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Murray's Ibrox facelift must mirror the ambitions and hopes of Rangers fans


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Murray's Ibrox facelift must mirror the ambitions and hopes of Rangers fans

Rumours suggest Sir David Murray is close to announcing plans for an Ibrox redevelopment. Perhaps now is the time to settle the argument of which is the bigger of Glasgow's two great rivals.

by Andy Hawking on 28 June 2008

 

I read an article online a couple of days ago regarding supporters' expectations of the plan to redevelop and upgrade Ibrox and the surrounding area. Since this is our home, it is surely not asking much, as Rangers supporters, that our ambitions are met by any plans put in place?

 

Cast your mind back to the '90s for a moment. When modern Ibrox was finished with the completion of the Club Deck, the Govan East and West Corners and the giant screens, it was the finest ground in the country, bar none. It fused tradition and history with state of the art and showed the rest of the country that only the best was good enough for Rangers.

 

Although I�m not a fan of many of the new stadiums being thrown together across Europe, the modern facilities on offer do put the three newer Ibrox stands to shame. What�s more, our stadium is long overdue a spring clean and lick of paint.

 

In saying that, I firmly believe that the Bill Struth Main Stand is unique in football. If there is a stand anywhere that can match the imposing red brick front of Ibrox, then I have yet to see it. And the inside doesnââ?¬â?¢t disappoint. Chairman Jimmy Bowie said on completion of the main stand in 1929; ââ?¬Å?This is our magnificent new main stand. It holds 10,000 and we could fill it ten times over with young boys who want to play for the Rangersââ?¬Â.

 

That brings us to the other aspect of Ibrox that we cannot escape from and one that is now holding us back - the capacity limit of 50,000. With clubs all over the UK and abroad building grounds that exceed this, we are being eclipsed in terms of stature but also, more importantly, left behind in terms of finance. Indeed, Ibrox is the third biggest ground in Glasgow and the fourth biggest in Scotland. That isn�t something that sits well with me.

 

So what are my hopes for Sir David Murray�s plans for regeneration of Ibrox and the surrounding area? Simple - SHOW SOME AMBITION!

 

Ibrox should hold upward of 70,000 spectators. It may not sell out for every game but it would sell out for most. Put in place a ticket-pricing structure that attracts even more fans to the games. If we�re playing a smaller club, let youngsters in for a quid. Better to have supporters at the game - bums on seats and people buying half-time pies better than having empty spaces.

 

I don�t believe for a second that the biggest attraction in British football, at one time drawing in crowds up to or more than 100,000, has lost its appeal so much.

 

Aside from drawing in much-needed cash with extra ticket sales, I also want any expansion to Ibrox to make a firm statement that we are not the second biggest club in Glasgow. If Sir David Murray has a plan to add a few seats here and there to push us up to 55,000, not only is it a waste of time and an insult to the Rangers supporters but it is also a once in a lifetime opportunity lost.

 

The Ibrox we finish up with after regeneration is the Ibrox we will call home for the coming decades. It is absolutely crucial that the plans are of the highest standard and we build a home fit for a club of our tradition and history.

 

Agree with the guy If Rangers want to compete with Celtic then we have to get the maximum amount of people possible into Ibrox. I also feel it is crazy to have a stadium doing nothing for most of the time. Shops ,fitness clubs and other amenities should be built in to generate an income from the building.

I wonder when Murray will make a statement on this?

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I'm pretty sure we'll know more in due course. SDM shouldn't have given a date when pushed about releasing more info as these things can take time.

 

But I agree with the original article in a general sense. If we're going to do this, then it should be done so to improve the stadium and help ensure the infrastructure is there for the next era in our history.

 

In addition, all plans should be open so every fan can have their say on them.

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Agree with the article. Just 13 or 14 years ago Ibrox was the biggest and best in the UK and Parkhead was still a 1940s stadium. Now so many stadiums have been upgraded or built yet be havent had a lick of paint.

 

Ibrox is still impressive but for the best few seasons it has been a quiet place to be bar OF and Euro games. It needs a new injection of life. 5,000 seats is a start but I think we need a minimum capacity of 60,000. Having kids in for a few quid is much better than emtpy seats.

 

Obviously it costs millions to do this so do we expect Murray to put his hand his pocket? He is not obliged to do so.

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Agree with the article. Just 13 or 14 years ago Ibrox was the biggest and best in the UK and Parkhead was still a 1940s stadium. Now so many stadiums have been upgraded or built yet be havent had a lick of paint.

 

Ibrox is still impressive but for the best few seasons it has been a quiet place to be bar OF and Euro games. It needs a new injection of life. 5,000 seats is a start but I think we need a minimum capacity of 60,000. Having kids in for a few quid is much better than emtpy seats.

 

Obviously it costs millions to do this so do we expect Murray to put his hand his pocket? He is not obliged to do so.

 

These things are normally financed by local businesses, local government and a huge mortgage. The mortgage must be paid by the rental of the stadium for other purposes. A hotel and a Casino have been mentioned in the past and it will take something in that class to build a high-tech stadium.

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Just been on the stadium tour with the wee man and we were told the big screens were coming to increase capacity by some six and half thousand .

 

This is a good start and I have said they should do that for years, and if they wanted to keep screens they can make a wee adjustment to the other corners.

 

Maybe lowering the pitch is still an option to get another few thousand in and that will be us up to 60,000 done pretty cheaply.

 

Once problem for me is the pitch, it doesnt see enough light from Octo onwards and gets cut up really badly.

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I think to fill in the corners with 6.5k seats, new cantilevers would have to be put in to hold up the roofs of all three stand as the "goalpost" supports would have to be removed for an unobstructed view.

 

This would be very expensive per seat but if the capacity could be filled, worth it in the long term.

 

Digging down is also a very expensive option per seat and causes some problems such as less space around the pitch, less light and most importantly, drainage challenges. There is also the possibility the roofs might no longer cover the front rows - a la Celtic Park.

 

The light problem may be reduced by the hiring or buying of special lights in winter which someone rumoured was going to happen. Not the most environmentally friendly option, but better than replacing the pitch once or twice a year.

 

About 500 seats could be added by emulating the Bar 72 club from the Govan stand on the two smaller stands. But that might already be included in the 6.5k.

 

I personally quite like the idea of knocking down the three old stands and then building something like the Sapporodome with a pitch that moves in and out of the stadium.

 

That would provide an immense venue which could be used all year round for a variety of events without the Scottish weather interfering. However the extra income would have to go towards the building loan rather than the team.

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I see two options. First, going by Murray's track record in these matters, there will be no stadium redevelopment. Second, there will be redevelopment but at the end of it the stadium will not be owned by Rangers plc.

 

The latter is totally unacceptable but the former will most likely ensure it never happens. We've been here so many times before.

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I see two options. First, going by Murray's track record in these matters, there will be no stadium redevelopment. Second, there will be redevelopment but at the end of it the stadium will not be owned by Rangers plc.

 

The latter is totally unacceptable but the former will most likely ensure it never happens. We've been here so many times before.

 

Both are unacceptable to me. But like you say, the first point ensures it stays in our ownership.

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I see two options. First, going by Murray's track record in these matters, there will be no stadium redevelopment. Second, there will be redevelopment but at the end of it the stadium will not be owned by Rangers plc.

 

The latter is totally unacceptable but the former will most likely ensure it never happens. We've been here so many times before.

 

Hmm, hasn't Murray's track record been to totally redevelop the Main stand with the club deck, new enclosure, massive new roof etc; to fill in the corners with the big screens; to lower the pitch adding quite a few rows; and to add about 500 new seats in the last year including Bar 72? Hasn't he increased the seating capicity from 36k to 51k while making the stadium UEFA five star?

 

Hasn't he also built a 17M training centre and youth academy?

 

Hasn't all this been at the cost of about 60M?

 

I'm all for Murray bashing but staying objective, if you base anything on his track record, then I think it's pretty likely we'll have a revamped stadium soon...

 

That to me, is not the area where he has not delivered - and in fact the stadium would definitely have a higher capacity if it wasn't for the short sightedness of the people who chose the three stands in the 80's before Murray arrived.

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