Rangers told Celtic MUST be sent message amid stadium farce as Ibrox chaos sparks new season contradiction

Scaffolding is pictured at Ibrox Stadium
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)

Billy Dodds has warned Rangers they can have no excuses during their Ibrox lockout and must still send a title message to Celtic at the start of the campaign.

And the former Light Blues' striker reckons that the short-term switch of home ground could put the brakes on fan hype for new season - with most clubs building "optimism and momentum" for the Scottish Premiership fight. Record Sport revealed that further talks are taking place with Ibrox chiefs considering hiring Hampden for the foreseeable future after a delegation from the club visited the national stadium last week to examine the facilities.

Murrayfield also remains a live option for Rangers going into the new campaign - but with a host of crucial fixtures taking place in the early weeks of the season it adds another headache for Philippe Clement as he looks to dethrone Brendan Rodgers' champions. And concerned Dodds reckons the switch could hamper his former club sending an early-season message to their rivals

When asked about the Ibrox relocation on the BBC's Scottish Football podcast, Dodds said: "It is not ideal, because you are on the chase right away. Celtic have won the league last year and beat you in the cup final - you want to start well and show them 'we are here, we're in it for the long haul, we showed signs of improvement last year and we are going to keep that going'.

"But, wherever they play the games they have got to start well until the stadium is ready. It's not ideal when we are talking about optimism, momentum and getting a good start to the season - and you are not even playing at your home stadium."