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Jackson Confirms What Every Celtic Site Knew (And Wrote) About The Ibrox Crisis.

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Can you really call something a secret if it wasn’t a secret at all? Can you really call Keith Jackson’s story this morning the confirmation of the “worst kept secret in Scottish football” when in fact every one of the Celtic sites has been writing about it for weeks?

Ibrox is not going to be ready for August. What a shock, eah? Only what some of us were predicting right from the start. Talk of October turns out to have been right on the money. October at the earliest. So, the stuff on the Celtic sites proves correct again, confirming that sarcastic adage of the Ibrox fan media that if you want to know what’s happening at their club you should ask a Celtic fan. How embarrassing for them that this is so often true.

And you know, it didn’t take magical powers to do this, only the application of common sense.

Jackson’s story of last week was so obviously laying the groundwork for this, right down to the bit where he blamed James Bisgrove for the whole mess. As I said in several articles over the last fortnight that this had all the hallmarks of a PR operation like we see over and over again in politics.

You start with the denial, then you move on to the vague half admission, then slowly over the course of the next few days and weeks the full facts start to emerge, complete with the apology, the blame casting and the promises of lessons learned. It’s not rocket science.

Ibrox has been caught, as ever, in its own contradictions and the complications of its own cover story. They sacked a member of staff. Now we’re supposed to believe that it was Bisgrove. That he didn’t resign after all because he got a better offer, but was turfed out the door.

“Ibrox bosses are stunned by the chief executive’s sudden decision to leave,” said Roger Grieve of The Sun at the time. Most other Ibrox media pets reported the same thing. And what did the official club statement have to say about his departure?

“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,” said Bennett in the announcement. “Our commercial revenues grew significantly under James’ leadership, while in the last year, he was an integral part of the off-field restructuring the club has implemented. The executive team James helped shape has firmly established itself and I fully expect its momentum to be uninterrupted. We wish James every success with his new role.”

We expect its momentum to be uninterrupted.

Would you really put that in a statement if this was looming and you’d just sacked the guy? If Bisgrove was to blame for this, he would have been dismissed with a curt press statement and the club would have told the fans, there and then, that there was a big problem.

And if he was dismissed, how come he found a new job so quickly? Is he that good? Amazing that anyone would hire him if he’d been responsible for a calamity like this. If you’re sitting there thinking “hey, this doesn’t add up …” you’re quite right.

That statement came on 30 May. They announced that they had a problem with the ground on 20 June. So why not do both at the same time? If it was Bisgrove, you get in front of that story and you make the announcement that he’s been fired and that the club is looking for solutions. This is of more recent vintage than that. How do we know? Because they didn’t start looking for those solutions until the last couple of weeks.

And even as they are blaming other people, they are still running this story that the problem is delays with the delivery of the steel, something completely out of their hands. Not something that can actually be blamed on someone still working there.

This whole thing is a joke, and the joke is not just the way their club is run but the way the media lets them get away with this stuff. Two contradictory versions as to what has gone wrong, two totally different scapegoats; the un-named “project manager” and the club’s former CEO, even as they continue to maintain this isn’t anyone at the club’s fault.

I find it amazing that they think we’re all this daft. That they think we don’t know that there are various layers under the office of the chief executive. That we haven’t sussed that the top man is probably not the guy who is on the phone ordering the steel shipment and overseeing what should be a simple, and straightforward, construction project.

Put simply; that is not the job of the CEO and anyone who has ever been involved in business knows that full damned well.

The project manager reports to him, but the CEO is not personally negotiating this stuff, or involved in the planning of it. That’s not his skill-set. That’s not what you pay the guy the big bucks for. He’s a finance guy, this is way outside of his knowledge base, and if they really did leave a bean-counter in charge of a construction project then how the Hell they have the brass neck to blame him if it turns out a mess is something every hack should be asking them.

A CEO is no more qualified to run a project like this than he is to pick the players the manager signs. We’ve all seen how that turns out.

Everyone in Celtic cyberspace has been talking all week about the contradictions and the obvious slow drip of the real story into the public domain, the real story about how long this is all going to take. Early last week, talk shifted from a temporary solution to obvious mitigation measures in the event of a much longer delay. I wrote that. Others did too.

The giveaway was the talk around Hampden, the talk which included suggestions that they might have to throw a few quid in the direction of Queens Park. It is absolutely flabbergasting that nobody in the mainstream media was able to put two and two together to make four here. Queens Park aren’t due back to Hampden until September, weeks after this was all supposed to be resolved and the Ibrox club playing in front of its own fans in its own ground.

It was pretty obvious that nobody involved in the discussions around Hampden thought there was an earthly chance of that coming to pass. They knew this was a bigger problem, on a longer timeline, and they’ve been stringing their fans along.

But that the media either didn’t add this up or they just chose not to write the biggest sports story of the year when it was sitting right in front of them is gobsmacking.

I wonder if Keown still thinks this his “plague on both their houses” article still stands up? I wonder if that prattling embarrassment at The Sunday Mail still thinks this is a minor inconvenience and not a complete disaster, and with no end in sight?

Rumours continue to circulate that this is not only about steel but about a bigger issue, either something uncovered or a calamitous oversight. I hear stories, stories about cowboy outfits getting subcontracting gigs on this job when they couldn’t find their own backsides without SatNav. Would that surprise you? It would explain a lot, right?

There’s a lot of talk out there, a lot of rumours, and it’s possible that there’s a lot more going on here than is obvious on the surface of it. One thing is for sure, this is a story with no end in sight. This is a story that’s going to run and run and run and if we’re not taking advantage of this in full, and kicking this lot hard when they are down, then our board will have its own questions to answer because there is no better time to pound home our advantage than this.

Their season is already in turmoil.

This affects everything from their match preparations to the budget this season and probably into next, because one thing is for sure; this is going to be an expensive fix, and if there was ever a time for demonstrating our strength, it’s right now, with them in dire straits like this.

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  • The Joker says:

    At the end of the day sevco couldn’t give a flying fuck about the SFA or the the other clubs in the SPFL,they know every other club and their chairmen will sit back and accept the shite sevco throw at them.

    They have probably been in contact with the alkie Maxwell and his chums and threatened them to get something sorted for them.

  • Justshatered says:

    You forgot to add that they were also looking for compensation when Bisgrove left.
    Not something you would do if you’d fired the guy for incompetence.

  • Waldorf Salad says:

    The SCUM have NEVER told the truth that’s why the GULLIBILLIES are APTLY named! El Fat Duffalo £30M let go fur 0 Yen, Goldhun & TavPen £10M each WHAHAHAHAHA!!

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    The Day-Late Record then… multiplied x 7 days / week – multiplied x 365 days / year – multiplied by 10 years per decade and so on…

    And Lie after Lie after Lie for Liebrox in all that time –

    But the end it shall Cometh and That Cometh is rapidly nearing…

    And Beautiful, Beautiful it very much shall be !

  • John L says:

    The annoying thing is, if this calamity was going on At Parkhead, they would all be jumping all over us from a very high height.
    What a sad bunch of spineless fucks our press are, and they continue to show the double standards that they apply to both clubs.

  • John Copeland says:

    That’ll be that Inaction does have a drinking problem…that secret ! Lagers for breakfast in Germany was the final nail . The rumours have now been confirmed … Blue Nun and Becks ,without the roll ‘n sausage blew his cover . The permanent ruddy complexion doesn’t help either … hhhiiicccuupp… ppaarrrpppp.

  • Le Maestro says:

    James, as much as I would love for this to end up costing Sevco, there are no guarantees that it will. Construction Contracts contain a mechanism to protect the client in the event that the contractor is in delay, known as Liquidated and Ascertained Damages. Of all the rumours I have seen about the delay, subsidence, Asbestos, delayed steel delivery, the only which stacks up is steel delivery; subsidence would already be evident through damage to the superstructure and although asbestos is a risk, it is a legal requirement for all building owners to keep a record of known asbestos and undertake a survey in advance of any works to uncover any unknowns.

    Under a construction contract, the ordering of materials are the responsibility of the contractor, the only way that they would become the clients responsibility would be if they insist on a particular product from a particular supplier. That may be the case with steel from China, however, the saving you would get is not worth the risk to delay. It’s not outwith the realms of possibility but I doubt even that board would be stupid enough to take on that amount of risk for a minor saving. Therefore, if it is delayed steel which is causing the issue, the contractor will be liable for all costs Sevco incur as a result of any delay, including stadium relocation and refunds to season ticket holders and commercial partners.

    • AntonDeclan says:

      Excellent observations Le Maestro. I see from the headline photo of the article that BHC Ltd appear to be involved, where a quick look at Companies House appears to show that they may well be able to afford any such costs……..

    • G Coll says:

      Very valid points, but, as you acknowledge, a proviso is clients choice.
      Another proviso would be a lack of choice.
      If the steel has some kind of proprietary rights or patents, outside the control of the client or the contractor, then supply delays would fall on the client I would imagine.
      As for the other issues, I was aware ten years ago about the asbestos issue. If I knew then the whole of Glasgow, if not Scotland, would have known as well.
      That’s why the small phrase “new problems” in Jacksons article takes on such significance.
      It may welll be the case that Sevco just wanted a temporary remedial fix to take place, and the steel was ordered on a superficial assessment.
      But when the season finished and a proper assessment of the stand was carried out, they found the place to be a grotesque health and safety nightmare, and the subsidence and asbestos problems emerged following a professional engineering analysis.
      I still think there is a good chance the Hoose will still open in October.
      The question is which October.

  • Simon says:

    I know the reason and this is 100% from the construction director..it’s no secret and hiding anything. The steel required for stadia reconstruction is owned designed and patented by a company in china . Rangers tried to save time and said they would just bring in the Steel and get it fabricated in the UK. china said this is not possible as they own the design and only them can provide it. This is the reason the order got delayed. It’s due into the docks end of August then a 6-8 lead time on site

  • Sophie Johnstone says:

    Re your last paragraph.Therein lies the problem our bean counters will see this as another reason NOT to invest what’s needed for the next level but do the bare minimum to be “just” ahead of sevco.A plan that almost doomed us last season

  • Bob (original) says:

    “Their season is already in turmoil.

    This affects everything…”

    Except, sevco’s incompetence is affecting other clubs too.

    Apart from affecting fixture locations, related travel and policing issues, etc.

    sevco’s stadium shambles will cause a lot of annoyance and inconvenience,

    not just to their own support, but to supporters of other clubs.

    The ibrox club should be punished for creating this mess itself – but it won’t.

    In a properly governed sport, there should be some additional oversight applied

    to sevco by the SFA or SPFL – but that won’t happen either.

    IF sevco was to totally f@@@ up this stadium development,

    it could have additional, unintended consequences to the Scottish game?

    But just like 2012:

    the buffoons at Hampden AND all the other 41 clubs will just go along

    with the ibrox club’s demands – including our own. 🙁

  • Bottle Green says:

    There won’t be much work done in winter if the Karma weather takes a turn for the worse.
    The minor inconvenience may turn out to be a Keevins level cock-up.
    Oh the joys. . .

  • William Orange says:

    Talking about secrets from the club who has more secrets than Harry Potter and built a statue to a man who told the world about the open secret

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