Why staying in the Championship was the real promotion

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No one in their right mind will
deny it; on 31st May at 17:00 hours, the world had collapsed for
Rangers fans. Not only was the team officially stuck in the Championship for
another year, but it was barely worthy of the word ‘team’. Rudderless, weak,
and a sham of a squad, with no obvious horizon to aim at ahead of it.
Rangers had been put back another
year of progress, and the future felt rather ominous for supporters,
long-suffering fans who seemed set to suffer at least a further 12 months of
pain.
Skip forward 16 days and things
look a lot brighter, and in fact,
are beginning to look like remaining in the Championship was the real promotion.

We all wanted to be back in the
big time; financially it was critical, and in a football sense it is where Rangers
need to be. Now, while the former remains entirely true, the latter is an
oxymoron now, and, although hindsight is the mother of arrogance and delusion,
for once, this time it is not.
So, why was failure to be
promoted the best outcome?
Having not been promoted Rangers
have had the chance to make three gigantic changes, and spend 12 months
rebuilding and getting it right before the serious
stuff begins next year.

Those three changes are new, quality, permanent management; the shedding of a
glut of absolute dross on the playing squad, and the impending acquisition of a
nigh-on new team by a manager with a vision.
Permanent management:
Mark Warburton & David Weir
can be trusted. Warburton is a smart, wily, sharp, and ambitious manager who
has achieved an astonishing amount in only 18 months of senior management,
beating Arsene Wenger & Jose Mourinho, among others, to 2015’s London
Manager of the Year award, for starters, then getting Brentford promoted at the
first time of asking and nearly doing it again the following year.
The 52-year old is here for the
long haul, and there is yet to be a negative word said about his abilities; a
very valid comparison is Alex Neil, Norwich’s
outstanding boss. Neil got Accies promoted, then moved to Norwich and got them into the English Premier League at the first time of asking. A
very similar kind of path to Warburton.
Rangers could not have done a lot
better than Warburton, and it is the first step towards rebuilding a Rangers we
recognise, and a really excellent piece of business from a board that has taken
a fair share of criticism; including by yours truly.
Shedding dross:
This is another thing the board
got right; a ruthless cull of the garbage on the payroll, Rangers’ hierarchy
let go eleven players, the vast majority of whom were absolute duds and a
symptom of the horrors of the McCoist legacy. If anything condemned McCoist’s
deranged ‘management’, it was the board letting go nearly every player he ever
signed. A lot of the trash is still there, of course, such as Law, Clark, and Templeton, but the majority of Ally’s signings
have been ditched, and maybe the new management can get something out of these
remaining dregs that few have been able to. Truth is these guys are not good
enough for Rangers, and will more than likely become squad fodder or bench
material. But the real passengers have finally got off the bus.
New signings:
As this site brought you
yesterday, Warburton plans a major shakeup of the playing squad. He has already
gone on record as being active in the market, and with names like Wilson, Allan
and Macleod to name just three in the mix, there will be colossal changes in
the team for next season. Badly-needed changes.
Rangers have been given a second
chance to get it right. McCoist was the biggest mistake the Club ever made in
management; they are still (literally) paying for it today. It went so badly as
to permanently sully Ally’s legacy, one which should have seen him remembered
as the greatest striker in Rangers’ history, but which sadly will not have that
label attached as exclusively as it deserved four years ago. 
But with
Warburton, Rangers really can ‘do a Hearts’ and with 12 months, a refreshed
squad, and quality management, Rangers can find themselves in the SPL,
well-equipped to handle the step up.
Fans now expect no less.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Looking ahead, the only way I can see us challenging Celtic in the next 3 to 4 years is if we buy the very best young talent now. We’re lucky in Scotland that the prices for young players are at bargain levels compared to those in England and the bigger leagues. Sold for a pittance, players like James McArthur, James McCarthy, Andy Robertson and Ryan Gauld now hold their own against some of the best players of their generation. We need to make use of the position Rangers has always had in Scotland – a prestigious club that most young people in the country would love to play for. People say we should be challenging Celtic in 3 years, but the only way it’ll happen is if we snap up the best youth in the country now. If Celtic stood still and had a similar squad to what they have now, yes – I could see us challenging them if we start buying good players from Brentford and cheap players from the English Championship/League 1. But Celtic are not going to stand still once Rangers get promoted; I’d be willing to wager that they’re putting aside many millions now (Champions League money, for example) for the new investment they’ll make once Rangers are in the Premiership. They’ll be able to buy 4 or 5 players at maybe 5 or 6 million pounds per head. What will Rangers do at that point? Also start signing players at 5 million pounds per head? Some Rangers fans will demand it. But we simply can’t do it anymore. Which is why it’s imperative we sign Scotland’s future stars now; guys that can not only make the grade in the Scottish Premiership, but challenge a financially more aggressive Celtic for the title and also be good enough to take us through to the group stages of the Europa League and Champions League. Will we get that type of player if we sign guys from Brentford/cheap players from the English Championship/League 1 today? I’m not sure. I’d feel a lot more confident in our future if, instead, we signed up the best talent in a generation that an entire country (Scotland) has. The prices are right here and Rangers is still a massive pull in this country. The building blocks that are put into place for the future development of the club are what are most important now. I, for one, won’t be studying Rangers’ first 10-20 games with much of a critical eye – but I’ll be keeping a close eye on where we’re spending our money in the transfer market….to see if Warburton really is thinking 3 or 4 years ahead.

    • A good analysis there,then you had me spluttering ma cornflakes with the Celtic big money spending spree.Firstly,they'll have to negotiate 3 qualifying rounds to unlock the C/L treasure trove.Then there is their debt to service along with the still top heavy wagebill. As I said ,it was all good apart from that.

    • We shall see David. I think it's a mistake to believe Celtic are going to keep going at the spending levels they're at now. They will step up, I've no doubt about that, but let's hope you're right. In the meantime I'd like to see us prepare with the expectation that they will invest heavily.

    • I agree with the part about getting in good young players and bringing them on. Apparently, it's something that Warburton is very good at. However, like David McEwan, I think you're vastly over-estimating Celtic's wealth and money-making potential. They have no savings and without us, are struggling to bring in the crowds. They are not rich, so there's absolutely no chance of them buying in 4 or 5 players at 5 or 6 million each. You'd have Lawell taking a bad turn just at the thought of it. They probably will buy a few players, but just spending money doesn't guarantee anything.

    • i am sorry but you read the above nonsense and the part you did not think was right was a well run club with little debt and have a turnover over double ours and have access to all income streams will struggle to match us. clearly brains is not in large supply in your head so i will say it slowly. we have no money, no income streams apart from ticket sales, we owe money to a ruthless businessman who could buy and sell us 100times over, we have no credit line with a bank, our shares can not be traded as the stock exchange think we are a joke, we can not borrow against our assets as ashley owns them and we can not borrow against ibrox unless ashley approves(if in-fact we actually own it), we have a chairmen whom a judge says should not be believed unless back up with evidence and you think celtic have no money to compete with us in 3 years cos we will spend big. delusional does not even begin to describe you

    • David, I was just using the '5 or 6 million each' as an example. I don't know what Celtic have in the bank, but they are not going to sit still when we re-enter the Premiership. Whether they save money or raise it through some investor, I think it's quite fair to say we can expect them to make some big signings to keep them on course for 10-in-a-row. And I think we should have a strategy where we won't have to make big money signings in 2016/17/18 in order to win the Premiership. That was the point I was making, though I see from re-reading it that I should have proofed it again. As for the comment below yours by Anonymous 14:20, I'll not qualify it with a response.

    • I get the part you were only using the 5-6 mill as an example.I wasn't dismissing the idea of their investment just the level of it.They have downsized since we went to div3.Big earners moved on and cheap imports brought in,albeit, still capable of success in Scotland.Remember the 5-6 mill players command circa 20-30 thou a week and in Scotland at the minute this isn't realistic with the sponsorships and TV cash available.Their own Mr Liewell even conceded our absence costs his club 10 mill a season and that isn't easily recouped from the bones on offer up here.They will invest but around the 1 mill level where they will still get decent buys.I'm by far from thinking we are cash rich and only when Mr King opens his wallet and uses his own money for a change will I believe we're on the right track.I'm happy with the management acquisition but until the squad is replenished with quality then I won't be doing cartwheels.

    • Anonymous 16:33 your examples might have been a little exaggerated, but I agree with you that they will spend more and that their resources at the present time far exceed ours and it might take some time to catch up in that department. Hopefully King and Warburton will soon have strategies in place for the coming seasons. Anonymous 14:20, Maybe brains aren't your strong point either, or is it just reading that you find a bit tricky? Nowhere in my post did I say Celtic would have no money to compete with us or that we would "spend Big." I stated that Celtic were not as rich as some people might think they are and that although they will spend money, it won't be vast amounts and it guarantees nothing anyway. Read things more carefully before you attempt to be a smart arse.

  2. It wouldn't surprise me if we now saw the best of Templeton but I have grave doubts regarding Law and Clark although I do hope I am wrong.

  3. i think its a good appointment but lets be real here. we have no money, we are losing between 8-12m a year and that is with wages to turnover ratio of 29%. we do not have money for players outside free transfers and kids who have been disregarded by top english teams. people are assuming it is foregone conclusion that promotion will happen it is not and people need to understand that. we are not the rangers of 20 years ago. we do not have money and we have little way of getting it. if he are challenging celtic in 10 years i think it will be surprising as their main sources of income outside ticket sales they own. we do not

  4. W&W signing up should raise a couple of £m more in ST sales with new found optimism as printed above. McCall imo has a track record of success on a budget (twice second in spl). Warburton inherited a team that is said to have cost £50m and has 18 month's managerial experience. The couple of £m more will come in handy but with maybe £10m max after VAT in ST money that will come in 2 or 3 tranches thru the year what will be available for new players inc wages as there is little coming in from shirt sales. Not even gonna mention MA's £5m to be paid soon i guess. Not sure I am confident King is gonna invest any of his own cash so do we rely on t3b's to keep thee lights on thru the years even though they allegedly have already put in £8m… Doesn't make any medium to long term financial savvy to me.

  5. Arent we being a little tough on McCoist?, yes his signing were gash but he had a 12 month ban to contend with and no experience, or support for signing players, he did what he knew how and that was sign players he knows. The gardening leave issue is a bit of a sour point but would you give up that money if you didn't have to? there were disgusting characters that did a whole lot less and earned a whole lot more than Ally.

    • the team let ally and the club down big time, some have been very tough on ally, but i would say there very wrong, new days ahead now so lets get behind our club and give them our support to get where we all want them to be,, watp

  6. I can understand your thinking but can't agree with you. There's nothing that we can do in the Championship that couldn't have been done in the Premiership. The difference is that we would have much more income in the Premiership, a greater chance of qualifying for Europe and the chance of attracting players like Allan and Wilson would be much higher had we been promoted. However that's irrelevant now.

    The real reasons for optimism for the future has more to do with having real Rangers men in charge who are in it for the long run and who have the foresight and guts to appoint a fairly inexperience manager but one who has shown not only the ability to succeed but to do it with a restricted budget and while finding, developing and playing young players. Remember this is the man who recognised the potential in Lewis MacLeod and was willing to pay 800K to get him.

    And despite his failings as a manager Ally McCoist will always be remembered by me as the best striker in Rangers history and a true Blue Nose to boot.

  7. We will be a good team with young and old mix,but we must win the League this time and not get dragged in to play offs again,there is no guarantee if we are second that we will win promotion in two leg games anything can happen,nowadays teams do not fear playing Rangers away or at home,we need £40/50 million invested on the pitch by the end of this coming Season and again another £40/50 million invested when we get promoted or a force in Scotland we will never be.

  8. Stand by for Ashley's legal team to be on the case this week.

    Does no one realise that not repaying the loan could result in Ash calling in the security…….Murray Park, Edmiston House, Albion Car Park could all be padlocked before the week is out.

    Or instead he will ring fence the £5m from ST sales.

    Next step will be to sue the individual board members re the delisting shambles and the lies that followed.

    This is not going to end well unless Mash is repaid asap.
    Next ste

    • I agree if King and co have money then pay the loan off now and let us start moving forward or we will be stopped doing some thing Ashley will see to that i am sure of that.

    • Ashley can only call in the securities if we default on the loans, which we have not done. Also, no court will allow him to ring fence any money unless he can demonstrate that we are in iniancial difficulties, which is clearly not the case.

    • Is it true that the 3 bears have security against season tickets for their loans to the club? If thats right and Ashley ring fences his 5 million plus legal fees there isn't much left.

    • King is working on the premise that the Ashley deals, agreed with the former regime/s. are possibly not valid and therefore open to legal challenge. Why pay then therefore unless absolutely necessary,

  9. This is a joke right staying in Championship is loss of money the games with celtic are worth 10 million so how can we be better off in this shit hole Championship,where we put the money up every year,and get nothing back,i right.

  10. So much talk about putting up a challenge to Celtic, lets see how the new season pans out, we all thought it would be us running away with the championship, but Hearts showed the way.
    One step at a time, the club can't get into any more debt than it already is, we should learn from past overspending mistakes.
    Ashley couldn't care less about the £5 million being repaid just now, it was about one upmanship on Dave King, I fear more court cases and the drain on finances with the legal costs.

  11. Re Richard Grant 13.20
    McCoist did not have a 12 month ban to contend with. He had his first summer window to get who he wanted, yes the winter window was shut but rangers were miles clear so no need for anyone and then in the following summer window he benefitted from the anomaly of the window being open on the 1st September, so he had one winter ban to deal with!

    "The gardening leave issue is a bit of a sour point but would you give up that money if you didn't have to? there were disgusting characters that did a whole lot less and earned a whole lot more than Ally."

    There are many who did a lot more and received a lot less, has he earned any of his inflated salary over the last 3 years? No, a compliant press and a few secrets up his sleeve mean money for old rope

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