Solution for Scotland?

by admin

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

My dad is certainly two things, he is a Glaswegian, and he is a football fan. Nothing strange I know, but his club of choice baffles some, he comes from a family of Celtic fans, but for some reason in the 1960’s he adopted Clyde as his team. This rubbed off on me, and along with my brother we all follow the Bully Wee as well as Newcastle. Following Clyde has its ups and downs. Equalizing against Inverness to put Clyde in driving seat for promotion, followed by Caley running up the field and scoring the winner – to promote themselves into the SPL at Clyde’s expense is the most notable. This ranks slightly higher in the disappointment stakes than the more recent relegation into the third division. But then THAT Scottish Cup win against Celtic on Roy Keane’s debut was one of those magnificent football moments which restore the belief to every fan that football is the greatest sport in the world.

However, this time of year there are rarely ups or downs for fans of Scottish lower league clubs. This is because it is a miracle for matches to even be played, the Scottish weather proving an even more potent destructive force than Craig Gunn of Elgin City. However, Clyde’s game tonight at Queen’s Park is on, the National Stadium able to cope with all the elements can throw at it tonight. This may be because the climate (yes, Glasgow’s climate) is significantly better than at Borough Briggs, where Elgin will not be facing Peterhead tonight. Or it may be because the game is being played in a UEFA certified Five Star Stadium.

For the casual follower of the Scottish Leagues it may well seem ridiculous that Queens Park, an amateur team, play their home games at Hampden Park. The same place where Puskas and Zidane have made history for Real Madrid in the European Cup. The same place where nearly 150,000 twice congregated for Scotland v England matches. But, Queen’s Park still own the stadium, so it is their right to play there, and that is why tonight John Sweeney and Liam Cusack are treading in the footsteps of Alfredo Di Stefano, Luis Figo and Kenny Dalglish.

This got me thinking, as Hampden is more likely to be able to cope with ‘adverse weather conditions’ (The SFA definition of ‘winter’), and, as it is quite an under used ground, could more teams play occasional home games there in the winter, to avoid congested fixture lists once the weather clears up? It would also keep costs down, it would be less to make just one pitch playable than at all the clubs grounds. Naturally this has limitations for all clubs outside the south west of Scotland, but could something similar be done in the North with Pittodrie? The traditionalist in me hates this idea, but until the SFA see sense and put in a winter break, or even turn to summer football, then it may be the only thing remotely close to a solution.

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