Rangers stumble on

I was away in South America when my team : Rangers were pushed to the bottom of the Scottish football league system, 2 years ago. It was hard to disagree with the punishment at the time, not after the almost comical mismanagement of the club by assorted crooks and cretins. But after the shock and bewilderment had passed I had fair degree of enthusiasm for my club.

On paper I thought the best course of action would be to build up the team with a strong core of Scottish youth players.Rangers certainly have the facilities with Murray Park (Rangers training facilities) envied by many team in Europe. Also I thought they could have instilled some sort of new and attractive playing philosophy : adopt the the tiki-taki Barcelona system or the fluidity of Arsenal? I’m sure this would have been difficult to achieve but by starting from scratch the club had the ideal opportunity. A quick flight to Holland to look at the youth systems of Ajax or PSV would have provided an ideal template.

 

 

The 4th tier off the Scottish League is by no means top level football. All of the teams are part time and they rarely attract crowds more than a couple of hundred souls. Most of the players are Postmen, Mechanics etc and will probably manage a couple of nights training a week so a well drilled team of talented youngsters would have probably had no problem in winning the 3rd Division.

In the end Rangers did “triumph”, by a hefty points margin but not without a couple of embarrassing slips and by way of some, at times, dreadful football. Added to this Ally McCoist (team manager and club legend) assembled a mish mash of 5th rate European  journeymen together with some overpaid Scottish Premiership achievers. There were some young Scots but their appearances were sporadic and underwhelming.

Since then we have learned that the annual player wage bill was an eye watering £7 million pounds.

 

For a 4th tier club???

 

Although this isn’t a huge amount by EPL or Champions League team standards it is a  staggering amount for a recently bankrupted club working in the the Scottish 3rd Division. This drain in finances in conjunction with similarly astounding management and hierarchy wages and bonuses has left Rangers on the brink of administration again. 

 

It seems that Rangers re-emergence as Scottish giant is a long way off and their participation in Europe even further off. 

January 23, 2014. Uncategorized.

4 Comments

  1. Cornelitos replied:

    Heartbreaking stuff…

    The one club in Dutch football you didn’t mention in this piece, that is very much worth reading, is Feyenoord. Due to mismanagement they found themselves confronted with the fact that you cannot go onto the market without the Dutch FA giving you permission to do so, and they started using their academy more than ever before. They have produced at least 10 new international players since, and some of them will go to Brazil. They were back on top sooner than anyone expected them to be. And what is more: the whole country loves them.

    Ajax is a different story. They have that tradition. Somehow, throughout the years, they have always produced the backbone of our national teams, 1978 being the exception, when we had a PSV/Feyenoord squad. That was, maybe coincidentally, a team of hard workers, good players, but not a brilliant team. Ajax is our national source. I hate to admit it as a PSV man, but it is true.

    PSV has also taken the road of the academy. We used to be the team that ‘bought’ its titles, according to fans of other clubs. That was never a problem for me. It seems to me that within professional football that is allowed. I do sympathize with the idea, though, that if you do have an academy, you should either use it or clean it up all together. For years we saw all these talents flourishing abroad or elsewhere in the Netherlands, and we as fans found ourselves wondering: is our Cuban/Japanese/South African right back really better than that guy over at Augsburg in the Bundesliga who never got the chance here?
    Now, due to economic circumstances, we are forced to do things differently. Maybe we miss out on qualifying for Europe for the first time in over 40 years. That will hurt. But I feel proud every time I see our boys play. They do well, give or take. I hope they’ll do better soon, but if they don’t, I’ll swallow it.

    Rangers is a marvelous club that is thought of highly everywhere. Scottish football has always been idolized by everyone that loves football in the Netherlands. “Wow. If only we had that kind of passion”. It seems to me that Ali is right. Re-invent yourself. Take a step back. Not the one you’ve already taken, by force. But do it yourself. Start over. You’re f%cking Rangers. People will wait for you and eventually, you’ll be the better for it and people will see what you did, and love you for it.

    On a broader note: does the rest of Europe really have to remember Gary McAllister as the last classy Scottish midfielder that could really impress? That was AGES ago, and he wasn’t that good. Get organized, set up a decent youth program (nationally) and get cracking already. Europe waits for you and wants you back.

    An idiot’s comment after a beer, but from the heart

  2. Cornelitos replied:

  3. ali mclauchlan replied:

    I’ve just seen this. For some reason i was not updated. Salient points, as always, from a flying Dutchman.I think the last true class player we had was John Collins (Everton, Monaco) very cultured and intelligent. Since then it has been slim pickings for Scotland but hope springs eternal. We have Snodgrass at Norwich and a few other journeymen EPL players. No stars but it has always been the common, team strength with Scotland.

  4. ali mclauchlan replied:

    I think PSV. Ajax and even Feyenoord are European greats and have always been regarded as such. It seems they are much more organised and accountable to the fans though. Maybe something to do with culture or probably the Dutch laws.

    The weakening of Dutch football in European club terms has much to do with the increasing wealth gap of the “bigger” nations , especially England and Germany, Smaller nations cannot compete with the TV riches that are provided and as a result have to sell on their best assets, often at cut prices.Maybe an Atlantic league or Northern European league with the top clubs from Scotland, Holland, Sweden, Belgian and Denmark together with UEFA CL and Europa League involvement would address the disparity.

    This seems a fair bit off in terms of Rangers,We are already thinking about the Honeymoon without contemplating the Wedding or even the first date. We probably have to get a new coaching staff as well if have any pretensions of European or domestic glory.

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