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Paul Sinclair of the Daily Record
"They would rather pull down the house of cards than do a deal with the SFA"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 29 February, 2000, 08:07 GMT
New Hampden deal on hold
Hampden Park
Stadium directors are being asked to consider the deal
Hampden Park directors have still not reached agreement on the latest package put forward to rescue the National Stadium.

A new provisional deal involving an extra 1.2m from the Scottish Executive and Glasgow City Council was proposed to directors at a meeting on Monday evening.

If accepted it would safeguard the future of the recently refurbished stadium which is now threatened with liquidation.

Hampden is "home" to Scottish football
But they decided to keep the matter open for the next few days.

The plan would mean a further 600,000 from the executive and the same amount from Glasgow City Council.

Councillors will vote next week on whether they are willing to hand over taxpayers' cash.

Queen's Park Football Club, which owns the stadium, went into administration after failing to reach an agreement over a 4.4m rescue package outlined in December, after the refurbishment project incurred a multi-million pound debt.

Seeking assurances

Scottish Sports Minister Sam Galbraith is seeking assurances from directors of The National Stadium (TNS) - a subsidiary of Queen's Park, the amateur club which owns Hampden - that the deal will be completed by 17 March.

He also said funding was on condition that the bodies involved are committed to concluding a deal that includes the Scottish Football Association.

I am determined to do all I can to secure the future of Hampden Park, but we cannot let this run forever. It must be resolved soon

Sam Galbraith
Mr Galbraith said: "Any rescue package to which the Scottish Executive and the other co-funders commit public money is contingent on three conditions.

"They are that the funding gap can be bridged; that a new management structure for the stadium operation is put in place, involving the SFA; and that there is a viable business plan for the stadium.

"The interim administrator appointed by Queens Park has now told us that the best available option for Hampden is the rescue deal put forward in December.

Funding gap increase

"Since December, however, the funding gap has increased for a number of reasons, including the worsening financial position of Queen's Park and its subsidiary TNS.

"I am therefore prepared to provide extra funding, but with strict conditions attached. Unless these conditions can be met, not a penny of our rescue package will be handed over.

Sam Galbraith
Sam Galbraith: "Strict conditions"
"I am determined to do all I can to secure the future of Hampden Park, but we cannot let this run forever. It must be resolved soon."

It is understood that if this deal is not concluded and the debts, which stand at 5.5m, are not paid off, TNS will have to go into liquidation.

That in turn would bring down a whole string of deals, including sponsorships worth some 8m and debentures which generated 2m. All would be declared null and void, and would have to be paid back.

If it goes bust, the national stadium would have to be sold off as an asset to the highest bidder, despite the public money which has already been spent there.

Queens Park Football Club has already gone into administration after failing to agree a deal on letting the stadium.

The scale of the current debts is being blamed on the protracted negotiations between the SFA and Queens Park over the last six months.

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See also:

28 Feb 00 |  Scotland
New Hampden deal reached
16 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Hampden deal agreed - Galbraith
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