Scotland hosting a proper major tournament sounds magic but Trojan Horse fear remains – Michael Gannon – Michael Gannon


Scotland getting a slice of Euro 2028 sounds like a nice idea but there’s something slightly whiffy about this GB and Ireland joint bid.

England are right in the thick of it but it’s more like UEFA have loaded all the home nations in to a Trojan Horse to use in their war with FIFA.

This smacks of the European suits telling England they can go to the play park, but as long as they take their wee brothers with them.

Listen, on paper it’s a pleasant plan.

We get to host some more Euro games and this time it’s not a smack bang in the middle of a global pandemic.

The 2020 version felt like an almighty anti-climax. Steve Clarke’s men bust a gut to make sure we’d be at our own party and then couldn’t invite anyone but the next door neighbours.

Sure, the 12,000 inside Hampden did their best to make a racket, but compare and contrast the atmosphere to what we finally experienced against Israel and Denmark.

Doing it properly would be lovely.

It would also be nice to at last get the chance to give Hampden the makeover it so desperately needs.

The Old Lady looks okay on the telly but we all know it’s a false impression as it’s murder in the stands.

Three sides need leveled and rebuilt at least and there would be no better chance to do it than for the Euros.

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The government would need to get involved as there are plenty of economic benefits for hosting these things.

There would be tickets sold, fan zones, the pubs and restaurants would be rammed – well, the ones that are still in business after the last two brutal years.

But is it going to happen?

England don’t actually need us to host the Euros but they’ve dragged us along for the ride.

why?

Well, it’s got hee haw to do with the festival of football. It’s more the political battle and the more UEFA have on board the better.

The only surprise is they haven’t green lit a joint bid from GB and Ireland, plus, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, the Isle of Mann and Gibraltar.

The big chiefs are at loggerheads with FIFA over their plans to roll out the World Cup every two years.

When is their grand plan penciled in to start? Oh yeah, 2028.

UEFA clearly want a bumper Euros booked in for that time and don’t bet against it being extended again to 32 teams in a bid to keep the votes on board to block the World Cup plans.

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Poor UEFA are down to their last few hundred billion Euros in the bank after the pandemic and are looking to replenish their coffers.

There’s a political football being booted around and the SFA might as well have Miter Delta stamped on their foreheads.

Look, we might as well hop on board. England are our big bros and the financial powerhouses of Europe right now.

We can’t really afford not to chum up to them, especially when there’s still all kinds of worrying talk about European Super Leagues and so on.

But let’s also be realistic.

Do we really think we’re going to see Hampden dragged kicking and screaming in to the 21st century by 2028.

That gives us six years to draw up plans, flatten the place and get the diggers in. Oh, and we need to figure out how to pay for it.

We can’t even afford VAR right now.

But we can’t do the gaff up on the cheap again. No one expects the SFA to have the place looking like the billion quid Wembley.

But that doesn’t mean we can do what we can do it up on the cheap like last time. It will cost the guts of £500m to do it properly.

Where’s that coming from? Folk are freaking out at the cost of living and it’s only going to get worse in the next few years as the pandemic bill lands at the doors of us mugs.

Is Holyrood going to chuck half a bill at Hampden? Could they even justify it?

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Maybe we need to get UEFA to throw us the dough. If they want Scotland to play political football, then the least they can do is pay us for the pleasure of being booted around.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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