Truth of James Sands Rangers exit revealed, and it’s kind of harsh

Truth of James Sands Rangers exit revealed, and it’s kind of harsh
Ajax's Dutch defender Devyne Rensch (L) and Rangers' US midfielder James Sands (R) go down after a clash during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Glasgow Rangers and Ajax at the Ibrox Stadium, in Glasgow, on November 1, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Beale, as always, has been talking (too much) and this time it’s about James Sands’ Rangers exit. Ibrox Noise explained around a month ago that Sands was to be recalled imminently, and four weeks later he’s indeed gone back to New York.

The picture Beale paints is Sands got notified by his parent club that they wanted him back, and to paraphrase it all, Sands realised he isn’t in favour under this manager, the option wasn’t being taken up, and said yes.

But then Beale said he’s not going anywhere until it works for Rangers, keeping Sands at Ibrox for a further four weeks, purely for cover.

Beale isn’t wrong to say the club is more important than any one man, and the club’s needs come first, but we can’t help sympathising with Sands who was basically ordered to remain at Ibrox until Rangers no longer required him.

From what the boss said, Sands carried out his notice with utter professionalism, but knowing he wasn’t wanted must have been pretty tough to take – it was like a reverse notice firing. That is, instead of someone resigning and working their month’s notice, they’re sacked instead, but still told to work on for another four weeks.

Of course, Sands’ reasons for leaving was first team action back at New York, whose manager cryptically admitted the lad was coming back many weeks ago now.

But he also knew Rangers didn’t want him, Michael Beale didn’t want him, and had to suck up being a squad member for four weeks under a boss who didn’t particularly rate him.

On top of all that, Beale gave the rather harsh comment:

“We had an agreement because of us only having two fit senior centre at the time that we’d get the final out of the way and then he could go back. So that’s why he wasn’t involved in the cup final. I didn’t think it was fair to involve James over a player that’s going to be here and that’s it. They’re the decisions that I’ve got to make.”

Translated – he didn’t make the squad because he was being dumped, but he was remaining here as emergency backup if need be.

Can’t help feeling Sands wasn’t treated overly well, by either club or fanbase, and despite all that he conducted himself impeccably.

We wish him well.

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