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Costs mounting as Ibrox Chairman Bennett turns to Plan C

Playing in front of a three sided Ibrox is under consideration for Phil Clement’s serial losers.

Delays relating to construction work on the Copland Road Stand have sparked a variety of rumours and speculation with virtually nothing emerging from the club since a brief statement on June 20.

Loyal bears have even debated whether or not Asbestos has been disturbed during the construction work with no denial coming from inside the club.

Hampden would seem the natural alternative venue but after the weekend concerts by Pink the turf was removed with an eight week reseeding programme underway to get the surface ready for Scotland’s match against Poland on September 5.

Clement’s side have home matches in the SPFL scheduled for August 10 and 24, at least one UEFA match that month and a 50-50 chance of a home League Cup tie all before Hampden is ready.

Plan B would be Murrayfield but that would involve a realistic hire fee, a 90 mile D-tour with at least three hours added to journey times for bears based in the west of Scotland with the home of Scottish Rugby not having the same motorway links as Ibrox.

Critical to the issue is how long it will take for the construction work to be completed, an issue that seems to be kept under lock and key.

With Plan A and Plan B involving considerable costs it seems that staying on at Ibrox is now being discussed by Executive Chairman John Bennett.

The Daily Mail reports:

It’s now three weeks since the club publicly confirmed the rumours of an issue with the Copland Stand.

Despite issuing season-ticket renewal notices to supporters, information has been thin on the ground ever since.

It’s tricky for directors to answer the questions of supporters when they don’t necessarily have them to hand themselves.

Awaiting the delivery of steel from China, a consignment was always projected to arrive later this month.

Until the materials are physically located on Edmiston Drive, however, it’s difficult to plot a firm timeline for completion of the project. Or to go directly to potential landlords and say precisely how long they wish to rent their grounds for.

Playing at Ibrox with three open stands is appealing, but problematic. The 8,000 supporters displaced from their seats and locked out of games would be due compensation in some shape or form. It would do nothing to mend the already strained relationship between the club and supporters.

There are no good solutions to a conundrum which gives manager Clement another issue to deal with. And he has plenty on his plate already.

Clement’s war-chest seems to be have been bolted shut after bringing in a variety of unknown projects plus two bang average Scottish players, Connor Barron and Liam Kelly, to maintain the need for home based players in their 25 man squad.

Upsetting 8,000 fans, likely to include at least 7,000 Season Ticket holders including the Union Bears would be hugely controversial with one option being to ballot among all Season Ticket holders who misses out. Playing at a three sided Ibrox would almost certainly bring building work to a halt with the Copland Crane coming off site.

With Neil Doncaster hoping for flexibility the issue of a home stadium could rumble on for another week but with the Champions League Third Round draw taking place on July 21 UEFA won’t be messed around with a guessing game over where their fixture with be staged.

Celtic Park will be free between August 4 and September 1 unless the hoops get a home draw in the League Cup.

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