Discussions relating to a proposed fan zone at Ibrox:
On 11 October, we published material in relation to the proposed fan zone at Ibrox, with the following statement:
"We appreciate that there is a lot of material and it is not easy to navigate this. We are therefore working on grouping and re-naming some files to make the content more obvious. No content will be changed or removed as a result of this tidying-up exercise."
Since publication (16 October) we have added additional documents to provide greater context. No content has been removed as a result of this tidying-up exercise.
Ibrox Community Complex is a community-oriented sports facility owned by Glasgow City Council and managed on the council's behalf by Glasgow Life who occupy the property under a lease from the council.
In January 2018, staff of Glasgow Life received correspondence from Rangers Football Club seeking to set up a meeting to discuss a possible 'Club fan village' on the pitch at Ibrox Community Complex. The intention was to have this operational for the last four home matches of the 2017-18 season with the first event being held on 17th March 2018.
In subsequent discussions it was recognised that this timescale was unachievable and on 12 March Rangers confirmed to Glasgow Life and the council that they would not be looking to proceed with events for the 2017-18 season but instead wanted to focus on the first four home matches of the 2018-19 season.
The operation of the fanzone requires Rangers to have a temporary public entertainment licence, which would be issued by Glasgow City Council following approval by the Licensing and Regulatory Committee of the council. An application for this licence was duly made and published.
As the Ibrox Complex is a community facility, Glasgow Life informed Rangers that they would only consent to the use of the pitch for a fanzone if the local community (represented by the Ibrox and Cessnock Community Council) were supportive of the proposal.
On 6 July an objection to the application was received from Ibrox and Cessnock Community Council.
Glasgow Life informed Rangers on 13 July that in light of Community Council objections, permission to use the Ibrox Complex as a fanzone will not be allowed until those concerns are resolved.
A meeting of the community council on 18 July, attended by Glasgow Life and Rangers staff, confirmed the community council's continued objection to the application for the temporary public entertainment licence.
On 24 July 2018 a meeting of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee was arranged, the meeting itself being scheduled for 6 August. The Rangers FC application for a public entertainment licence was the only agenda item.
On 2 August Glasgow Life notified the council's licensing section that, given the community council's continuing objection to the application, Glasgow Life confirmed permission to use the facility as a fanzone had been withdrawn.
As the temporary public entertainment licence could not legally be considered by the committee if the event did not have the permission of the occupier of the property in question, the meeting scheduled for 6 August was cancelled by Licensing Section.
Given that the proposed fanzone did not have permission from Glasgow Life as occupier of the property, nor the required temporary public entertainment licence, they have been unable to take place as originally planned by Rangers.
There has been significant discussion of this decision in the media and on social media. Given the level of public interest, and the council's commitment to transparency, Glasgow City Council has taken the decision to publish the material which it holds relating to the discussions with Rangers involving both the council and Glasgow Life.
This material can be accessed by clicking on the links on this page.
Please note that we have redacted all names and other identifying information (on the basis that disclosing the identifying information would breach the data protection principles set out in the General Data Protection Regulation. Redaction of personal data is permitted in terms of section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002).
A small amount of material has also been redacted on the basis that it is commercially sensitive and that disclosure of this information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of the organisations involved. Redaction of commercially-sensitive material is permitted in terms of the exemption contained in section 33(1)(b) of the 2002 Act.
Most material included here dates from 1 March 2018, documents published by Glasgow Life date back to January 2018.
It should be noted that Rangers FC successfully applied for an occasional alcohol licence in connection with the proposed fanzone. Alcohol licences are issued by the City of Glasgow Licensing Board which is a separate legal entity from Glasgow City Council. Information relating to the alcohol licence has not been included in the material published here.
Some documents indicate that the decision by Glasgow Life to withdraw permission to use the pitch for the fanzone was taken after a meeting with senior elected members of the council. This is incorrect. As stated above, permission was unable to be granted following the decision by the local community council to maintain its objection to the proposal.
The emails in question were the result of a misunderstanding by a member of Glasgow Life's staff and were quickly corrected by senior Glasgow Life officers. The only elected members who had any discussions with officers of either Glasgow Life or the Council were the four local ward members and the Chair of Glasgow Life's Board.
Meetings with the Chair of the Board were to explain that the Glasgow Life position had always been that the proposal would only proceed with the backing of the local community council, and that since the community council meeting in August had maintained their objections to the use of the pitch, the proposal would not be supported by Glasgow Life.
There have been comments that the proposal for a fanzone by Rangers FC were treated differently from proposals made by other football clubs or the Scottish Football Association. However it should be noted that there were significant differences between these other fanzones and the fanzone proposed here. The fanzones held at Hampden, Celtic Park and indeed other fanzones held at Ibrox by Rangers FC were, in some cases, held on land owned by the respective clubs/the SFA (or with the permission of the landowner), or in some cases they were small scale events which did not seek an alcohol licence and did not require a public entertainment licence.
Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life remain supportive of a fanzone in principle and continue to work with Rangers FC to explore the appropriate establishment of such.
We appreciate that there is a lot of material and it is not easy to navigate this. We are therefore working on grouping and re-naming some files to make the content more obvious. No content will be changed or removed as a result of this tidying-up exercise.