John Bennett issues apology to Rangers fans as Hampden deal in 'final stages' but no fixed date for Ibrox return

John Bennett has apologised to the Rangers fans as he outlined the club's switch to Hampden Park amid the fiasco surrounding renovations at Ibrox.

Fans have been left wondering where they would watch their heroes in action in the early part of the campaign as works on the Copland Road Stand hit a major delay meaning the men from Govan had to seek a short-term fix. And there has been no direct communications with fans since the initial statement on June 25. Record Sport exclusively revealed fears had been growing that Gers could be playing outside of Govan until at least October and an extended period away from their home due to delays in planned building works. That means no true home advantage for a crucial Champions League third round qualifier and the play-off if they navigate the first hurdle successfully.

A deal is now in the 'final stages' with the SFA for Rangers to rent Hampden. It was initially thought that the national stadium would be out of commission with the turf due to be ripped up and replaced. But those upgrades are set to be canned after Hampden bosses offered to ride to Rangers' rescue and offer up the ground. Murrayfield was the other live option, but a shorter flit across Glasgow has been decided on as the most suitable option as the club battles to speed things up and get the team back to their traditional home ASAP. Fans are concerned that Philippe Clement's side have already been dealt a title race blow before a ball has even been kicked and are praying that Celtic don't leave them standing when the Premiership starts pistol fires.

Supporters have now discovered the venue they will watch their side in the early part of the new campaign but at this stage the club say they are unable to put a date on the return to Ibrox and that should become clearer once the necessary materials for the upgrades arrive in Glasgow. Bennett also intends to give a more detailed and personal update by the end of July.

A Rangers club statement from chairman Bennett reads: “First I’d like to apologise on behalf of the club for the uncertainty that this delayed project has caused to our season ticket holders, hospitality clients, partners and the wider support of this football club. The number of variables in this situation has made it extremely difficult to bring the one thing we all crave – certainty.

“Nevertheless, we are closing in on the most immediate solution - a suitable venue at which to fulfil our fixtures and house our support. While the ongoing delay means that the club is unable to fix a date for our return to Ibrox, we anticipate that this will become clearer upon delivery of the necessary materials to Glasgow.

“Rangers thanks the Scottish FA and the SPFL for their strong support in working to this solution. The club wholeheartedly appreciates the continued patience of our supporters while we work through this most trying of situations. I intend to give a fuller, personal update by the end of July.”

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