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Boobytrapped, betrayal, disappeared in a trail of dust- Jackson launches full on Bisgrove attack as Ibrox is mothballed

Keith Jackson has pinned all of the blame for the disastrous Copland Stand rebuild on departed Ibrox CEO James Bisgrove.

In March 2022 the star man at the Daily Record described the smooth talking Marketing Director as an extravagant petrol-head on account of driving a Maclaren sports car around Glasgow.

It seems that grudge has been nursed along with the delayed building works at Ibrox the chance to launch a full on attack on Bisgrove while currying favour with iron-man Bennett as he is left holding the baby consummated by the now departed CEO.

For the Record work on the Copland Road Stand started on May 15, Bisgrove’s departure was announced on May 30 with Bennett declaring:

I would like to thank James for the work he has done at the club over the last five years as Commercial and Marketing Director, and latterly, as our CEO.

Three weeks later on June 20 it was announced that Ibrox wouldn’t be ready for the start of the new season. Since then there has been no further comment on an alternative home venue or when Ibrox will be ready for use.

The obvious contingency plan of playing at Ibrox in front of three stands seems to be out of bounds.

Late on Sunday Jackson broke the news that Ibrox won’t be available until October at the earliest, this morning in his opinion column he launches into a full on attack on Bisgrove as the sole reason for the closure of Ibrox.

Warming to a favourite topic in blaming the ‘petrol head’, veteran reporter Jackson goes in two footed as he informs Daily Record readers:

He wouldn’t be doing his job right if Bennett had not already launched a top-level probe into the circumstances that have caused this chaos to unfold and land on his desk without so much as an early warning. As part of that investigation, he’ll want to nail down exactly who knew what. And when.

And if, for example, it emerges CEO James Bisgrove knew more than he was prepared to share with the rest of the club’s hierarchy then it might also be reasonable to conclude that blood will have been boiling over in the boardroom ever since he disappeared in a trail of dust to a desert in Saudi Arabia.

Worse still, what if it becomes clear that, during all of this, the Englishman was also effectively working his own ticket –travelling to places such as Bahrain to grease his way into a barrel load of oil money? Well, that would constitute a monumental act of bad faith. One that would be very likely to elicit a thermonuclear response.

And so it continues with Jackson’s anger in full flow as he cosies in with Bennett, the latest Ibrox chairman to earn his unquestioning support:

All of this can be dealt with when the dust has settled, of course. In the here and the now, however, Bennett and his board have no choice but to lumber on with the hand they’ve been dealt after Bisgrove bailed out to cash in his chips at Al Qadsiah.

It would certainly have helped matters if they’d been given an early heads-up on what they were about to discover before Bisgrove bolted to the Middle East.

There is reason to suspect this exit planning extends as far back as to the turn of the year when his girlfriend began asking for advice on social media about how to take a family pet to the Kingdom.

Of course, had they known then what they do now then Bisgrove might not have survived for as long as he did. If Rangers had full sight of what was hurtling towards them down the pipeline, it’s difficult to see any other outcome.

Instead, any chance the board might have had of pressing the button on a contingency plan some months ago, when it might have been more manageable, was effectively boobytrapped.

It exploded in their faces only once Bisgrove’s jet had touched down more than 4000 miles away in Riyadh.

If Jackson was in the know about Bisgrove’s monumental act of betrayal it is incredible that the club’s multi-millionaire (but not a billionaire, Bennet’s wealth is on the radar) Chairman didn’t have a clue that his CEO was working his ticket less than a year after being promoted into the top role.

Questioning the Copland rebuild would have made for a great Daily Record scoop for the publisher now selling less than 50,000 copies per day.

By trade Bisgrove is a marketing guy, he will sell anything from Tom Kite tyre patches on the historic Castore sleeve to Sportemongo on the back of the shirt before the Crypto dealers went into administration and liquidation, a scenario that 276 creditors and 6,000 Ibrox Debenture holders will be familiar with.

Offered commission on a friendly match against Celtic Bisgrove would be checking out the most exclusive restaurants in Sydney. That is his bread and butter, not adding 600 seats to get closer to the 60,000 capacity Celtic Park.

He didn’t sign off on the Copland Road rebuild off his own back, bringing in more low grade sponsorship deals is more of a Bisgrove thing.

Just like the events of 2011 and 2012 the message is being put out that the club are the unfortunate victim of a horrendous miscarriage of justice when Craig Whyte was flipped from hero and saviour to villain of the day.

Bisgrove was a city high flyer revolutionising the commercial side of the club a month ago but now he is the rat that raced to the dessert, leaving behind an almighty mess for brave Bennett to solve as Phil Clement’s transfer war-chest is redirected to more pressing needs.

Much more is still to come out, only a fool or Barry Ferguson is expecting to be inside Ibrox before the clocks go back, whether Clement is still in charge or another Revolution! is underway remains to be seen.

CLICK HERE for Ibrox messenger lets slip over December re-opening.

CLICK HERE for Ibrox closure announcement.

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1 Comment

  • by John Copeland
    Posted July 8, 2024 12:11 pm 0Likes

    You will have noticed in Inaction Jackson’s critical piece on Bisgrove today that it is full of ‘ what if ‘s ‘ and ‘ if’s ‘ ? In other words conjecture and complete speculation ! It sounds to me that the chief sports scoop employee of the daily Record is still in that now infamous lagers for breakfast ,lunch and dinner frame of mind?

    Get the drone cameras out and see exactly what’s what inside Ibrox stadium ? Surely the daily Record can spring for that as a tax deductable item in its quest for the truth ?

    It’s a great wee invention as no angle of pictures can be blocked out or covered up . To paraphrase big Inaction ;’ that’s the nuts and bolts of it ‘! Oops .

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