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Rangers Tax Case uncovers the real reason for the Copland Stand rebuild

One of the mysteries about rebuilding the Copland Road Stand is the reasoning and urgency to add 600 seats.

If it was 6,000 seats to take the capacity of Ibrox closer to Celtic Park then it would be understandable with that issue hurting the clubs since 1998 when the stadium across the city started to seat 60,000.

Over just four years, with one season at Hampden required, Fergus McCann had raised the seated capacity from 8,000 in the old South Stand to 60,000, destroying the bragging rights on that that Rangers had crowed about since the eighties.

Various ideas and proposals have been put forward down the years to raise the capacity of Ibrox with every option explored.

In 2008 there was the 80,000 seater stadium complete with Super Casino, a Six Star Hotel with helipad with a roof on top of the stands and a retractable pitch that would allow concerts and World Championship Boxing bouts to be staged either side of matches involving Wattie Smiths Galacticos.

It was all moonbeams, delivered by Murray’s loyal messengers but underneath there was a sense of hurt that Ibrox was the third biggest stadium in the city.

Putting the start of the season at risk, one involving Champions League qualifiers seemed an incredible risk especially with Celtic on 118 trophies and chasing down title 55 on the back of three successive SPFL title wins.

There were surely far more pressing uses for funds, bringing in Kenny McLean or other experienced pros to replace the leadership group that has been unable to shrug off the tag of being serial losers.

Shining some light on the decision to add 600 seats, Rangers Tax Case hit on an often overlooked issue that has finally been addressed.

There has never been any dedicated disabled facilities at Ibrox, in recent years some seats have been provided behind the away dug out but they are badly exposed to the elements and provide a pitchside view which isn’t the greatest. None of the three stands build around 1980 have any disabled areas.

No modern arena would be licenced without dedicated disabled facilities, they are costly but essential and it seems like on that issue the Ibrox board has been forced to drag themselves into the 21st century.

Six hundred additional seats will at most bring in £500,000 a year, less VAT (yes, pesky tax) that works out at £400,000 which will be far less than the costs involved.

With a virtual media embargo on the issue other than to blame James Bisgrove the true issues are unlikely to surface but with each week that Ibrox is closed the club will be losing large sums of money.

Years of negligence and cutting back on maintenance looks like finally catching up with Phil Clement and his war-chest looking like the first casualties.

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

CLICK HERE for Ibrox closure announcement.

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