THE appropriately named Rugby Park, and not Scotstoun Stadium, will host Glasgow Warriors' sixth and final European Champions Cup match at tea-time tonight. According to the club's head coach, Gregor Townsend, the Scotstoun pitch, which has been subject to waterlogging, is "not fit for purpose".

If that is indeed true, it marks an unenviable double for the Scottish Rugby Union – although in the case of their only other professional club, Edinburgh, it is the stadium, not the pitch, which is not fit for purpose. To be fair to the current Murrayfield regime, these problems have been inherited and are largely a consequence of the union's initial unwillingness to plan for professional rugby.

Townsend's solution for Scotstoun is an artificial surface – this evening's game in Kilmarnock is being played on one. The cost of such an installation is estimated to be in excess of £600,000. But even if the SRU or Glasgow Life, who oversee the facility on behalf of the city council, could come up with the cash the situation isn't that simple.

In a remarkably short time a perception has built up that Scotstoun Stadium exists for no other purpose than to host the Warriors' home games. But that's patently not the case, and nowhere does this misconception rankle more than among officials and members of Victoria Park Glasgow, an amalgamation of two of the most prestigious athletics clubs in Scotland.

A brief look at Scotstoun's history explains the club's sense of injustice. Secretary Gordon Innes claims: "We've suffered greatly over the last four or five years – the whole situation at the stadium favours the Warriors."

Innes feels the athletics club is being gradually squeezed out of a facility which has been its base since 1930. Warriors didn't arrive until 80 years later, in 2010, but have the financial muscle of the SRU behind them and can offer Glasgow Life an income stream unimaginable for the amateur athletics club.

The two sports have lived harmoniously in the past. When Scotstoun was more or less in the country, the Showground – as it was then – was used for agricultural events. As recently as the 1960s the recreational users had to stand down for a week every June to allow Clydesdale horses and other animals to be paraded.

At one point the ground became so popular with Glasgow's citizenry that serious consideration was given to building an extra railway station between Jordanhill and Scotstounhill to permit stadium users to stroll into the ground. The cinder track was one of the best in the land, and Victoria Park AAC, as they were before the amalgamation, boasted some of the UK's finest athletes - as did the club they merged with.

Hyndland Rugby Club were among those who played their matches on what, until three years ago, was always known as the stadium's (athletics) infield. The burning resentment VPG now feels largely started when the Warriors, having earlier established their administrative and training base at Scotstoun, ended their deal with Partick Thistle for the use of Firhill and started playing at the stadium in the autumn of 2012.

Although the Warriors' status at Scotstoun is that of tenant, their significance to Glasgow Life, whose remit is to maximise income from the stadium, is obvious. Under Townsend the Warriors won the Pro-12 last season, bringing not just kudos to Glasgow but significant revenue streams as crowds increased for home games.

From a playing perspective, Warriors' frustration of having home games postponed or moved away from the stadium, as today, is also understandable (although it is worth noting that Partick Thistle have faced very similar waterlogging issues this season without proposing to make Firhill an artificial surface). However, whatever the Warriors' view, what the athletics club cannot emphasise enough is that Scotstoun Stadium was redeveloped with £18m of public money – and the intention was never to create a bespoke rugby ground.

When the stadium was re-opened with its upgraded facilities in January, 2010, the emphasis in the speeches was on how these improvements would benefit athletics – not rugby. The chair of sportscotland, Louise Martin, said: "Scotstoun has always been at the heart of athletics in Scotland and thanks to this major redevelopment it has undoubtedly secured its future, both on the domestic and international calendar, for competition and training at the highest level – including its use as a training venue for Glasgow 2014."

In fact, according to Gordon Innes the opposite seems to have transpired.

Athletics meetings at the stadium are becoming less and less frequent, partly because of the hefty cost of hiring the facility, but also because the Warriors' success has extended the rugby season deep into May. There hasn't been one international athletics meet at the stadium since the redevelopment – the last one was GB&NI v USA v Russia back in 2005 when the stadium had a 2500 seating capacity.

The need for "temporary" rugby stands at Scotstoun – in fact they are in place from September until May – to accommodate the Warriors' increased crowds has been a factor in reducing athletics meetings and irking VPG.

"On one occasion we had a UK Women's League match and just prior to the competition we realised that the throwing circle had been damaged because the temporary stand had been on top of it," Innes explains. "We had to use the training field instead – can you imagine Jessica Ennis-Hill being pushed out of the stadium to throw the javelin in a nearby field? It's just not on – all athletes are equal, regardless of their event."

The irony of the temporary stands, which don't suit anybody but have had a particular impact on the athletics club, is that there should have been no need for them. The SRU pulled out of the stadium redevelopment discussions in the run-up to 2010 because of financial problems – forcing Glasgow Life to cut back the permanent seating capacity from the planned 7000 to the current 5000. In other words, the athletics club is suffering because of the rugby governing body's problems.

Other issues?

"We have 450 members, of all ages," Innes says. "We also coach children who are not members at run, jump and throw clubs in summer camps. Every month another 100 kids come through the door for athletic sessions. It's a big undertaking and we're constantly fighting against access problems.

"We've got hundreds of kids and very little space. All they can do is run round a 400m track because we can't get access to the infield (rugby pitch) for nine months of the year. We've been chased off it several times because the ground is too soft."

"The Glasgow World Sevens was a major issue for us. For four years running we were basically evicted from the stadium for up to six weeks. We had to use local schools instead. The most recent was the blaize pitch at Knightswood, during which our numbers just disappeared off the face of the earth.

"We're very lucky we've bounced back from these blows."

A Glasgow Life spokesman said: "Prior to its reopening (in 2010) the stadium was in need of significant investment to ensure it continued to meet the needs of the sporting community. It wasn’t simply redeveloped for rugby or athletics."

VPG have kept a lid on their concerns until now. Glasgow Warriors' increasingly strident calls for an artificial pitch on the traditional athletics infield have been the last straw.

The SRU chose not to comment on the issues raised in this article.