Major problems with Operation Lipstick?

Rather unsurprisingly, the green half of Glasgow has been enjoying their Ibrox-themed schadenfreude today.

In the digital age, confirmation bias is the order of the day.

So, what’s the real scéal?

For several months, two independent and well-placed sources have suggested to me that the current regime in the Blue Room would like to find a buyer.

Neither of them stated that scenario as an assertion, just a suggestion.

Something that might happen given the available evidence.

I spoke with one of them today, and he reminded me of those conversations.

His view was that there was an over-supply of private equity companies on Wall Street looking at a definite shortage of European sports brands.

He said the Ibrox renovations could be part of a strategy to make the place more attractive to prospective buyers.

The lipstick option…

This narrative allowed me to view the current work on the stadium that Mr. Bomber played for.

One of the main bits of speculation since yesterday is that a toxic cavern of deadly asbestos has been uncovered.

It is undoubtedly nasty stuff.

My first campaign as a baby trade unionist on the railway was against asbestos.

In the late 1970s, I was a delegate to the Trades Council meeting on Clyde Street when sensible teenagers were getting chemically altered in discos.

Colleagues in the T & G were all out to rid the industry of that fatal dust.

I remember my late uncle by marriage, who was an electrician having to dress up as an industrial astronaut to gut the stuff from train carriages in my Springburn factory.

So, is there any of it in Ibrox?

I don’t know, and unlike many in the Celtic blogosphere, I won’t pretend that I do.

However, I learned this morning from an inside source that, indeed, “something WAS uncovered” when work started.

Then, he told me that “a specialist team” had to be brought in.

As for the start of the season, I wouldn’t fall off my lovely new garden chair if Sevco gets mate’s rates at Hampden.

Brotherly love and all that.

Murrayfield and the SRU will be a far more expensive proposition for sure.

Whichever it is, if they turn up to Celtic Park all homeless and dishevelled and get turned over, already out of Europe, then that’s a very bad start to the season for dear Philippe and the project manager Chairman.

My guy told me that £5m had originally been set aside for this work, but that budget was now blown apart.

On that one, I spoke with a real industry professional this morning.

He’s English and has no skin in the Glasgow feud.

The professionally qualified project manager told me that no one in his line of work would attempt that job without all the materials being in situ before work started.

I asked him why, and his answer was short and straightforward:

“The narrow time window and an overrun was unacceptable for the client.”

It’s almost as if the people running Sevco are complete amateurs.


Oh, I’m sure that those stadium tours with Mr Bomber will be wonderful.

After all, it isn’t the first time that he has been something of a raconteur at the stadium he played for.

20 thoughts on “Major problems with Operation Lipstick?”

  1. Maybe they’ve inadvertently opened the gateway to hell from whence they were spawned. Explains the thick black impenetrable clouds of bile and hate which sit above above Mordor on match days. CLUSTERFUCK, as used by another poster would seem to describe this situation and the club precisely. The Dali Llama could ,I’m sure, source incense, from any local Catholic Church. Oh how I loved that smell when I served.

  2. Many, many years ago (20!) semi submersible drilling unit I worked on had upgrades done in Damen Verlome yard in Rotterdam. While cleaning out the ventilation system in the little ‘pilot’ house ceiling panels came down and asbestos discovered.
    Whole area cocooned in plastic and ‘no entry’ barriers keeping your distance placed.
    Entry were only in full HAZMAS suits? Does not bode well for any attempt to seal the area while removing the asbestos.

  3. I may have missed the rationale, but if the problem is just the steel, why can’t they just close the Copland? Not ideal, and some of the Orcs would miss out on a regular fix of standing knee deep in fenian blood, but surely better than them sourcing and paying for another stadium?

  4. Hi Phil,

    As part of the CDM regulations it is encumbent on the client (Sevco) to provide the contractor with all relevant asbestos information prior to the project starting. In this instance, a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey would have been completed by a licenced asbestos contractor and provided to the contractor pre-start. This survey would identify any asbestos hazards in areas to be disturbed by the works and, as such, I find it hard to believe that this never happened. Having said that, it is Sevco we are dealing with so you never know.

    Also, if asbestos was discovered and disturbed, the HSE would need to be notified.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Asbestos has been used for over 4000 years. It’s everywhere. It’s only when it’s disturbed that it becomes an issue . It’s also expensive to dispose of .

  6. It’s like an episode of Grand Designs Wherby the people normally run out of money and overrun by years .
    Utter clusterfuck over at ibrox
    As was said in Phil’s post such large projects should be fully costed and any risks assessed before commencing
    Them all materials on site ready .
    But as ever someone else will be blamed
    For this clusterfuck
    Oh how we laugh. .

  7. Could it be those rumours from a few years ago in regards to the roof are now on closer inspection bearing fruit? Something else that could be about to bear fruit is the 11m compensation claim by Elite Sports which I believe is due early August. The “Dalai Llama of the Blue room” (love that moniker) will be calling for the incense

  8. Normally a Contractor can apply for most of the costs of Materials on Site when submitting a Valuation/Application for Payment.
    Maybe the Sevco bean counters didn’t want to be lumbered with such costs before completion of the works or the contractor didn’t want to shelve out for the steel in case Servo didn’t want to pay until the month after completion when they’d been able to have brought in much needed cash flow?

  9. I would take no glee in asbestos being uncovered. Doubtless the uncover would have unsealed it and made it a hazard. That’s grim news for anyone.

    Its presence in a public gathering place though…. Would probably result in a full scale survey of the stadium and clear out of any and all asbestos discovered. Costly and time consuming. In such instances I wouldn’t expect fans inside Ibrox this side of 2025.

    As for mate’s rates… Probably, though Queens Park would likely have a grievance if Hampden suddenly became available early in the season, after they had to make alternative arrangements due to its upgrade works.

    • Same. Wouldn’t take any glee either. Personal experience of what that stuff does to folks lungs – it’s a really shitty way for a family member to go.

      That said, if they have to rent a stadium elsewhere while it gets cleaned, the costs accrued will definitely rival the face painter and then some. If it puts Sevco in trouble for UEFA sustainability rules, all the better.

  10. No PM would attempt a tight programme with no Leary without first fully investigating the possible pitfalls. A thorough structural check and knowing if asbestos is present always clarified. Any clearing out usually done as separate contract prior to works to avoid surprises! Or you can just bash on and hope for the best. Amateur.


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