Today I received this official response from a Scottish Government spokesman regarding the state of the Ibrox roof:
“This is a matter for the local authority and Glasgow City Council are in regular dialogue with Rangers about the safety certificate for Ibrox and other issues.
“The club has a safety certificate which is valid until July – but clearly that can be reviewed at any time if serious issues emerge.
“The Safety Advisory Group has discussed this issue and its dialogue with the club is ongoing.”
In the interests of accuracy, I asked the Government spokesperson clarification on the “issue” used in the last sentence of the statement. Back came the unequivocal reply; “The Ibrox roof.”
This confirms that the Scottish Government is now aware of the issues at Ibrox and that they are monitoring the situation, although it is not their statutory function, whereas, the City Council can review the safety certificate for Ibrox AT ANY TIME.
I was reassured by the assurance from the Scottish Government that the Safety Advisory Group is in “an ongoing dialogue” with the club regarding the Ibrox roof. Those who read my article last Friday will remember I had said a number of concerned people working at Ibrox had indicated to me that SAG had not received substantive answers to questions regarding the state of three Ibrox roofs.
Perhaps the ongoing dialogue will provide definitive answers to those outstanding questions.
This statement poses several other questions.
What are the “other issues” being discussed between the club and the City Council?
How serious does a situation have to become before a safety certificate is withdrawn?
As I said last Friday:
“This is not a narrow, point-winning issue; this is not a debate about who has the best centre forward; this is not a debate about who will finish higher in the league or win a cup.”
This is about safety.
The Scottish Government has been prompt in replying to my questions, and the Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council has indicated that she will reply to me in due course…and from Ibrox the sound of silence.