POLITICAL pressure was applied to block plans for a proposed Rangers fan zone, emails released by Glasgow City Council have confirmed.

The Ibrox club’s bid to use a community complex opposite the ground for a fan zone was blocked on August 2, just 10 days before the first was due to be held after Glasgow Life ruled the club did not have sufficient community backing. 

City chiefs released a huge cache of conversations between councillors, club bosses and Glasgow Life earlier this week in response to calls for transparency, although names were redacted. 

READ MORE: Rangers fan zone CANCELLED after objections from community council

And we can reveal that on June 25 this year, a city councillor contacted Glasgow Life, claiming to be under “political pressure” to oppose the use of the Ibrox Football Complex for four pilot fan zones.

The following day, in an email from a councillor named “David” to Glasgow Life, it was claimed at least three of the four Govan members opposed the fan zone – which has since been denied.

In another email exchange on July 2, a councillor demanded answers from colleagues, insisting that if the fan zone plan went to the licensing committee, it would likely be approved.

READ MORE: Rangers chiefs said Glasgow City Council voiced support for the creation of a fan zone

And in a further note, sent from a Glasgow City Council email address, it was suggested members of the Ibrox and Cessnock Community Council should give their view on the fan zone in a private meeting or over the phone, instead of at their public meeting in August.

Rangers were initially granted an “occasional licence” on June 15 this year, in an email to Glasgow Life 10 days later, a city councillor said: “I’m getting a lot of political pressure from local members to oppose the use of the Ibrox Complex for these ‘fan zone’ events…”

But while Stephen Dornan objected and John Kane supported Rangers’ plans, Ricky Bell and Allan Young have both since denied being in outright opposition.

READ MORE: Rangers fan group’s scathing attack on senior SNP figures for rejecting Ibrox fan zone plans

The revelations come as it emerged an SNP councillor has been accused of antagonising Rangers and Glasgow Life representatives during key talks over the proposed Ibrox fan zone.

Stephen Dornan, who has openly opposed Rangers’ plans to use the Ibrox Football Complex, was branded “offensive” over his behaviour at a community council meeting in July.

It comes amid claims that in June, the community council formally objected to the fan zone proposals without a debate, following a suggestion by Mr Dornan.

READ MORE: Shock as £7m repair bill to close People's Palace and Winter Gardens INDEFINITELY

And in a hastily arranged poll, taken in private during a tea break at a meeting in August, community councillors voted 4-3 in favour of upholding an objection to the plans – which was key to Glasgow Life’s withdrawal of the licence.

Labour councillor John Kane said: “This boiled up at the meeting in June where one elected member suggested the community council should oppose. There was no great discussion on it and it was right at the end of the meeting. The community council then put in an objection.

“After the first objection went through I organised to have people from Rangers and Glasgow Life talk about the plans at a meeting of the community council.

READ MORE: 'The city will be with us all the way' - Glasgow's equal pay women ready to strike

“I thought the attitude of one elected member was incredibly antagonistic. I felt that member was unfairly rubbishing Rangers’ contribution to the community.”

Those claims were backed by a source who attended the July meeting.
The source said: “Mr Dornan was antagonistic towards the Rangers representatives, but he was particularly offensive towards a young officer who was representing Glasgow Life. His behaviour was awful.”

Mr Dornan was the only Glasgow City councillor to lodge an official objection to the fan zone plan.

Mr Dornan did not respond to requests for comment.