Funding needed for Ibrox upgrade to go ahead
Rangers have announced plans to increase the capacity of Ibrox with a multi-million-pound restructuring project – but only if the necessary funding can be raised.
Improving facilities for disabled fans is central to the proposals, which were unveiled at the club’s annual general meeting.
Deputy chairman John Bennett has described the current facilities as “unacceptable” and the club aims to address this by creating 162 extra wheelchair spaces along with better access and disabled toilets at the back of the front sections of the Sandy Jardine, Broomloan and Copland Road Sands.
According to Rangers, the reconstruction of the three stands in question would initially see 1073 season ticket holders displaced, at a cost of around £500,000 per season.
This would eventually be offset by the building of cantilever extensions in the upper tiers of the Broomloan and Copland Road Stands in a second phase of construction which would ultimately result in a net gain of 727 seats.
Addressing shareholders at the Clyde Auditorium, director of finance and football administration Andrew Dickson said: “Whilst the board are fully committed to the first part, the second element is more expensive and contingent on the board’s ability to raise equity funding.
“It is a significant capital investment but one where we believe the payback to be reasonable and justifiable.
“This ambitious plan is not only based on the standards set out by the UEFA Access for All and Green Guide recommendations, but aims to place Ibrox Stadium as an exemplar of best practice in Scotland for the inclusion of all disabled people within the stadium.
“In developing this project we explored good practice examples of stadiums in the UK and across Europe from which we could learn.”
The AGM saw former chairman Dave King fail in a bid to oust current chief Douglas Park despite the South Africa-based business man winning backing from fans group Club 1872.
Park required only a majority to remain as chairman.