A charity is urging the Scottish Football Association to offer discounted tickets to over-65s, following Scotland’s Euro 2012 qualifier defeat against Belgium at a "half-empty" Hampden Park.

Age Scotland are concerned that fewer than half of the 51,866 tickets for the Euro 2020 qualifier match on Monday night in Glasgow were sold.

And the SFA say concession ticket prices for over-65s is one of several options that are under "serious consideration" for future campaigns.

It's now four years since the national team attracted a crowd of over 50,000 to Hampden - that being for the 3-2 Euro 2016 qualifying defeat to Germany in September 2015. The following month's 2-2 draw with Poland, which ultimately killed that campaign, drew an impressive 49,359.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke admitted after Friday's defeat that his players had to win back the Tartan Army before the gloom sinks any lower.

READ MORE: Steve Clarke: I understand why there is much apathy about the Scotland team

He said: “We have to lift the apathy, it won’t lift itself."


Age Scotland’s Chief Executive Brian Sloan has written to the SFA, saying that failing to offer concessionary tickets was a “missed opportunity” to fill the stands as well as helping tackle loneliness among older people.

It says that an adult full-price ticket costs between £27 and £30, with no discounts for those over retirement age. Junior tickets start at £8.

Mr Sloan said: “We’re disappointed that despite repeated pleas, the SFA still does not offer a discount to older fans. This week’s half-empty stadium for a Euro 2020 qualifier match clearly illustrates this is an own goal for the SFA.

READ MORE: Steve Clarke - The Tartan Army are still behind Scotland - but we must give fans something to cheer

“Many older people have been loyal fans all their lives, but struggle to afford full-price tickets on their pensions. With tens of thousands of tickets unsold for major international matches, the SFA is missing an opportunity to fill the stands.

“This would also be a step in the right direction towards tackling loneliness among older people. Around 200,000 older people in Scotland regularly go a week without speaking to anyone – the equivalent of four full Hampden Park stadiums.

“A more inclusive pricing structure would make it easier for older people to enjoy a night out at a game, and encourage younger fans to bring an older friend or relative. We’d also love to see the SFA working with more community groups, such as walking sports clubs and veterans' groups, to offer discounts.

“This would be a win-win situation, boosting attendance while rewarding lifelong fans and reaching out to the wider community.”

A Scottish FA spokesman said: “The Scottish FA is committed to ensuring that Scotland matches are accessible to loyal Scotland fans.

"Scotland supporters can attend Scotland Women’s National Team and Scotland Under-21s matches for only £5 per person.

"While ticket prices for men’s internationals are set at the start of each qualifying campaign, prices are constantly reviewed and concession ticket prices for over-65s is one of several options that will be under serious consideration for future campaigns.”