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Disgraceful- former SPL chief slams Ibrox board over stadium closure

Keith Wyness has branded the Ibrox board disgraceful as they try to backtrack and cover up on the reasons why they don’t have a stadium fit for football.

After a few weeks of social media speculation a short statement was issued last Thursday confirming that Ibrox wouldn’t be ready for the start of the season on August 3.

No date was suggested for when the stadium would be ready to host crowds of 50,000 again with a rogue Asian supplier blamed for the problems.

There has been speculation over other reasons ranging from disturbing Asbestos, not getting a Building Warrant and the supply of other materials.

Neil Doncaster has promised that the SPFL will help out in any way possible with the immediate issue being ‘home’ matches against Ross County and Motherwell during August.

There could also be two rounds of Champions League qualifiers involved with virtual silence from Ibrox on solutions or a time frame for when the stadium will reopen.

Wyness had a spell as CEO of Aberdeen as well as high profile jobs at Everton and Aston Villa.

These days he is spouting opinions for Football Insider, most of it tends to be click-bait nonsense but on this issue he seems to have a grasp of what is going on.

Disgraceful is the word. The full story is coming out and it appears to be a lot more than just a delay in supplies.

I was involved in a lot of stadium projects, some of the biggest infrastructure projects in Glasgow – and for this to happen, it’s disgraceful from the board’s point of view.

It was always going to be a risk in terms of overseas supplies coming in, and that goes on your risk register.

Rangers, if you remember last year, were complaining about Dundee not being able to play on their pitch after severe rain.

They made a very big noise, and now here we are with Rangers not having their ground playable.

Dundee were the subject of daily statements from Ibrox back in April after two postponements, one of them conveniently on the back of a Europa League KO from Benfica.

When the match was finally played Phil Clement’s side drew 0-0 on their way to losing the title by eight points to Celtic, one more than the gap inherited by A Proper Football Manager.

While most media outlets are reporting that Ibrox will only be closed during August the limited information available suggests that there won’t be any matches played there in September.

UEFA regulations require clubs to play all of their group matches on the one ground, if Ibrox can’t host a fixture on Matchday 1 or 2 it will be out of bounds for the entire group phase.

In 2014 Celtic used Murrayfield for two Champions League qualifiers, matches outwith the Season Ticket with prices pegged back to reflect the increased costs for fans.

With Season Tickets valid for all SPFL matches hosting games at Murrayfield is going to be a costly exercise for the Tribute Act to endure, there is unlikely to much demand for individual tickets against Ross County and Motherwell.

European ties have traditionally been the opportunity to maximise income from Season Ticket holders with the incentive of MyGers points towards high demands fixtures.

The prospect of being in a ballot for a ticket to Celtic Park on August 31 should ensure that loyal bears will pay up for matches away from Ibrox.

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