SFA seeking fans' ticket advice over friendlies

July 8, 2008

The Scottish Football Association are asking the Tartan Army if they are prepared to pay top ticket prices to bring Argentina to Hampden.

A challenge match scheduled for November 19 is under discussion between the SFA and agents representing the Argentinian FA but costs remain a stumbling block.

Top price for a competitive Scotland match is around £35 while the highest cost of a ticket for the visit of Northern Ireland to Hampden in August's friendly is £20.

Ticket prices for the visit of Argentina would be higher than both.

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith revealed fans' appetite for the match will be gauged before a decision is made.

'Qualifying for the World Cup finals is our number one priority, ' Smith said.

'We have shown over the past few years that we have made major improvements in our game and that we are ready to take the next step and play alongside the world's best in a major championships.

'However, if we want to keep on improving, we have to continually test ourselves against top class opposition.

'And, if we want to do more than qualify for a World Cup finals, but also make our mark at them, we have to play against different styles of teams from around the world, not just from Europe.

'We want to play teams of the quality of Argentina and Brazil, but the match fees and costs for these teams is not cheap.

'In fact, the match fees and expenses involved in bringing any top class team to Hampden can be substantial.

'We will always strive to keep ticket prices down, but if we want to play the very best, then there will be an impact on ticket prices.

'If we were to play Argentina later this year - then in order to cover all the costs involved, the ticket prices would be higher than for a normal friendly match - indeed, there is every likelihood that the prices would be more than for our competitive matches.

'Today we are starting a debate. We want the fans and the media to talk about this issue frankly and openly.

'The question is a simple one.

'Are we prepared to pay more so that Scotland can play against the world's best?'