The absence of Rangers Long Term Plan

Calum Gallagher, courtesy of SNS

Written by – John McIntosh

When Rangers were demoted to the third division in 2012 and our holding company liquidated many fans were galvanised in following their beloved team up and down the country, visiting grounds they had never been to before.  In that sense it certainly has been a journey but many fans, including myself, hoped for a new philosophy and an improved playing style – this sadly has not happened.

Why was a five year plan never implemented?

I would like to note several differences between a club that have successfully implemented a five year plan – Southampton and a club that is adverse to the concept – Rangers.

In 2009, Nicola Cortese took over full control at Southampton and instantly set a five year plan whereby they would be transformed from a team in administration with a ten point penalty at the foot of League One to becoming a Premiership team within five years – he was driven by sheer ambition, as he described Southampton as “his baby”.

Adam Lallana, courtesy of Julian Finney (Getty Images)

If you analyze these two clubs, Rangers and Southampton, in their moments of crisis –  there are similarities.  Both are big teams who had fallen and deserved to be playing in the top flight of their respective countries & both experienced financial peril but that’s where it ends. Southampton from 2009 onward have been transformed, not just by promotions but by their intelligent philosophy and playing style which has won many admirers.

Rangers under Ally McCoist are renowned for getting the win against part timers while playing terrible football.   They rely on the long ball to a lone frontman, Jon Daly,  whilst not bringing through enough of their talented youth side – one of which,  Charlie Telfer, has sadly left  for Dundee United due to a lack of first team opportunities.   It is quite clear that there is no philosophy of buying young talented players – developing them for a  couple of years & then selling them  for a profit.  Nor is there an emphasis on putting a high importance on Murray Park graduates – which is a shame as we currently look to be signing a 35 year old has been.   Sorry if I’m not overjoyed at this signing.

Kenny Miller, courtesy of John May

In their five year plan, Southampton noted that they wanted to promote from within in regards to their talented youth team and this has worked wonders with Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw both coming through their youth ranks.   This was enhanced by their willingness to spend around £30 million on revamping their training ground complex in order to develop the next line of kids.  Rangers have that infrastructure already in place yet are unwilling to allow the youth team players enough chances to prove their worth in the first team.

Southampton also noted that they wanted their team to play an entertaining style, which was an attacking approach to the game  under Nigel Adkins and the fans loved him for this.  Adkins was able to guide  the team to the Premiership but under Mauricio Pochettino they implemented a high pressure, possession based football style – which is used by many top teams in the world these days, such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich and they are getting a great deal of praise for it. Both styles are great to watch, effective, &  fans are happy to see their team play this way over long ball punts which is rather tedious.

It’s clear why Charles Green and his cronies chose not to adopt a five year plan as they wanted a short term deal to make as much money as possible.  While the IPO was a massive success and getting a deal with Puma was impressive,  the sad reality is that the way our great club is being ran  is a shambles.   We have burned through all the IPO money through high bonuses and wages to directors.   Also we have built a squad of overpaid players that will bring no sell on value to us.

Dean Shiels

We need to adopt a footballing playing style that presses teams high up the park which reduces the space for the opponent, it quickly can win the ball back & then retain possession & then attack.   This cannot be done playing  4-5-1 with a striker who can’t run, a simple tweak to that formation and personnel & it is likely that   a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 can make that style of football work.  We have the personnel to pull it off – the question is does our manager believe in this style?  I doubt it.

On to the club’s philosophy in terms of signing players.   We look to have secured the services for the third time of Kenny Miller, a 35 year old striker.  This signing saddens me & is the opposite of the Ajax/Porto model that our manager supposedly wished to implement.

We really should be looking to scout two different age groups.  Firstly, 16-19 year olds with potential for growth that  can be brought in very cheap.    We then develop them either in first team or the youth side.   Then we either sell or promote them.   Rangers should also target  20-26 year olds.  This is the area you can make real money.  For this philosophy to work you need a great scouting infrastructure.   For example would fans prefer to invest in a scouting infrastructure or to spend money on a Kenny Miller or on a Kyle Hutton ?  For me the answer is very simple.

Also you can use the amazing infrastructure already in place at Murray Park to promote some of the talented youth side.   The U20s have just had a fantastic season winning the SFA Youth Cup &  finished a close second in the league.   But for me that isn’t success, for me success would be bringing through three to  four players into the first team- giving them 5-15 games each season minimum.  Consider that only two U20 players got any first team action last season with Charlie Telfer getting just 20 minutes & Calum Gallacher getting 220 minutes.  That is not success, that’s abject failure.

Charlie Telfer, courtesy of SNS

The fact that some fans aren’t renewing their season tickets is largely due to the style of boring, lump it up the park football.   Damning questions need to be asked of why are we not adopting a style of football that entertains the crowd as well as being successful.  You don’t have to give up success to entertain.   Some of the biggest teams on the planet use these philosophies & style of football.   Why can’t we?

The board needs to be stabilized & in an ideal world trustworthy.   Which it is anything but.  However,for this case I wanted to focus on the footballing side & any Rangers board should have these philosophies.   Entertaining football must be served up by any Rangers manager.  For example,  Swansea will not employ any manager that does not play football the “Swansea way”.

There is no reason why Rangers could not implement a five year plan.   We currently sit in the Championship, the 2nd tier of Scottish football.  Within three seasons, we should have won the top flight title.  Within five years we should have reached the group stages of the Champions League.   For me that is a minimum and with the  right scouting infrastructure, management team and footballing philosophy it is achievable.   Sadly the way we are going right now it is not looking likely.

You can follow John McIntosh on Twitter @JohnMcIntosh19

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21 thoughts on “The absence of Rangers Long Term Plan

  1. I don’t disagree with most of what you say but to be fair Lewis McLeod and Fraser Aird are both 19 and got a reasonable amount of first team action last season.

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  2. cant you tell the truth , rangers werent relegated and the holding company wasnt liquidated . rangers were liquidated and a new club were allowed access to div3 , are you stupid or just a liar ?

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    1. Your an idiot. And an obsessed idiot at that. Why are you reading Rangers pages? Btw..the governing bodies say the opposite from you,so we’ll take their word over an obsessed bigot (your screen name says it all) on a Rangers page. Log on here and have a few sleepless nights. 117 and counting.
      http://spfl.co.uk/clubs/rangers/

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Agreement on transfer of membership
      Friday, 27 July 2012

      Joint statement on behalf of The Scottish FA, The Scottish Premier League, The Scottish Football League and Sevco Scotland Ltd.

      We are pleased to confirm that agreement has been reached on all outstanding points relating to the transfer of the Scottish FA membership between Rangers FC (In Administration), and Sevco Scotland Ltd, who will be the new owners of The Rangers Football Club. There were a number of complex and challenging issues involved but, primarily, the Scottish FA had to be satisfied that the new owners of Rangers would operate in the best interests of the club, its fans and Scottish football in general.”
      New OWNERS of Rangers..as i say,an idiot.
      http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=1961&newsID=10252

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    3. ” We consulted with UEFA, which explained that its rules allowed for the recognition of the “sporting continuity” of a club’s match record, even if that club’s corporate structure had changed. We also consulted with the SFA, which confirmed that its definition of a football “club” varied depending on context, and could sometimes refer to an entity separate from the club’s corporate owner. The SFA further pointed out that, following RFC’s transfer to a new corporate owner, Newco did not take a new membership of the Scottish FA but rather that the previous membership was transferred across to them so they could continue as the same member of the Scottish FA. We considered that consumers would understand that the claim in question related to the football club rather than to its owner and operator and we therefore concluded that it was not misleading for the ad to make reference to RFC’s history, which was separate to that of Newco.” And this was in response to the complaint other obsessed idiotic Pacific Shelf fans made..you were probably one of them. Uefa and the SFA..and the SPFL…all say your talking mince..hmm…who should we believe. 😉
      http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2013/12/The-Rangers-Football-Club-Ltd/SHP_ADJ_224406.aspx#.U4-ctCipQSk

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    4. “However, Rangers are permitted to hold associate membership, which holds no voting rights, as they are one of the founder members of the ECA. The organisation considers the club’s history to be continuous regardless of the change of company.” Granted membership for being founding members in 2008…not bad going for a club formed in 2012. Idiot.
      http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/205975-european-clubs-body-downgrades-rangers-status-but-recognises-history/

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    5. So my advice to you,instead of making an idiot of yourself,as well as looking a bit obsessed,stick to your Pacific Shelf,The Football and Athletic Co Ltd,HMS 402,Celtic Plc etc etc (companies anyone?) pages..although we do understand you being bored with them,your “fans” spend more time trolling Rangers pages than they do going to the Emptihad judging by your “crowds” last season. Novel idea though covering half the ground with big sheets though…117 and counting. Idiot.
      http://spfl.co.uk/clubs/rangers/

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  3. A 5 year plan was never implemented because all those involved in the club knew they’d be long gone with the loot and the newco probably would nt survive that long.

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  4. I can see what you mean as there weren’t many youths played last season. I also agree that while I think Kenny will do a job for us it is not a long term plan, unless its a coaching role he taking on as well. Thinking back to division 3 we had a lot of young guys in the team – Barry McKay, Kyle Hutton, Andy Little, Chris Hegerty, Ross Perry, Lewis Mc, Robbie Crawford, Fraiser Aird all spring to mind. That team was slagged to bits and I don’t remember anyone complaining when more experienced players were signed. I think we actually have too many players, especially midfielders and so if they have no chance of getting a game you cant blame them for looking elsewhere. Ive read comments saying that it is shocking that Charlie Telfer was “allowed” to go. Rangers cant force players who are out of contract to stay. He was offered a contract and turned it down. That’s his right to do so and the club cant do much about that. It is a shame as he is highly rated though I never saw him play myself. It will be interesting to see how he gets on at Dundee U.

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  5. While some of what you say about the style during the second half of the season only is true , they did score over 100 goals , so it can`t have been all bad .However comparisons with Southampton is nonsense,Firstly until this summer we could not buy in young players , remember the transfer ban ?Secondly Southampton only started to climb out of their problems after they were bought by a rich Swiss businessman something we don`t have and don`t want apparently.Thirdly because of this we cannot afford to not be back in the top league in 3 years , so no risks can be taken with youngsters.I am disappointed to lose Charlie Telfer but who knows how he will progress ,I feel people are raving about him , who have never seen him play .He looks a bit slight to me at the moment and maybe this is why he wasn`t just thrown in to get kicked in the first division.He has run down his contract and left , his choice.He has chosen possible immediate first team football over likely trophies in the future , good luck to him. At the right price, Miller will be an asset next season and will help develop , Clark , Gallagher, AIrd etc.
    Heres a thought –Support the players who are at the club , who have so far done everything required to get us back to the top league, they don`t choose the style of football and in fact it doesn`t suit some of them either.Daly can`t head in goals when he is getting long diagonals and not good crosses.

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    1. They are obsessed with Scotland’s most successful club,and it’s driving them to the edge of sanity that no one who matters are buying their weird “new club” nonsense. Leeds,Middlesbrough,Fiorentina,Luton etc etc all the same clubs but for some bizarre reason obsessed timmy seems to think Rangers should be treated differently. Strange lot are obsessed timmy,if they spent half the time going to the emptihad that they do on Rangers pages lemmon may not have had to leave citing lack of funds as a reason.
      117 and counting.
      http://spfl.co.uk/clubs/rangers/

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  6. With greatest respect Southampton are not Rangers,can you imagine the furore if Ally went with young players and we failed to get out the Championship first time of asking. Southampton would be given the time,Rangers are another matter. If Miller’s goals gets us back to the top league he’ll have served his purpose,and i can’t imagine he’ll be on a fortune.

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  7. You refer to the IPO and Puma deals being a success………?? Charles Green created an illusion for the IPO, with all sorts of colourful imagery designed to get the institutional investors on board. It was, I would suggest, a raging success for him and all the fortunate people who secured penny shares and an absolute disaster for supporters and others who bought shares at the best part of a quid each!! The prospectus made it clear that the money raised would fund the commitments for the next 18 months or so, this money was to simply keep the company afloat. The Puma deal, like all other deals agreed with Ahmed and Green is not a very good deal. These companies knew they had Rangers over a barrel and the club were screwed to the floor as a result. I agree with your view that there was/is no clear strategy and as I have said here before, a monumental opportunity has been missed as a result

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  8. Who is the better option for getting us back in the premiership next season – Telfer or Miller? Ally did the right thing. And while Miller is scoring goals the younger players will learn from him and get some first team action. People seem to want promotion every season while fielding the U20’s, but you can’t have both.

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