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Emotion, history, politics, money and the great Hampden head-scratcher | Ewan Murray

The SFA faces difficult questions over whether to keep playing Scotland games at the national stadium beyond the 2020 lease

Saturday’s meeting of Queen’s Park and table?topping Ayr United drew a relatively strong crowd, for a Scottish League One fixture, of 1,233. That more than 50,000 seats remained empty at Hampden Park highlights one of the game’s great quirks, anomalies or annoyances depending on standpoint.

The future fate of Queen’s, an amateur team formed in 1867 and owners of Scottish football’s national stadium on present site since 1903, is intrinsically linked to boardroom talks as scheduled for Tuesday. Discussion regarding Hampden’s fate has proved a slow burner, almost to the point many are unaware of the very real possibility of it being discarded. The host venue of the iconic 1960 European Cup final, the scene of 149,547 – officially – attending a Scotland v England fixture, the setting for that Zinedine Zidane volley in 2002 is under threat.

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