Rangers Need Long Term Strategies


Now before I get started I’m not going to get into the debate in who should be running Rangers. I don’t have enough time to get into the boardroom politics. All I will say is if the current board can’t implement changes that benefit the club in the long term and cannot run the business in a viable, sustainable fashion then they should step aside. Also if anybody out there doesn’t have the club’s future at the forefront of their thoughts then they shouldn’t invest.

The culture of reckless business individuals and consortiums ruining football clubs should be a thing of the past for modern day football and we’ll have a much better footballing environment and society without them in our game.

Now lets get down to what is needed at Ibrox to improve the whole business and structure of the club.

Many people have been criticising ‘Gers’ manager Ally McCoist for buying a bunch of older veteran players, a few that have been at Ibrox before. It’s easy to mock and I can also see why people would be a bit annoyed. It shows a lack of imagination. But we also need to look at why it’s happened.

It’s quite simple. McCoist is bringing in players he knows and knows what they can do. He has no real scouting system or a chief scout the manager trusts. That’s something that should have been addressed when Rangers got rid of Neil Murray in the middle of 2013. Without a head scout and a network of scouts working underneath him then what chance do Rangers have to scout decent youth players on the continent, reserve sides down south or even a detailed knowledge of young Scottish players that aren’t in first teams yet? The management team can’t be given those extra tasks, coaches can’t always spot talent. Plus you can’t just rely on Youtube or DVDs. The club also need to hold more trials and look at players close up. They have no transfer budget, so free transfers are the way to go and you need to be better informed about these talents.

The club also need to look at their academy and how Murray Park is run. They need to develop more talented youngsters and youths that are capable of getting into the first team more regularly. In Lewis McLeod, Fraser Aird, Calum Gallagher, Barrie McKay and Robbie Crawford Rangers have a good group of talented youngsters but they really should have a bigger crop that are knocking down the managers door to get a chance in the top team. McCoist also needs to make sure that they still get game time in the Championship and that the club don’t focus everything on the older pros.

Look at clubs like the big three in Portugal. They all have great scouting networks and superb bases in developing youth talent. Those are things Rangers, Hibs and Hearts should be looking at bringing into their own clubs. Even at Celtic, they can still improve, especially with the transition from youth squads to the first team.

Rangers Chief Executive Graham Wallace has told of the need for Rangers to bring in a new football operations officer. Basically its like a sporting director or a director of football but under a different name. The role would see the officer look at identifying player talent, scouting and recruitment strategy. People in Scotland and the UK as a whole don’t usually trust the role of sporting director/director of football/football operations officer. Mainly due to the fact that teams in the Britain have failed to implement the system properly. A lot of the public and the British managers suspect that the new directors want too much power and really want to pick the team and get rid of the coaches.

But look at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG and most other successful continental sides. They all have strong sporting directors who look after all the business sides of things that managers/head coaches shouldn’t be wasting time on. They bring in the new players (in positions the manager needs), they deal with the scouts and the heads of the academies and make sure the whole club is working in the right direction.

It’s believed that Christian Nerlinger is frontrunner for the new role. He seems like the ideal candidate. He was a former Gers player, he has studied international business and also held the role as general manager at Bayern Munich. It should be noted that Nerlinger has always been more interested in the background business side of football rather than becoming a coach, so that should help alleviate any suspicions Ally has of Nerlinger being after his job.

But like most things at Ibrox these days, the appointment of a new football operations officer is taking too long!

Everyone at Rangers needs to work together. That is the sticking point. No one at the club seems to be going in the same direction. There are various factions looking at taking over the club and controlling it their way. The fans are angered with the current board and season ticket sales seem to have slowed this preseason, money is needed without much investment forthcoming, McCoist seems in the dark about a new operations officer which suggests his relationship with Wallace could be stronger.

But maybe the only way it can work is when they start laying these long term foundations but without trust can they be successfully implemented? It could be yet another big catch 22 at Rangers.

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