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Councillor Charles Gordon
"This deal will not affect front-line services or council tax levels"
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Tuesday, 7 March, 2000, 17:40 GMT
Hampden jigsaw complete
Hampden entrance
The stadium has undergone major reconstruction
The final piece of the deal to rescue the debt-ridden National Stadium at Hampden Park has been put in place by Glasgow City Council.

The council's policy and resources committee has endorsed an additional 600,000 in funding as part of the 5.6m rescue package.

The money matches the extra 600,000 put up by the Scottish Executive and will see the Scottish Football Association take over the running of the national stadium.

Hampden rescue
63m facelift
TNS plc 5.5m in debt
4.4m rescue deal rejected
New 5.6m deal
Extra 600,000 each from Glasgow City Council and Scottish Executive
The council attached several conditions to its offer, including representation on the new management board and city-wide community access to Hampden's facilities.

The leader of Glasgow City Council, Charles Gordon, pledged that the deal would not affect front-line services or council tax levels.

"The money comes from a special fund which has built up over the years.

"We agreed the deal on the basis of a number of conditions, including wanting to see changes in management arrangements and a pledge to secure the new museum for Scottish football which will be an important attraction for the future.

Threat of liquidation

"This was the only deal on the table and if this had not been agreed then we would have seen the liquidators winding up the stadium's affairs, putting it up for sale and then seeing it demolished."

The stadium's managers have said they will accept the deal, bringing to an end months of wrangling.

The deal should also secure the future of owners Queen's Park Football Club, although Austin Reilly, chief executive of The National Stadium plc (TNS), will step down.

Austin Reilly
Austin Reilly: Stepping down
He said: "We are delighted with this deal. It represents a major step forward in securing the financial package for the future of the stadium and Queen's Park Football Club.

"I think Scotland has got a wonderful asset, a national building that has been given UEFA five star listing."

The Scottish Parliament's sports committee has decided to investigate the wrangling which preceded the agreement being reached.

Scottish National Party sports spokeswoman Fiona Hyslop said: "The SNP still has grave concerns that the current negotiations are still being conducted behind closed doors."

Minister 'furious'

The Tories' sports spokesman Brian Monteith said: "What matters is that the Scottish taxpayer knows why so many mistakes happened, who was responsible."

The original 4.4m rescue package, which included contributions from the Millennium Commission, the Glasgow Development Agency, and SportScotland, was rejected by TNS in January.

Sports Minister Sam Galbraith was said to be furious and ordered that a solution be found, although he said no more public money would be made available.

Stadium seats
The capacity is now 52,000
However, the new package raises the Scottish Executive's contribution to 2.8m.

The 63m reconstruction of Hampden Park has been plagued by debts and controversy.

Queen's Park Football Club is in administration after failing to agree a deal on letting the stadium, and it was feared that TNS would follow if its debts of 5.5m were not covered.

That in turn would have brought down a whole string of deals, including sponsorships worth 8m and debentures which generated 2m.

If it had gone bust, the national stadium would have been sold off as an asset to the highest bidder, despite the public money already spent on it.

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See also:

29 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Hampden deal on hold
16 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Hampden deal agreed - Galbraith
29 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Hampden fate unclear
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