Building work delay

Rangers face ‘home’ games away from Ibrox Stadium

Ibrox, Rangers (DBG)
Problems: Ibrox.

Rangers could be forced to play their opening home games of the new season away from Ibrox due to a delay to stadium building work.

Summer construction work to improve facilities for disabled supporters in the Copland Stand has been hit by a delay to a shipment of steel materials from Asia.

The order is not scheduled to arrive in the UK until later next month and the knock-on effect could have serious consequences for Philippe Clement’s side with Rangers having contacted the SPFL and UEFA over contingency plans should the stadium be unable to host early-season games.

Rangers will kick off the new Premiership campaign on the first weekend of August and could face two home legs in Champions League qualifiers that month.

Hampden Park is understood not to be an option due to previous commitments. Murrayfield Stadium, the home of Scottish Rugby, is already hosting a pre-season friendly between Rangers and Manchester United in July and could be a viable alternative.

It’s nearly 50 years since Rangers last played ‘home’ games away from the Govan stadium, the 1978-79 season seeing them twice play Celtic at Hampden during ongoing work at Ibrox.

Revealing the potential nightmare scenario, a club statement said: “Rangers has recently been advised of a delay in a materials shipment from Asia which is likely to have an impact on the programme for the completion of the Copland Stand works.

“It is therefore expected, unfortunately, that there will be an impact on matches at Ibrox at the beginning of the 2024-25 competitive season.

“The club has engaged with the SPFL and UEFA in order to review planned contingency arrangements. Naturally, everyone at Rangers is deeply disappointed with this news.

“The club is working intensively to ensure that all steps are taken to deliver the project at the earliest possible date and a further progress update will be issued to supporters in due course.”

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