The football team have lodged with the Scotland rugby team at the national performance centre at Riccarton on the outskirts of Edinburgh since 2016. The then manager Gordon Strachan was known to have issues with the relocation and while Clarke, his successor, has been sympathetic to the SFA’s desire to make use of the facilities at the £33 million complex, he confirmed reports that the men's team are moving back to Glasgow to prepare for the forthcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain.
Scotland used to train in the grounds of Mar Hall hotel outside Bishopton, where they moved following the Boozegate controversy involving Rangers players Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor at Cameron House hotel. The concept of a national sports performance centre was recommended by former First Minister Henry McLeish in 2010 in his Scottish Football Review. But Clarke has revealed that a problem with accommodation at Oriam has prompted the switch back to Glasgow, where the players will be based at a city centre hotel and shuttled in a minibus to training at Queen’s Park's new Lesser Hampden base. It removes the inconvenience of relocating from Edinburgh to a Glasgow hotel on the eve of matches, as Scotland have done recently to avoid traffic congestion.
“We have had a little issue, mainly with the accommodation, through in Edinburgh,” explained Clarke after naming his squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers later this month. “So we have decided to come through here (Glasgow). “Obviously, Queen’s Park have put in a fantastic pitch at Lesser Hampden. They have offered us the use of that facility. So we are going to stay in a city centre hotel and travel down. It is 10 minutes on a bus in the morning. It will be a mini bus. We will just shuttle the lads down as and when they need to go. It will be different to what we have been used to, but sometimes a change is as good as a rest. I am looking forward to seeing how it works.”