Ibrox Is Edging Closer To A Major Confession About The Scale Of Their Stadium Problems.

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There is mounting media speculation that Ibrox could be out of commission way longer than the club has so far admitted. You can see it.

It’s there in leaks from out of the club, it is there in the subtle ways in which the conversation is increasingly being had in terms of mitigation measures and not so much on the timeframe. It’s in the way the conversation has morphed from one about the club finding a temporary home to the suggestion of playing at Ibrox in front of just three stands. It’s there in suggestions that they could only use Hampden if they pay for the new turf and to give Queens Park a sweetener for giving up their own rights to its usage.

That last one is critical to understanding how the narrative has shifted. Because Queens Park are not due back at Hampden until September.

Why, then, would the Ibrox board have to pay them off to get them to stay at Lesser Hampden, and how much would that cost?

Does that sound as if they expect this to be over and the problems solved weeks after the materials arrive? That seems to me like the club and the SFA are anticipating a much longer stay at the National Stadium than the Ibrox fans are currently aware.

Everything we are hearing out of there right now, all of it through “deniable” sources in the media, as if is not obvious what’s really going on, points towards their being away from home for a while. There is no confident chatter about this being a minor thing. The club has not issued any denials – not even through its fan outlets – about the more lurid speculation, not even the sort which was being put out by Keith Wyness and which The Record ran just days ago.

(He’s in the news today claiming that Goldson isn’t worth “much more than £25-30 million.” That’s Football Insider for you; the worst publication in Scottish sports media bar none, and that is the level of its commentary. Ignore everything they put out.)

The time it’s taking is also a key indicator, and I write that as a guy who is concerned that with weeks behind us now that we’ve not made a single signing. But this is a vastly more serious issue than who lines up in the team. When we had to move temporarily to Murrayfield it was easy to negotiate because we knew the timeframe and it was just about getting an agreement. I bet that didn’t take half as long as this has taken to get.

One possible problem is the money or so it seems at first glance. But in fact, the money is the easy part. Getting an agreement on that is not the difficult bit. The difficult bit comes if this is longer than a handful of games. Because that’s more disruptive for both sides. That’s more complicated. There are aspects to that which are out of the club’s control … there is policing to consider for a start if the Ibrox club is suddenly playing “home games” in Edinburgh when two clubs already do that and their schedules are specifically calibrated around that.

There will be no easily getting around that, and that’s why the tone is getting increasingly desperate, and why the focus is shifting more and more towards using Hampden; because they might not have a choice. Yet it’s clear that Hampden will come with its own range of problems.

So too will using Ibrox, and the biggest one will be the need to offer refunds to every fan sitting in the Copeland Road stand for the matches they won’t be able to attend. There are 8000 of them in there, including the Union Bears, who foolishly accepted a move there last season. The cost of the refunds alone could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

We’ve been saying right from the start that their club has not been giving the fans the full picture. In an earlier piece on this, I told you how media operations works with governments and political parties; first the denial, then the smokescreen, then the partial admission of guilt, then the steady emergence over time of the full picture and only then the real apology and talk about lessons learned. And usually, if they can, these organisations will chuck some sacrificial meat into the mix … that’s clearly going to be James Bisgrove.

What’s apparent here is that the full picture of this mess is finally starting to emerge, and nothing about it is a positive for the Ibrox club’s fans.

We are edging ever closer to the point where they will no longer be able to hide that truth from them. The announcement is coming. It is going to be explosive.

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  • brian cavanagh says:

    Hi James

    As much as I enjoy their discomfiture, not least because people like you have been given their fans the info on what really going on, bit like Sunak telling the Tories last week they were still going to win, my fear is that playing away from Ibrox might take the pressure of them. There is no doubt that during covid, playing at a fan free environment was good for them. Whereas we had Lennon and no fans. Lets just be careful for what we wish for

  • scousebhoy says:

    one of those other online sites football scotland says the gers have been evicted from ibrox and in another not intentional hilarious line says theres a ring of steel around the ground. was it the company that evicted the club ?. you really could not make it up what a shambles.

  • Johnny Green says:

    The huns eh! No matter what anyone else does they have always go to to try and go one better. With big games coming up in the CL qualifiers they have decided that ‘parking the bus’ is not good enough…….so they are ‘parking the crane’ instead. Desperate peepul and all that 🙂

  • Bob (original) says:

    Election Day was an ideal day to release more bad news from ibrox?

    Oh well… 🙂

  • Zeddy says:

    The answer you’re looking for is likely to be next season or permanent closure of stand.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    The announcement is coming – and it’s going to be explosive…

    “It ticks away politely, till you get an awful shock…
    And it ticks away the gelignite of the old alarm clock”

    Tick Tok – (And that’s not Cantwell) !!!

  • Peterbrady says:

    The truth will out must keep all the zombies onside they are having there ? parades when they find out not only are sevco going into administration but the auld hoor of edmiston drive is condemned for demolition they will be out with there pitchforks and flaming torches and banners threating social rioting. But this is 2024 not 1690 and the new cheif constable of police Scotland she will not tolerate there poison

  • JimBhoy says:

    The Onion Bears locked out of Ibrox man I would love to see that…Where would that fan put his ‘Culloden’ flag? LMAO.

    It’s got to be Hampden, no other alternatives but as one of your bloggers mentioned yesterday when St Mirren’s new ground wasn’t ready for season start they played at their old home and where told that they couldn’t move until the first round of fixtures were played out. If this is an actual rule then it should be noted.

    Cost of new pitch and payment to the spiders and Hampden rent as well as work done at Ibrox would run into millions. They go from one failure to another.

    This is gonna be one sh!tshow of a season for them, limited to bargain basement replacements too. Long may it continue.

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