Right now questions are being rightly asked of this Rangers Team, Management and board. However questions need to be raised about what has happened since we won 55.
Going back to that summer there were only four players brought in, Sakala, Lundstrum and Ofoborh – no transfer fees involved, along with Bacuna (remember him??). Gerrard spoke about building on winning the league & making sure that we were still ahead of Celtic, who were a total mess at this point. The phrase used by him was ‘improving your own house while the sun shines’, but didn’t do that we merely painted a wall to cover up the cracks.
But it seems that Gerrard’s views were not backed by the board, so he was left to work with mainly the same players he already had-there were no players identified in the same way as Aribo & Bassey, which is a worry when we were told that this was our footballing business model going forward. So Gerrard left due to lack of support, and looking back who can blame him.
Now we have Gio coming in, makes a slight impact domestically but we fly high in Europe, which masks the failings of not retaining the title. From this European run all the way to Seville our players get noticed by their performances.
So by the end of 2021-2022 we had lost Gerrard, Patterson, Aribo and Bassey for roughly £40m – then add on the money generated via European games. However by the end of this season our recruitment from the summer before, and the January transfer window were shown up to be inadequate- either players signed not suited to the rigours of the domestic Scottish game and/or injury prone & not match fit. But this is not a problem that’s merely happened recently, just how many players do we sign and get good value from? How many of our signings turn out to be injury prone – Helander & Roofe being prime examples? Two great players, when fit our best defender & forward – but not available enough when you consider the transfer fees involved to bring them into the club.
Yes money was then reinvested back into the squad ahead of the 2022-2023 season with Davies, Yilmaz, Lawrence, Matondo, Souttar, Colak brought in, followed by Raskin & Cantwell. From that only the January signings can be said to be a success, with the jury out on the signings from last summer.
We have a major problem at Rangers when it comes to identifying players who can be developed and sold on for a good profit. There is also an issue that we seem to be afraid to sell players cause of what another club has paid to Celtic in the past for players – example here is wanting more Dembele dollars for Morelos, and look how that turned out.
Yes, we need to give time to the manager, new chairman and new CEO – but there needs to be a clear business plan in terms of how the club is going to operating in the short to medium term, as well as laying down the foundations for the long-term sustainability of the club. The vision needs to be laid out so it’s clear and transparent to the fans, and also to get their bit into what the club is looking to do.
There are also many questions that fans have regarding recruitment & scouting, plus the development & pathway for youth players. Too many of our own youngsters seem to think they’ve made it when spoken about being ‘the next big thing’ and fail to kick on into the player they could/should have been.
As it stands Celtic are well on their way to equalling our overall trophy haul unless action is taken.