“Real Rangers Men”


“Real Rangers Men”

“Real Rangers Man”

Over the past few weeks, these phrases have reappeared in Rangers’ fans’ lexicons, to describe the hope that the new manager would be a Bluenose himself, someone who already knew Rangers inside out and knew what managing the team truly meant.

When that did not happen, and instead we received an untried and relative newcomer to British football in Pedro Caixinha, the Portuguese manager himself vaunted the serious notion of bringing in his own ‘local assistant’ as he called it; A Rangers man, effectively, an ex-player or manager who could guide him through the nuances and idiosyncrasies of being Rangers, and what it meant.

In effect, less of a coach and more of a consigliere. An advisor, if you like.

It had looked like John Brown was in pole position to seal the role over the past 48 hours, only for the past 24 to throw Barry Ferguson up as the hot favourite.

But what of this ‘Rangers Man’ stuff. Is it truly relevant? Does it really matter if a Rangers manager or player is himself a Rangers man in the first place? The debate has raised some key issues and it is worth looking at the value of being a bluenose when it comes to doing a good job at Ibrox.

The most salient point is to look at the last few managers. Whether they were Rangers men has had mixed results – for successes such as Walter Smith and Alex McLeish (overall, he was, despite how his time ended) who are both dyed-in-the-wool Bears, there were Ally McCoists and John Greigs. All four arguably legends of the Club (to varying degrees) and few could deny all are Rangers men, but success was far from guaranteed.

Then we look at the non-Bears. Paul Le Guen was a disaster, as was Loaf Boy when it came to the SPL, but while Dick Advocaat was ultimately successful, he did it with £72M and Celtic had John Barnes then Joseph Venglos. And unlike Alex McLeish on a much lower budget, he was unable to make the last 16 of the Champions League.

So being a Rangers man does moderately help, but you need ability too.

The names being thrown around to take the managerial helm were often of a Rangers persuasion; Alex McLeish, Billy Davies, Derek McInnes to name three. But the counter argument is surely ability alone is enough and it does not matter ‘where you come from’.

As a result many fans canvassed for something fresh when it came to replacing Stuart McCall and ultimately were delighted to get Brentford’s cast-off. That experiment’s outcome, like that of PLG, did lend heavy weight to the idea that a new manager should usually have some idea of either the SPL, or Rangers, and preferably both.

This is why our current manager, who prior to the role had neither, has had such wisdom in endeavouring to bring in someone who has both, as a third man. Whether it is indeed Barry Ferguson, or John Brown, or Neil McCann as some outlets suggest, Pedro Caixinha’s humility in wanting someone to relate to him the ethics of the Club and the league is possibly a huge area where both PLG and Bread Man failed, in their respective arrogance that they knew best.

So, the final outcome; should it be all about Rangers Men, or does that matter? The answer? The right blend of everything is vital, and an intelligent manager will embrace that.


  1. I don't think we need a "Rangers man" but I do think we need someone with knowledge and understanding of Scottish football.
    By definition, that person will have an understanding of the Scottish football scene and the dominance of two clubs, one scottish and the other not.
    We need someone to identify and secure good young scottish players. I don't mind whether they were raised under a union Jack or not. I was, but I am not qualified for the job.

    • What you talking about the dominance of 2 clubs one Scottish the other not? I think that is secterian in its own right and has no place in this modern society. If the dominant clubs you talk of are Rangers and Celtic then sorry but both are Scottish clubs ok they are both set to different traditions but both are Scottish by nature of being started in Scotland.
      Before you start I am a Rangers fan as are my family. I do agree that the best person for the job should get it and they don't need to be rangers men or women for that, if rangers men are the ones who should be looked at then would anyone include Ally Mc in that as he is Rangers through and through? I would.

  2. Rangers f.c. need a certain amount of "Rangers men/women"in the ranks all the way through from ballboy to managing director because we need people who love the club…they wont quit when things dont go the way they feel is right…there is of course plenty of room for strangers with talent and skills at our club but there should always a majority of "THE PEOPLE" thats one reason for saying we are the people, we love rangers.

    • Hi Camelonman, Good to read your sensible comments recently, please keep up the good work. You are becoming a regular contributor to IbroxNoise.co.uk.

      I agree with everything you said last night.

  3. Whatever…but the seemingly unstoppable forces of globalisation are rendering traditional loyalties – at least those of the White Christian variety – untenable anyway. Many will welcome this, I do not. Without our traditions we become atomised and rootless. Which to my mind is the whole point of the exercise. We've gone from a situation where all of Celtic's Lisbon Lions came from within a 30 mile radius of Parkhead to one where many EPL clubs field teams with no British players at all. Even at international level the 'French' and 'Belgian' teams bear little resemblance to what we associate with those terms.

    • I didn't​ realise that you had to be white and Christian to be a Rangers player..
      I'm astounded because I didn't know that the colour of your skin and your religious beliefs meant it affected your ability to be a Rangers fan either.

    • @Frustrated….If you re-read what I wrote you'll see that I said nothing about needing to be White and Christian to support Rangers. But the post is about the importance (or otherwise) of Rangers' traditions. And those traditions are inextricably associated with White working class Scottish Protestants. Fine if you want to ignore that association but what then are you left with if you invoke Rangers' traditions?

  4. Nah disnae matter if he's " a gers man" or not I actually advocated a European coach/manager instead of a davies/mcleish/mcinnes. As for the local knowledge a complete thumbs down to Barry proffered choice would be Neil mccann somebody who's got a bit of intelligence and know how as well as being a "gers man"

  5. Imagine, if you will, an engineering company. They need a new manager for the factory. Rather than employ the best person for the job, they decide to get Mabel to come back and work for them. Mabel is the old tea lady, she's got no experience as a manager (apart from when she had an assistant), and retired 20 years ago. They're getting her back because 'she worked for us for 40 years, she understands the company'.
    Six months later, of course, quality has gone down the pan, the order books are drying up. So they decide that what they REALLY needed all along is old Hamish – the bloke who swept the factory floor for 50 years – after all, he understands the company even better than Mabel !
    Such an approach would be laughable. But we see it, here and seriously being considered.

  6. Really enjoying these inputs especially camelonman .It's funny when we talk about Rangers men …we omitted the board ..they are all Rangers men…Or do still think there is any other agendas than the best for Rangers ….Barry for me Peds No 3 !

  7. My view is that it would be preferable, and maybe ideal, if Ibrox was full of 'Rangers men' however that clearly doesn't guarantee anything at all. I agree that they might care more than 'non Rangers men' but caring doesn't win us matches, cups or league titles. I firmly believe no one could have cared more than Ally but the odds were stacked against him and he maybe lacked the managerial talent and nouse to be successful at the top level – being a Rangers man didn't help him.
    That said, talent and a quality Cv are exactly what's needed. Like any leadership role, he needs to surround himself with people who know the company (club), the culture and the people (fans).

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