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Let’s Fill Hampden!

Date: 6th February 2020

The SFA announced this week that over 40,000 tickets have been sold for Scotland’s Euro 2020 play-off clash against Israel at Hampden on the 26th of March. 

That’s a huge figure and it could become a sell-out within weeks. 

It just goes to show you what a bit of optimism and good pricing can do. 

I have often been critical of the bigwigs at Hampden for overpricing Scotland games. They took advantage of supporters being emotionally attached to our nation’s football team. Unfortunately for the last two decades much of Scotland’s performances didn’t merit the prices that the Tartan Army were being told to pay. It didn’t seem to hit home with the head honchos at The SFA as they stubbornly kept the prices at a level that the team’s achievements failed to justify. That in turn saw attendances drop for home games and the atmosphere then suffered as a result. 

But with all that being said, I applaud the decision by The SFA to offer tickets at a more reasonable price. It’s especially pleasing given this tie with Israel is our biggest for years. The team will need the fans to help them get through this tough play-off tie. 

Scotland’s senior men’s side haven’t competed in a major finals since the World Cup in France 1998. We are now, possibly, just two games away from getting to Euro 2020. A full generation of supporter hasn’t seen us play in a big international tournament. It’s great that they have a chance to go to Hampden and cheer the team on, during such an important evening! 

It’s also fantastic to see so many fans and Tartan Army foot soldiers take advantage of the realistic pricing and snapping up the tickets. If they can sellout the stadium and recreate the famous Hampden roar and that helps our team to succeed on the pitch, then maybe those in charge will see that offering tickets at this price will fill up the stadium and produce the right atmosphere needed to get the best out of our boys. 

On previous occasions away sides have been overawed playing in front of a frenzied Glasgow crowd. The Tartan Army in full song can intimidate the best of teams. If they are loud in March, then the Israelis might freeze under the pressure like others have done in the past. It’s an advantage we have rarely used to it’s full potential in recent years due to apathy, poor performances and bad pricing. 

I urge every and any Scotland fan that can get to Mount Florida on the 26th of March to do so. Buy your ticket, have whatever prematch rituals you enjoy and enter Hampden in full voice. We can hopefully cheer our team to another victory and take us a step closer to our dream of getting to another international tournament! 

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