look forward to working with all Interested parties to achieve an exciting and fan-friendly vision for Hampden Park.”