Signings, sellouts & season tickets – why it’s great being a Bear

 Richard Fillingham

Any new signings for Rangers will be joining the world’s most successful club, and have the privilege of plying their trade at the magnificent stadium of Ibrox Park, whilst enjoying our wonderful training facilities of Murray Park to hone their talents even further. Coupled by the added bonus of playing in front of the best supporters in Scotland, singing their 51,000 hearts out every other week – I wish it was me playing for them!

Exciting times ahead with four Englishmen – Matt Crooks, Josh Windass, Jordan Rossiter and Joey Barton already signed, with many newer players still to come, and strengthen an already decent squad of players.

Failure was seen as a disaster when two ex-Rangers stars, Ally McCoist, who managed us for most of season 2014-15 and Stuart McCall who was eventually brought in to pick up the pieces from the utterly useless tactics, performances and decisions of McCoist. If anything, it was even worse when Kenny McDowall (who didn’t really want the job), reluctantly took over the reins. McCall’s job was to simply guide us through to the play-off finals and win Rangers promotion into the Premiership at the first time of asking. If he succeeded, I have no doubt Stuart would have been the new Rangers manager.

Rangers playing football for another season in the Championship was never on the cards for our long-suffering supporters, or our board for that matter. I know it cost the club a load of money by missing out on promotion. But looking at our present situation, I am now thinking it was a blessing in disguise, as Ally’s Rangers team would have probably been hammered most weeks playing against much better players and teams each week. It could have become embarrassing for this great club to live with. Thankfully the decision was taken out of McCoist’s hands and he was put on gardening leave.

In the summer of 2015 a ray of sunshine arrived at Ibrox and we have the board to thank for bringing manager Mark Warburton from London and his assistant, another ex-Rangers star, David Weir, who have turned out to be a breath of fresh air to everybody involved with the club, and they managed to sign some fabulous players for almost no money. The complete opposite of the inferior players that Ally signed for us in previous years.

I, for one, trust our management team and our scouts to source the best players that they can bring to the club. It will have to be achieved within a fairly limited budget of course, until we can start winning titles and playing in the Champions League again. That is where the real money is nowadays apart from the Sky and BT Sport television payments. I hope that we have learned our lesson from the mistakes made by the boards of the past – as we do have to walk before we can run in our current accounting situation!

To earn a regular place in the first team next season, any new player will have to be better than we presently have at our disposal, and that will not be easy depending on who we eventually sign of course. Joey Barton will walk into the team and play in every game in midfield, as long as he is fit or not suspended and hopefully the same will apply to any of our other new top quality signings.

We already have the basis of a good team for this new season and they will have to be pretty special guys, if they are to dislodge players like Andy Halliday, Jason Holt, Barry McKay, Captain Lee Wallace or the way Harry Forrester finished the season in fantastic goal-scoring form, before his unfortunate injury. Even Kenny Miller was excellent last year playing at 36 with this young versatile team. Let’s face it, how good were Martyn Waghorn and James Tavernier in their first year at Ibrox – it really is very exciting times ahead for us all!

I don’t know about you, but it seems such a very long time ago, since I felt this good about being a real bluenose, and die-hard Rangers fan. I am back to the way I used to feel about this great club, before all hell broke loose around us in 2012.

The amount of season tickets sales is another indication of how all the other Rangers fans are feeling about next season. I will be surprised if we don’t eventually smash the season ticket sales record, when the rest go up for sale to the general public. If we don’t, the other tickets will be sold each game to guarantee a sold out sign, for every home match.

Watching this new style, all-attacking, young energetic, Rangers team, was like being in the front seats of the Blackpool Big Dipper. That’s one of the best and biggest rollercoaster rides in the world, so I suggest that you just hang on very tight and enjoy the highs and lows that this new Premiership season will bring us, now that the famous Glasgow Rangers are back to where they always belonged. The way I am feeling right now – I cannot wait for the new season to start.

Rangers’ rollercoaster ride back to the top league!


    • Samuel and Buffalo are spot on. Because I wanted to write a feel good piece about Rangers and the fact that I rate our management team so highly, I chose not to emphasise your opinions in my article, and of course you are both 100% correct. I know we really do require two TALL centre halves who can get stuck in, win the ball and are very good in the air. We also need a 6' 3 or 4" goalkeeper who can judge when to come out for corners and free kicks, and also when to stay put. A recognised goalscoring striker will be the hardest and most expensive player to sign, unless they sign a young, talented loan guy with bags of potential.

  1. We certainly need to learn how to defend set pieces either with current players or new ones. I can accept losing some goals as a result of our emphasis on attacking but the amount of goals we have lost to set pieces is unacceptable. Very concerned that this obvious flaw leading up to the cup final was not addressed and we paid the penalty.

  2. Apart from Barton I can't say I'm excited by any of the other signings. You mentioned Tavernier…he is great going forward but he is poor defensively. Rumours about MW being unhappy with his bonus/contract situation…could he walk ? Looking forward to next season but I'm a realist, there is not a chance we'll challenge for title but if we could finish in top half of table then I'd be relatively happy. Maybe following season we could sneak a European place…but will we be banned from Europe due to the licence thing ? I think there is a lot to pleased about but also a lot to be concerned about…Dave King has not delivered what he promised, so far he hasn't put a penny of his own money in…what happened to the front loading overinvestment he talked about ?

  3. Forget the doom and gloom boys…..restrain your expectations as well….We are on the right track, no more at this stage but MW and Davie are building a solid and talented squad and I expect we will have a few more additions in the next month.

    Accept we are a work in progress and that it may take another couple of transfer windows to get the last pieces of the jig saw. for now just be a loyal bear and do not support the Blues rather than singing them…WAP….

  4. Your article as usual is both interesting and informative however can you seriously begin to address the outstanding question for the forthcoming season which is Should all Rangers fans boycott away grounds? Personally I am 100% in favour of a total boycott of all grounds.

  5. With the exception of Lee Wallace the entire defence needs replaced it just won't do we are too soft badly need a right back its where opposing teams are targeting.
    Its my only fear with the magic hat a think defence is his Achilles heel you can't get away with being weak at set pieces in Scotland.

  6. Yes,,agree,,if we dont fix our current defence, we are truly screwed,, to lose 3 goals in any game, let alone a run of games, is simply unacceptable, and to lose last minute goals in so many games in a row,, what has Warbuton learned???,,, nothing by the looks of it,, teams in the premier next season will want our scalp,, we need to be rougher and tougher, a new goalie and two centre halves is a must,,,then a ruthless unforgiving striker,, Waghorn gives his all,, but the sitters he has missed,, is embarrassing,, Cmon Warbs, get this right!!

  7. Tav is bombscare at right back think he would do a job right mid or right wing,we also need two centre half's and a striker

  8. 10 day tour of America, one game v Charleston Battery arranged!

    Ffs, who organised this, oh and Joey won't get a visa, so no need to hurry back from France .

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