Hollywood fiction a strange Hampden fact of life
This weekend around 20,000 extras are expected to show up at Hampden Park for the filming of a preposterous Hollywood yarn about a small-time Scottish football team that gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play on the big stage. This is 19,500 more than show up every fortnight for buy canada goose parka uk the preposterous story of another small-time Scottish club that actually plays on the same big stage.
One buy canada goose jacket nyc team is called Kilnockie, the other is Queen’s Park. One will feature in the forthcoming movie, The Cup, and is best canada goose jacket style buy canada goose coat uk the product of the Oscar-winning actor Robert Duvall’s bizarre obsession with Scottish football. The other team plays in the Scottish Third Division and owns the £50m-plus ground that is the product of a bizarre obsession with Scotland having a “national” stadium.
Readers of Hollywood Reporter and Guardian sport will know that Kilnockie are fictional and that Queen’s Park are real, though sometimes I wonder; who would believe a tale about an amateur club that plays home games at best price for canada goose jacket a stadium with 52,000 seats, its own museum, hospitality boxes and corporate conference suites?
As a parable of the madness that is modern football it is hard to imagine that anything quite surpasses the rebirth of Hampden. For the uninitiated, it goes something like this.
About five years ago it was generally acknowledged that the famous old stadium was fit only for the bulldozer. The only debate was whether or not it should be rebuilt. A minority was against, arguing it would be absurd to sink public money into a new national stadium when Glasgow had two stadiums of international standing, Ibrox and Parkhead.
The pro-Hampden majority – including the Scottish Football Association, the then Tory government and the SNP – countered by hinting that Glasgow’s “sectarian problem” necessitated the construction of a “neutral” venue for cup finals and international fixtures. The argument was that Celtic fans would refuse to go to games at Ibrox and vice-versa. The question of whether or not public money should be used to under-write the prejudices of a few bigots was forgotten in the rush of politicians – with some honourable exceptions – seeking to play the populist card.
Then there was the argument that Scotland needed its own national stadium in the same way that it benefits of canada goose jacket needed a parliament – as an expression of “national buy canada goose jacket cheap identity”.
Well, like every idea borne out of airy-fairy nationalism, the decision to rebuild now begins to look like a folly of monumental proportions. can you wash a canada goose jacket in the washer
These days a great deal of international football involves qualifying games against the former Soviet and Balkan nations. There is little public interest in, say, Scotland against Bosnia. Such games are perfect for farming out to smaller stadiums. Italy does it, Spain does it. Even Scotland did it while Hampden was being rebuilt, and to good effect.
The suggestion that the sectarian problem ruled out Ibrox or Parkhead also proved groundless as both were used to stage World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and were sold out.
Scotland’s first game at the new stadium is against Lithuania on October 9 and, neutral venue or not, it is not tempting fate to say related website tickets will be available on the night. Hampden’s official can you wash a canada goose jacket in the washer opening will not take place until March 2000, against France.
Meanwhile, the stadium will be used for little other than a fortnightly Scottish Third Division match. Queen’s Park are blameless in all of this: what would you do if someone came along and offered to build you a new ground, gratis? But few would now argue that the £50m or so splashed out on Hampden was money well spent.
Of course, all of this could be filed away as water under the bridge. Indeed that was the prevailing view among senior figures in the Scottish game, or at least it was until a couple of recent developments.
The first was that last month the stadium developer, National Stadium plc, was issued with a writ for £4m by the main builders. Talks between the two parties are ongoing. The can i put my canada goose jacket in the dryer second was that the fraud squad is investigating alleged financial irregularities centred on the museum housed at the complex. “There is no case to answer,” a Hampden source said after the story broke last weekend. It can only be hoped that this confidence is well-placed.