Hibs boss Neil Lennon reckons Hampden has lost its roar


Hibs manager Neil Lennon has welcomed the decision to keep Hampden, but insists the ‘soulless’ ground is in desperate need of a revamp to rediscover its roar.

The Scottish FA decided on Tuesday to remain at the 52,000-arena rather than groundshare at Murrayfield after a £5 million deal was agreed with current owners Queen’s Park.

However, concerns about the atmosphere remain and the SFA have vowed to look at ways to improve the experience for fans and players – citing how German club Stuttgart redeveloped their stadium in 2009.

Lennon has himself enjoyed many memorable days out at Hampden as both a Celtic player and manager having won the Scottish and League Cup a total of eight times, but admits the ground must be upgraded.

He said: “It needs a revamp, the acoustics and the logistics of the stadium are not great for football, we have the Champions League final there in 2002 and that was a great occasion but that was basically a one-off.

“Sometimes the supporters are far too away from the pitch. They’re talking about revamping it and it badly needs it because sometimes it can be a bit soulless.

“It’s great, the SFA have done their bit and it’s going to be there as the traditional home but it definitely needs rejigged just to get the roar back into the stadium because sometimes it can be a little bit quiet and you can almost hear the players on the pitch sometimes.”

On the club front, Lennon admits the international break was not a particularly enjoyable one for the Leith side after losing their last match against Livingston 2-1.

Lennon, whose team host Kilmarnock today, said: “It can be difficult, especially off the back of a defeat, which we had in our last game, so it’s a long two weeks but we were all back on Thursday and we’re looking forward to the weekend.”

Speaking to the BBC, he added: “We had seven or eight away  (on international duty) so it was quite quiet at Hibs, you take in as many games as you can and take a couple of days off at the weekend.

“You work them then give them a long weekend off, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – then back in this week.”