CQN today received an update from Celtic regarding the safety of the 7500 Celtic supporters who are scheduled to attend Ibrox on Hogmanay for the first ever match at that stadium against the latest club to play their home matches at the ground once owned by Rangers FC, now in liquidation.
We asked Celtic one simple question this week and appreciate their quick response. Here is the question…
Celtic travel to Ibrox park on 31st December 2016 to play their first game against The Rangers at their own stadium.
Much has been made of possible safety concerns about the structure that will house the Celtic support.
Has the standard safety briefing been undertaken and are Celtic, the SPFL and the authorities satisfied that all Celtic supporters will be safe at this fixture?
Celtic’s answered as follows…
“The Club are naturally aware of the rumours going round regarding the match and the condition of the roof at Broomloan Stand.
“The issue being that as a Club we cannot deal or act on rumour, the match like every other played in the SPFL will be subject to a number of safety and security checks with a variety of risk assessments being completed.
“At this point we are not aware of anything which will prevent the match going ahead as planned.
“The Club take the safety of our fans and staff very seriously and should there be any suggestion that this may be compromised a decision would be taken at that time.”
With Storm Conor set to follow on from Barbara on Christmas Day and Boxing Day there is no doubt that Mother Nature is testing these aging and neglected Ibrox structures to the full.
In recent times the new Ibrox club has struggled to fund the maintenance of the stadium they acquired from Duff and Phelps in an asset sale in 2012 after a CVA to save the old club was rejected.
In one lower league match against East Fife the game was delayed and hundreds of fans had to be moved due to the state of the roof with debris falling on or around the supporters.
It is a long way from the time these supporters, who used to follow the old club but has switched allegiances to the club founded by Charles Green, were mocking Celtic fans about the roof at Celtic Park. These fans wore Hard Hats after a Scottish Cup match was postponed at Celtic Park when John Barnes was the Celtic manager after a some guttering came loose above the Lisbon Lions stand. This story received coverage in the Scottish press, as a humorous anti-Celtic story.
Some Celtic supporters are set to prove that the he who laughs last last the longest when they turn up at Ibrox wearing their own hard hats, with the Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters clubs confirming to CQN that member clubs have been buying hard hats in bulk to be worn in or around Ibrox.
Celtic captain Scott Brown had his own wee dig at the state of the Ibrox roof on Celtic TV this week and while all of this is funny, it remains the case that there are serious concerns over whether these roofs at Ibrox are fit for purpose, particularly as the West of Scotland is currently being battered by storms.
With both the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council being forced to issue statements relating to the roofs at Ibrox, Celtic need to be 100% sure that the stadium where 7500 Celtic supporters will go to to support the team, is fit for purpose.