Rugby teams should stop renting football stadia
I like multi-sport stadia and do not like rugby teams playing at football grounds. Why should we give the richest sport more money by renting their places?
A long time ago I ran in the 400 metres final at the Glasgow schools athletics championships.
Coming in last, I reflected on the fact that I had told the athletics teacher that I could run the distance a full 10 seconds faster than I could, and that it was the end of the cricket season and I hadn't done any sprinting.
Later that night Brendan Foster, the distance runner, was churning out laps faster than mine in a televised 10,000 metre race.
Back then Scotstoun stadium in the west end of Glasgow was a run down thing: cinder track, Victorian facilities and primitive with a capital P.
When I first got capped we went to France, and our training base before the international was a typically French multi-sport facility with a rugby pitch, a couple of modern stands, a track, and some top spec indoor facilities.
I can remember the Scottish rugby team sitting there thinking: "The French have these in every town and we don't have any but need them."
Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to have a look at Scotstoun stadium in Glasgow now. It is a thing of beauty and now the training base for the Glasgow Warriors.
There is indoor track, an outdoor track, a pitch in the middle and two training pitches, one of which is artificial.
The facility also houses the national tennis and badminton set ups, and a public access swimming pool.
There are new stands, catering outlets, the Glasgow Warriors office and a fantastic gym. Everything you could ever want - except that the pitch is not used.
I swear, having cycled down there last week, it's the perfect rugby location.
It's a great wee stadium; the noise clatters off the metal roofing of the stands and the pitch is beautifully kept.
But, being a football stadium, the pitch is narrow and by accident of location it's a nightmare getting parked.
They say you can't get a rugby pitch inside an athletics track and there are other considerations as to ground capacity and undersoil heating.
But I was told by someone high up in Glasgow City Council that they have measured a potential pitch at Scotstoun and it would be bigger than Firhill's - probably having sneaked up there with a tape measure.
Come on rugby; stop paying football club owners cash to rent their facilities.
Sale play at Stockport County's ground, Wasps at High Wycombe's, Saracens play at Vicarage Road, and my way of looking at that is that it's rugby clubs playing on narrow pitches and giving money to football.
Instead we should all adopt the French model: negotiate hard with local authorities to develop joint facilities.
I think Glasgow Warriors should move to Scotstoun if it can be done. What a place...