WHAT a time to be a supporter of the Scotland men’s football team.

Last month’s home win over Georgia puts Steve Clarke’s side in a strong position to qualify for the Euros next summer from what many considered to be the toughest qualifying group.

The Hampden crowd were in full voice throughout the Georgia game and during the long delay to get the pitch cleared of water, when Travis’s classic Why Does It Always Rain On Me? was belted out by the defiant Tartan Army.

But as I looked at fans’ videos and photos from the match, it reminded me that while the Scotland fans create an electric atmosphere at matches like that, it is often is spite of the way the stadium is laid out, and not because of it.

At Hampden, which first opened in 1903 and now has a capacity of 50,000, the distance from the pitch to the seating behind the goals in particular must be one of the longest in Scottish football.

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Even with the best eyesight in the world, it can be a real challenge seeing what’s going on at the other end or even to feel part of the game being so far away.

And that can have a big impact on the atmosphere and enjoyment of games played at the National Stadium.

Many Scottish football fans say one of the best ground’s for watching matches is Tynecastle Park, home of Hearts. Players – and fans – love stadiums like Tynecastle.

The National: Cool customer: Jamie Walker is congratulated after his composed finish opened the scoring for Hearts against Inverness at Tynecastle last night.

The front row is almost within touching distance of the pitch and there is a steep incline to the stands which gives supporters that feeling of being on top of the action.

Both factors – which do so much for the atmosphere at matches and make them so enjoyable for supporters – are sadly lacking when it comes to our National Stadium.

During many matches, whether they are internationals or the national cup games it hosts, can feel soulless when not at full-capacity.

Hampden is the home of Scottish football – the home of a men’s side which is flying just now and of a women’s side which qualified for the World Cup in 2019 and are 23rd in the world. Both the national sides and the clubs which play at Hampden deserve a stadium fit for purpose.

Is there a solution? Well, hopefully, yes.

Holmes Miller recently unveiled an uncosted proposal for how Hampden Park could look if given a much-needed renovation. It’s a major step up from the current set-up and wouldn’t require starting from scratch.

The current South Stand, which was part of a major development completed in 1999, would be adapted as part of a new “bowl” stadium design, bearing a resemblance to Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, widely recognised as one of the best arenas in world sport.

The National: Munich's Allianz ArenaMunich's Allianz Arena (Image: PA)

The steep design would, like Tynecastle, create an intimidating atmosphere, with the option of a retractable roof, similar to that of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, increasing the noise levels even further – and would keep flash flooding, as Glasgow experienced for the Georgia match, away from the pitch.

The seating would also be closer to the pitch, which would vastly improve the sight lines for all 65,000 spectators.

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And there would be a way to compensate when attendances aren’t at full capacity, with mechanical curtains in place to cover up empty seats in the higher tier.

There would obviously be a considerable cost but in the long term, if more revenue is generated through having a larger capacity and having more up-to-date facilities to attract major events, it would pay back the initial investment.

A major construction project like a Hampden renovation could create jobs and be positive for the local and national economies.

A newly refurbished state-of-the-art National Stadium would also look to play a key part in the 2028 European Championship bid by the UK and Ireland. It would be an obvious choice for Uefa-held finals and would put a spotlight on Glasgow and Scotland to Europe and the world.

If we agree that Hampden must remain the home of our national football sides, then we deserve a home the nation can be proud of.