So it’s the morning after the afternoon before, and what is there really left to say?
The biggest sign from the universe that the end is nigh for Gio at Rangers was his echoing Steven Gerrard’s words at Aston Villa – admitting, post-match, that he knows his job is on the line if he can’t fix this.
Indeed, one could almost make an argument he’s trying to get the board to fire him so he gets his payoff, knowing that Gerrard said the same stuff and got fired within 24 hours of it. Is Gio above that?
There’s no denying his previously-excellent press conferences, which gave little away but were clearly signs of an intelligent manager who knew what he was doing and how to speak to the press, have now deteriorated badly and that began after Ajax.
He confirmed his side couldn’t compete at Champions League level, in a public admonishment of the board (just like Gerrard before him) and their support, and in honesty we’re only staggered he remained in his job after that.
Why have the players stopped playing for him? Because he told them they couldn’t. To be told you’re not good enough to compete with those around you is some of the most glaring signals that a man wants out, just like Gerrard did post-Malmo.
But there’s a growing feeling van Bronckhorst wants his payoff, not because he’s greedy, but because he’s sticking a finger up at the board who haven’t supported him at all since he arrived. Yes, he got £15M in the summer, but he didn’t, did he? Ross Wilson did, unless you’re all telling us Gio specifically wanted Ridvan Yilmaz and Malik Tillman.
In short, Gio was signed as manager but been reduced in role to coach, and he would much rather be fired and make this board pay him off. They have money, don’t kid yourselves on that they don’t, and he knows it.
In fact, Gio himself earned most of it! Since Gio joined Rangers the club has earned around £130M – player sales weren’t so much him, but UEL was, and UCL was.
And yet his hands are tied by the board, who themselves seem, in part, to want out.
We feel like Gio wanted out after the summer, having earned the club so much money but not been properly supported in the window and then told no Bosman to replace Goldson and no new goalie. He has been left with his hands tied, and been given a bit of a middle finger by the board for bringing in circa £60M+.
Is it any wonder his motivation is gone?
So yes, he’s clearly stubborn, and his time is coming to an end, but don’t underestimate the role the board had in this.