QUEEN’S Park has agreed to sell Hampden Park to the Scottish Football Association (SFA) in principle and if a deal can be finalised in the coming weeks the governing body will remain at the Glasgow venue.

It is understood the SFA would have moved to BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh if the League One club had refused to sell.

Both parties are believed to be still some way from reaching an agreement over Hampden, which is in need of major redevelopment, but if they can strike a deal the SFA will stay at the at the world-renowned Mount Florida ground, the spiritual home of Scottish football for over a century.

The SFA’s current lease at Hampden runs out following the Euro 2020 finals and they have been seriously examining the possibility of taking Scotland games and cup semi-finals and finals to alternative stadiums around the country in the past year.

The money needed to remain had made senior officials, who have limited funds after failing to qualify for the finals of a major tournament for 20 years and who took several months to put together the £500,000 compensation package needed to secure the services of Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill, earlier on this season, uneasy about extending their stay for another 20 years.

The cost of maintaining and running the stadium are high, a sizeable annual rent has to be paid to current owners Queen’s Park and business rates are also expected to rise by as much as £350,000 under a government evaluation.

In June last year the then SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said that remaining at Hampden was the “preferred option” but added: “Any board faced with a lease expiry in three years’ time would have a very long, hard look at the implications of renewing that lease.”

The SFA wrote to senior clubs, the SPFL, the Scottish government and PFA Scotland to canvass opinions about the value of remaining at the stadium back in September and also commissioned a feasibility study.

The board ruled out the possibility of holding international games or cup matches at either Celtic Park or Ibrox in January and revealed they would chose between either Hampden or Murrayfield in Edinburgh, the home of Scottish rugby, in the summer.

At the time, a statement from the SFA board read: “Having considered all submissions and supporting documentation, the board has decided to further develop two positive options: remaining at Hampden Park beyond 2020 and moving to BT Murrayfield.

“This decision was taken after considering the financial implications of all proposals submitted.

“Given the complexity of the discussion - as well as the social, economic and emotional impact of any final decision - the board was unanimous that more work requires to be undertaken to bring further clarity and certainty to any final decision.”

Hampden Park managing director Peter Dallas said he had been encouraged by the support for remaining at Scottish football’s traditional home.

“We look forward to working with the board, other key stakeholders and the working group, once it is established, as we develop a final proposal in line with quoted timescales,” he said.

“It has been heartening to receive so much support during this process to date, from supporters, stakeholders, sponsors, the media, local council and MSPs.

“That underlines the special place Hampden Park holds in the hearts and minds of so many as the spiritual home of Scottish football and we are looking forward to re-affirming its position as Scotland’s national stadium beyond the matches being hosted here for UEFA Euro 2020.”