Skyline Drifter wrote:
As a Queen of the South fan / member of staff, we were extremely disappointed to hear the odd call from the media for our semi final with Aberdeen last season to be played somewhere away from Hampden for 'the look of the thing'. In our case obviously, playing Aberdeen, geography wasn't really an issue, there being no real advantage in shifting the tie to Edinburgh for instance as some suggested (Allan Preston to name but one).
This is where it gets difficult. Who wants to be the bad guy who says to Queen of the South fans, who might not get there again for years, that they can't play at Hampden? You're right to point out that distance wasn't an issue - as it suited both clubs - and the match itself was one of the better semi-finals in recent years. This was one of the more difficult ones to call.
Skyline Drifter wrote:In any event, as David has pointed out, there isn't another ground suitable unless you want to lock people out and frankly I don't think it's right that you consider doing that if it isn't neceessary.
'Locking people out' sounds quite emotive. All I'm suggesting is if it's really worthwhile selling an extra 2,000 or 3,000 tickets to play in a half-empty stadium when you could forego those sales and play in a 90%+ full stadium.
Skyline Drifter wrote:Also at the end of the day, there's a financial cost to hiring an alternative ground. Why should a club who didn't earn the right to be at the semi final stage take some of the spoils from it unnecessarily? Play it at Hampden, the SFA keep the ground rent and redistribute to ALL clubs accordingly.
Did the SFA not find themselves in some crippling agreement that involved them having to use Hampden for ALL major games? Or are the financial costs for the new main stand, in particular, so high that the SFA insist on Hampden being used? This is where I wonder whether semi-finals are being played at Hampden for football or romantic and more for hard-headed financial ones.
Skyline Drifter wrote:I really don't see why a day out at Hampden shouldn't be a consolation reward for semi finalists and only reserved for finalists?
The Road To Hampden used to always refer to the path taken towards the Cup Final itself. It was never intended to refer to teams reaching the semi-final. It's a pedantic point, maybe, but there's something to be said for keeping the Final venue 'special' and an achievement in itself playing there.