GLASGOW: The Scottish Football Association has struck a £5m deal to buy Hampden Park from second division Queen’s Park and thus reject a tempting offer  from the Scottish Rugby Union to shift all its matches to Murrayfield.

Ian Maxwell, chief executive the governing body, hailed a “fantastic day for Scottish football” after it was confirmed that Hampden would remain the home of major internationals and cup semi-finals and finals.

The governing body had been considering taking showpiece games to Edinburgh when its Hampden lease expires in 2020.

Queen’s Park, who have owned the stadium since it opened in 1903, move to the nearby Lesser Hampden.

Maxwell said: “It was incredibly close. The SRU put forward a very compelling case. I would have really enjoyed going to work with them at Murrayfield. I think we would have done well. But ownership is the game-changer. Owning our own stadium and being able to utilise that 24/7 gives us a real opportunity to make changes.

“It is a fantastic day for Scottish football, absolutely fantastic.”

The SFA said the Glasgow businessman Lord Haughey, a former Queen’s Park player and ex-Celtic director, had pledged half of the purchase price.

Maxwell said concerns remained about Hampden’s suitability but vowed to search for new money for its redevelopment from possibly the Glasgow city council or Scottish government.