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If it is going to be December… Ibrox media chief goes off message on Stadium closure

Jonny McFarlane let a truth bomb slip out when he mentioned December as a possible date for the reopening of Ibrox during the Rangers Review this morning.

The Head of Digital Sport for Newsquest (including The Herald, National, Glasgow Times and The Celtic Way) enjoys special access to Ibrox with the Rangers Review kept fully briefed on transfer issues to deliver the most favourable spin possible.

Bad news is strictly off the menu, all is sweetness and light to be fed to the loyal bears with Phil Clement’s garden looking bright and rosy. Much like peak Succulent Lamb days at the Daily Record on James Traynor’s watch.

For the best part of two weeks there was strong speculation on message-boards and social media that the building work on the Copland Road Stand was way behind schedule with doubts expressed over whether it would be completed on time for the start of the season.

The Rangers Review refused to even mention the problem, after the statement on June 20 that Ibrox wouldn’t be ready for the start of the season they revealed that they had asked the questions but were reassured that all was progressing on schedule. Last week it was claimed that the steel will be arriving in Southampton on July 21…

In print the Rangers Review and the other media messengers are sticking by the claim that it will be business as usual in September but even the Gullible are questioning that claim.

If Ibrox isn’t used for the first UEFA group stage match in September it will miss out on all four matches- the fixtures that have been the biggest money spinners in recent seasons with Season Ticket holders paying for the most expensive tickets in Europe. For the dubious bonus of MyGers points.


21 minutes

Asked about whether the transfer budget (war-chest) would be reduced due to the delayed construction work McFarlane blurted out the big fear then rapidly backtracked:

No, I don’t think so, I think it will be be separate BUT there’s lots of different facets to this, it depends on the moving parts you know, when do Rangers get back into the stadium?

If that, if that’s going to be, you know DECEMBER, I want to stress (holds hands up) I don’t think that it will be, I think that it will be September that they get back in but if the delay was to continue there would be knock on effects, erm. What I would say is that we have to play that one by ear and see what happens.

I’ve had, anyone who has done any construction jobs on their own property will know that these things can over-run, I don’t think that was the situation at Rangers, I think that was erm, mistakes in terms of the way it was managed.

But you just can’t put a time frame on anything can you. You’ve got to be kind of loose and, em to me it depends on how far it runs on as in how the damage is done.

If Rangers were to end up in say a bigger stadium than Ibrox, could it be that they were able to sell out to an extent that they brought in more money than they would normally get, em, I think that is not impossible.

Em, if Rangers were to play at Ibrox with three stands what would that mean? That would obviously be a loss of revenue and something that the club would have to swallow and um.

I don’t think that there is any easy answers, regardless if we were to play somewhere like Murrayfield for example that would involve a payment to use the facilities.

So, its not a straightforward that one, and no I think it comes with a number of caveats.

Em, normally these infrastructure projects are separate in the P& L so I wouldn’t imagine that it would have much impact but I suppose it depends on how long it goes on for.

Watch this space big man, for a club that routinely loses £10m a year losing the matchday income from home matches while paying out rental for another stadium to accommodate 46,000 angry Season Ticket holders will be a costly business.

Expecting 20,000 non Season Ticket holders to buy tickets to watch Ross County and Motherwell is as likely as selling Alfredo Morelos for Dembele Dollars.

As soon as McFarlane mentioned December a competent presenter would have steered the conversation in another direction, Clark allowed his colleague to dig himself into a bigger hole.

The project should have started on May 15, the day after the home match against Dundee and been completed at least a week before August 6 and a possible home match in the Champions League Third Qualifying Round.

From the pictures that have leaked out over the last week suggest that the work has barely started, a small workforce is on the job with radio silence from the club and the SPFL over what is happening, the delays and when the stadium will reopen.

With an area of the pitch upto the penalty spot undercover and hosting a crane new turf will have to be laid when the construction work is completed, that would normally take a month to bed in but short cuts will almost certainly be taken.

Increasingly the Mainstream seem to be preparing the loyal bears for bad news on the reopening of Ibrox, as ever social media and Celtic accounts will be first with the real story over whether Santa will make it to Ibrox this year with no set date for the Loving Cup ceremony.

CLICK HERE for Ibrox closure announcement.

CLICK HERE for Keevins performs incredible u-turn on Rodgers as he accuses Celtic fans.

CLICK HERE for I believe the asbestos rumours are genuine- ITK Ibrox fan with fearful news.

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1 Comment

  • by BriBhoy
    Posted July 1, 2024 12:41 pm 0Likes

    Well, as we saw on trophy day at Parkhead, Santa is a Tim, so I doubt he will be sending an army of elves to help with the building work at the Asbestos Arena, if this does go on until December.

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