Following two of the worst performances in the club’s history against its biggest rivals, why has it taken three days to relieve the manager of his duties? Not only the results but the obvious dressing room discord has been glaringly obvious and Graeme Murty’s “woe is me” interviews of late did not present a united front.
There are many possible reasons for it taking so long. Rumours are abound that Steven Gerrard is soon to be appointed Manager for next season, have they been trying to persuade him to come in earlier?
Maybe the board doesn’t want to sack somebody that they wrongly threw into the firing line in the first place, it is almost an admission of guilt like the sacking of Pedro Caixinha so early in the season. The appointment of Pedro last March has led us to the position we are in just now and the fault lies firmly at the door of the Managing Director, Stewart Robertson and other members of the “Football Board” – Andrew Dickson (Director of Finance and Administration) and James Blair (Secretary).
These are the guys that are, in my opinion, interfering with the team we see on a Saturday. This brings me back to my initial point. It has taken three days to make a decision because there are so many people involved in making one. For me it is clear. From the Manager to playing staff there is one person who should make the decision that then gets signed off by the Rangers International Football Club Plc board and Chairman Dave King, Mark Allen the Director of Football.
I’ve no doubt, Mark Allen has had one of the hardest jobs in football since he took over. He arrived at the club after it had made a poor management choice and spent a small fortune on players that have been found to be below the standard required to play for Rangers. There was no scouting structure or network in place. Then after a few months, he has to deal with the Manager being sacked and look at replacing the players that had been signed in the summer during the January transfer window.
The club now appears to be top-heavy with Directors and Board members. There is a competent Director of Football in place but who does he report to? The Managing Director, the Secretary or the RIFC Board? With Douglas Park’s recent appointment as a Deputy Chairman to oversee the day to day running of the club in King’s absence surely that should be Allen’s point of contact? He is the Director of Football; the clue is in the name. There shouldn’t be any board level influence on the team other than providing funding and contracts.
Following years of abuse by men out to drain and choke Rangers out of every penny possible, Dave King and his allies stepped up and saved the day. We are now in a period of transition where we no longer need the same level of structure and should be streamlining the governance of the club. Should there now be one board that Mark Allen reports to where the Chairman/Deputy Chairman is in charge?
What is clear, is that there have been too many people with not enough experience of running the playing side of a football club getting involved in decision making and it has been to the detriment of the club. Not only taking too long to make decisions but then making the wrong ones. Never more evident than the approach for Derek McInnes. He wasn’t the Director of Football’s choice and yet there was still an embarrassing attempt made to get him. As for the PR, that’s a weekly series on its own!
There is a clear vision for the finances of the club, the bi-polar nature of Rangers is brutal for fans. Obvious progress is being made but there doesn’t seem to be the same level of competence in the footballing side of the organisation.
All we can hope is that with Mark Allen settled in his role that we have a short, medium and long-term plan for recruitment so that we no longer have to endure the disaster of the last two seasons. The biggest problem is going to be offloading the players that we don’t need without too much cost to the club, expect numerous loan deals being struck to at least see their wages covered.
With Murty gone, we can but hope that the negativity in and around the dressing room is lifted to see us through the three massive games that remain at the end of the season to at least give us something to look forward to next season.
To end on a positive note (and trust me I had to look hard to find one), Hibs and Aberdeen have by all accounts been outstanding this season and we have been abysmal lurching from one catastrophe to the next. At the time of writing, Rangers’ destiny is in their own hands. We can’t have another season as bad as this one and with Hibs and Aberdeen set to lose their best players will they be the same force next season? We have also scored more goals than last season and will finish with more points than last season despite, as previously mentioned, being an absolute shambles.
We will have better recruitment, better players and more importantly a Manager that will inspire the players to run through brick walls for them, but the football board needs to do something it hasn’t shown us it can do yet, it needs to do its job and it needs to do it well.