Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Investing in the Rangers

Bookmakers have released odds for the 2017-18 season and Celtic have been made 1/10 favourites to win another title. Rangers are second favourites, but Pedro Caixinha’s men are not being given much of a chance by the bookies after finishing more than 30 points behind Celtic this season.

A Sports Interaction review and a trawl through various sites shows Rangers are trading at around 8/1 to win next season’s Premiership. Unless the club seriously improves its transfer business in the summer there will be few takers. At least Rangers are ahead of Aberdeen in the betting. Manager Derek McInnes has been laying into Rangers for finishing below his team this season, saying it’s embarrassing given the financial clout the club has.

“If Caixinha thinks that is doing brilliant at Rangers, being on the up by finishing ahead of Aberdeen, then he's clearly mistaken,” said McInnes, “His job as Rangers manager is to finish above Celtic and he should be more concerned about that challenge. If he thinks he’s doing well by finishing above Aberdeen and the rest, he’ll soon find out that’s not enough.”

He is irritating but he is right: the bare minimum for Rangers should be finishing second. Fans are rightly disappointed by the team’s showing this season, but it can be written off due to it being the first season back in the top flight after a long time in the wilderness.

Now the club needs to flex its muscles, bring in players capable of challenging for the title, or at least a convincing second finishing well clear of Aberdeen and the rest and give Celtic a real run for their money at the top of the table. Starting the season 8/1 while Celtic are 1/10 is frankly ridiculous for a club of Rangers’ size, and a lot of work needs to be done to close the gap in the summer because Celtic have had a free run at it this season. It is preposterous to be closer to Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the bottom of the table than to Celtic at the top.

Dave King needs to show the fans the colour of his money. A £30 million injection into the club from his own deep pockets was promised, so where is it? It seems he is not willing to stump up the cash, but he needs to invest something to placate the fans and overhaul the squad. Kenny Miller is Rangers’ player of the year and he is 37. Clint Hill was 38 before being released.

This team needs young blood and needs to replicate the sort of transfer business Celtic have done in bringing in the likes of Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele. Raiding the English Championship for its stars would be a start as opposed to the cast-off youths of recent seasons. Some smart loans also would help. 

Rangers are a big club and it can still be a great opportunity for youngsters at big Premiership clubs to get some experience. Pedro will surely use his contacts to sign some talented Portuguese stars and blend that flair with some good old fashioned Scottish bravery from the likes of Ryan Jack. The fans deserve better than what they have seen this season, and it is up to King to bankroll Caixinha and make it happen. 

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