‘BT Murrayfield open for business’ - SRU on reports of Liverpool v Napoli friendly
BT Murrayfield is being lined up to host a pre-season friendly between Liverpool and Napoli on 28 July as the home of Scottish rugby continues to promote itself as a venue for high profile football matches.
Champions League finalists Liverpool are seeking alternative accommodation for their glamour ‘home’ friendly against Serie A runners-up Napoli as the Anfield pitch will be relaid at the start of July following a series of concerts in June featuring Take That, Bon Jovi and Pink.
Liverpool had initially considered renting the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the match but that plan was deemed ‘inappropriate’ after they and Spurs won through to face each other in this weekend’s Champions League final in Madrid.
Instead, it is understood Liverpool have contacted the Scottish Rugby Union with a proposal to stage the Napoli fixture at Murrayfield.
A spokesman for Scottish Rugby was unable to confirm negotiations with Liverpool are ongoing but reiterated their willingness to bring a wide variety of major events to Murrayfield.
“We have the biggest stadium in Scotland and it is open for business,” said the spokesman. “We have the Spice Girls in concert at Murrayfield in June and we remain open-minded to staging other events, including football.”
BT Murrayfield lost out in its bid to become the new home of Scottish international football when the Scottish FA decided last September it would remain at Hampden beyond the expiry of their current lease with the National Stadium in 2020.
Murrayfield has hosted football several times since Hearts first played European ties at the ground back in 2004 when Tynecastle was deemed not to meet Uefa requirements.
Both Hearts and Hibs have played Barcelona in friendlies at Murrayfield, while Celtic staged two Champions League qualifiers at the stadium in 2014 when Celtic Park was unavailable due to the Commonwealth Games.
Most recently, a crowd of over 60,000 were at Murrayfield for the Betfred Cup semi-final between Hearts and Celtic last October.
The Liverpool-Napoli friendly on 28 July would prove another big attraction with Jurgen Klopp’s side, potentially European Champions by then, using it as their final warm-up fixture before their 2019-20 season starts in earnest with the Community Shield match against Manchester City at Wembley the following weekend.