Rangers fear Hampden relocation could last until October as further crisis talks planned over Ibrox lockout

Rangers will hold further crisis talks this week about hiring Hampden for the ‘foreseeable future’ as fears grow they might be locked out of Ibrox until October at the earliest.

Record Sport understands an Ibrox delegation visited the national stadium last week to be given a full tour of the facilities as chairman John Bennett closes in on a deal to secure his club with a temporary home. Murrayfield also remains a viable option for but, as we revealed last week, talks about a possible takeover of the national stadium have gathered pace and those conversations will continue over the course of the next few days.

An agreement is now close to being concluded and Bennett could make an official announcement next week as he rushes to keep the club’s supporters in the loop after dropping the bombshell news that their own ground will not be fit for purpose when the new season begins. But Bennett will almost certainly be unable to provide them with a concrete date for when the ongoing refurb work of the Copland Road stand will be completed.

The Rangers end at Hampden -Credit:SNS Group
The Rangers end at Hampden -Credit:SNS Group

The project was managed by former chief executive James Bisgrove, who has left his position for a new job in Saudi Arabia. It’s understood materials needed for the renovation job were not ordered on time and are now unlikely to arrive in Glasgow until August because of unprecedented logjams in the global shipping industry caused, in part, by ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.

That means the work that was meant to begin immediately after the final home game of last season on May 14, is facing a further series of delays and is highly unlikely to be completed at any point within the next three months.

Philippe Clement’s side kick-off the domestic season away to Hearts on August 3 before hosting Motherwell a week later. But Rangers could also face two rounds of qualifiers for the Champions League during that month with UEFA’s expanded competition getting under way between September 17 and 19.