Alex McLeish has confirmed tonight that talks with the Rangers board never went beyond the ‘casual’ stage.
Speaking about his return to Ibrox as manager following the departure of Mark Warburton, Big Eck has suggested that the board were never serious about his appointment and that while he made himself available for further talks, Stewart Robertson et al were not interested in following up on him.
"I did speak to them and I said that if they were to come back and offer me it, I would like to speak further. It was a very casual chat. It wasn’t what I would call an interview, it was meeting old friends again and seeing where they were going with the club. They say don’t go back and that was in my mind but they asked to speak to me and it was worth listening to what they had to say."
In other words, talking to McLeish was little more than courtesy and research on Rangers’ board’s part, and diligence in speaking to as many viable candidates as possible to lay valuable groundwork on what was needed.
Eck went on:
“There is a lot of politics and I don’t know if I needed that at this stage of my life. It was totally different to when I first went. It just wasn’t for me at this time of my career. I felt that there is a lot that goes with it as well, in terms of the other side of the actual football and training. I wasn’t close. I had doubts about it."
It does seem that while McLeish professed big interest on Sky Sports as a pundit in the job, when it came down to business, neither he nor Rangers’ board were truly committed to the idea of him taking on the job.
So far Pedro Caixinha is justifying this outcome. Let us hope he continues.