Why ?Well Want Hampden

Last updated : 17 November 2004 By Firparkcorner

We can start by listing the criteria for grounds to be considered. They need to be accessible to both teams and have a minimum of 15,000 seats. That rules out Perth and everything above it, Tynecastle is clearly not neutral, so we are left with Easter Road, Rugby Park and three grounds in Glasgow. Of the Glasgow options, there is no way the game will be played at Ibrox or Parkhead since that would make a total farce of rebuilding Hampden. So then there were three.

Our last day out!
The distinct outsider is Rugby Park. Indeed, it has hardly been mentioned so far. It has an ideal capacity of around 17,000 which would ensure a good atmosphere.

It requires both teams to travel although the distances would not be a deciding factor in whether or not people attended. However, even though Rugby Park might be a logical compromise, it seems more realistic to believe that one of the clubs are going to get their way – so we are left with Hampden or Easter Road.

It is not surprising Hearts want Easter Road and if we were them, we would want it too. It is right in their backyard, their fans will turn out in large numbers and they have a good record there. For us, it is the opposite. It is harder for our fans to get there, we will be audibly outnumbered in terms of support and our record at Easter Road is nothing short of embarrassing.

Hampden on the other hand, is ideal for no one, even if the parking is easier. Not perfect but we’re not starting with a disadvantage either. Both sets of fans need to travel and any numerical advantage Hearts have in terms of support will be lost amongst the waves of empty Hampden seats. Everyone outside of Motherwell may think we are mad. But, as far as we know, we are within our rights to request the semi final is played at Hampden. If we were to win, it would give our final opponents a clear advantage having played there whilst we did not. And, on a simpler level, in Scotland having reached the semi final of a national cup competition, you get the reward of a game at the national stadium. It’s a day out for the players and the fans.

It might sound churlish and petty but whatever arguments Terry uses to get the game at Hampden is fine. It is his job to help the players achieve the best results possible and if that means playing our semi final in front of 35,000 empty seats, rather than face an intimidating atmosphere with 12,000 rabid Hearts fans on our backs, good on him.