We teased you earlier with the ending of one our previous articles in which we discussed the contracts being meted out to the assets in the squad, and the long-term planning therein that this has led to.
And we concluded by saying there was something else.
Well there is. The players are not the only ones on long-term contracts at Ibrox.
Steven Gerrard, in committing last year to a whopping four-year deal to take him to 2022, has himself also paved the way for these deals for the players to have.
We know that contracts are only worth as much as a suitor who wants your asset, and it isn’t truly a genuine time guarantee that the asset will remain for the duration of their deal.
But it is a solid commitment – a commitment that by signing a four-year deal you are either committing your future to this employer, or you are guaranteeing them a huge transfer fee or release fee from a rival club who wish your services in the future.
It also says something else and that something is even more important.
It says to your best players who trust you and look up to you and who are guided by you that you are prepared to commit long term to this club, and if you are, they are far more likely to.
We know, for example, that while Rangers are colossal and a chance to win trophies, Joe Aribo has admitted effectively if Steven Gerrard wasn’t the manager he possibly wouldn’t have joined. PL sides were in for him, rich PL sides, but Steven Gerrard, arguably the best British midfielder of the past 25 years was the big pull for the Nigeria international.
And conjoin that with Gerrard’s own four-year deal, and a Ryan Jack, a Nikola Katic, and a Ryan Kent is far more likely to add their signature to a huge deal as well, following his example.
Would all these long-term deals happen without him? Who knows. Jack is one of us so probably would have signed a month deal if he had to – but he wouldn’t have developed into this player without Gerrard, we feel.
But Gerrard was clearly a massive factor, Gerrard’s reputation and his own contract. Players felt more secure in joining up till the 2022 and beyond range if their manager, the great Steven Gerrard had already done it.
We hope something special is brewing at Ibrox. The ingredients are certainly there for it.
And it started with Gerrard.