Football clubs open to Murrayfield ‘hub’ following talks

Hibernian and Hearts say they are open to using the home of Scottish Rugby to allow fans to watch games.

Football clubs open to Murrayfield ‘hub’ following talks SNS

Scottish Rugby has held talks with clubs about using Murrayfield Stadium as a hub for the return of professional football later this summer.

SRU operations chief Dominic McKay confirmed in an in-house podcast that the rugby union governing body would offer up the 62,177 capacity national stadium if it could help smooth the Scottish Professional Football League in starting up again from August onward.

McKay told the Official Scottish Rugby Podcast: “There is a wider point here that could BT Murrayfield be used for events and other sports in the way that we have got that protective bubble environment, absolutely, we have spoken to various football teams in the city of Edinburgh around potentially utilising our facility in the season ahead and we would be happy to do that if it was right for them and for us.

“If sport can collaborate then football can play at BT Murrayfield to restart their sport and that helps our sport start in many ways.

“We can share the best practice from an elite game in rugby and in football, to share with our colleagues in grassroots and to restart the sport at grassroots level at some point and we must do that.”

Scottish Premiership clubs have been given the green light to resume training on June 11 provided they meet a set of guidelines, including testing players and staff for Coronavirus twice a week.

The league has targeted August for 1st to start the new season.

Reduced crowds, operating physical distancing, could be introduced to grounds if the Scottish Government agrees to it – which could make the vast grandstands of Murrayfield able to accommodate some of the crowds which usually attend the home matches of Hibernian, Livingston and Heart of Midlothian.

Hearts were relegated from the Scottish Premiership after the vote to end last season prematurely.

A spokesperson for Hibernian FC said: “We are open to any viable option that allows Hibernian supporters to watch their team.”

A Hearts spokesman said: “Following discussions with Scottish Rugby the club is open to the idea of utilising BT Murrayfield as a hub if it proves to be a way to safely introduce larger crowds back to football.”

Meanwhile Scottish Rugby also addressed reports that the British and Irish Lions team could play a test match in Edinburgh before embarking on their tour of South Africa next year.

Dominic McKay said: “We see the Lions having an incredible weekend of rugby at BT Murrayfield before they head off on tour to South Africa.

“I know that our bid has been really well received by the Lions Board, but at the moment it is just really speculation on the basis that a lot needs to happen between now and a Lions tour.”

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