Mark Warburton’s youth movement is already paying off

Mark Warburton, courtesy of RFC

written by – Rangers Report

Gary Ralston’s recent interview with Rangers manager Mark Warburton for The Daily Record exposed how the ‘old world’ expectations of how the club did business have finally become an afterthought.  Ralston, seemingly thinking it was 1999 & not 2015, kept pushing Warburton on when the marquee signings would be coming to Ibrox.

Ralstons’s incessant questions included,  “Do you anticipate making any marquee signings this summer?  Is it unrealistic for Rangers to spend £1 million on a player these days?  What’s your message to fans who  may be anxious about the absence of a marquee signing?”

Finally Warburton broke from diplomacy to an education on how to build a squad in a Moneyball world.  “I’d ask them (the fans) to name one Brentford player we brought in. We were a smaller squad on a tighter budget and it’s our job to get value for money.”

“Just because you spend £1m-£2m doesn’t mean you’ve got value for money.”

Back in 2014, Warburton laid out his transfer policy with Brentford in an interview with London 24.  “We’re not just going to buy a player to add to numbers.”

“If a player comes along and adds value and quality, then we’ll make the move.  Getting the right people and the right person in the right position is really important for us.”

With the pending signings of James Tavernier & Martyn Waghorn from Wigan Athletic, Warburton has now added seven first team players to the squad.  Five of the seven are 23 or 24 years old & Waghorn is the oldest of the group at 25.  Of the signings, only 18-year old Jordan Thompson is not entering the peak years of their careers (23-29 years old).

James Tavernier, courtesy of WAFC

Even though they are young, five of the seven played at least 1,500 minutes last season so they won’t necessarily be learning on the job.

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The heart of Rangers defence – goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, along with center-backs Danny Wilson, & Rob Kiernan all played at least 2,400 minutes in 2014-15.

The potential absence of last season’s Player of the Year Darren McGregor from Rangers starting eleven was mentioned on Twitter & this is where you can see Warburton’s philosophy come to fruition.  McGregor is 30 years old & can no longer be seen as a player in the peak years of his career.  As supporter Euan Taylor points out, if you go with Wilson & Kiernan as the foundation of your defense – you are cultivating a pairing that may end up being relied upon for years to come.

Warburton took the same approach last season with Brentford.  As we discussed in an earlier post, players 28 years old & younger (not including goalkeepers) played 82% of all the first team minutes for Warburton’s Brentford side.

Last season’s Scottish Championship champions, Hearts, took a similar approach (85% of all minutes played were by players 28 or younger).  Rangers?  Only 41% of the total minutes were played by players 28 or younger.  When most of your signings are over 30, most of the playing time will be eaten up by players past their peak years.

Mark Warburton, courtesy of James Marsh (BPI)

One of the cornerstones of any smart transfer policy is adding value.  That’s why signing younger players is smart business.  As players progress in their peak years, their market value will likely increase.  With the seven signings that Warburton has made he has already more than doubled the market value of Rangers playing squad.

According to data from Transfermarktthe go-to site for reliable transfer valuations, Warburton inherited a squad valued at £2.7 million.

When the signings of Tavernier & Waghorn become official, the market value of Rangers squad will have increased to £6.8 million.  That is a 152% increase in value from seven signings.  That’s remarkable business for roughly £600,000 of spending.

I guess having a manager who has actual experience in the business world really does pay off.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport

6 thoughts on “Mark Warburton’s youth movement is already paying off

  1. It remains to be seen how effective the players Warburton has brought in will be. Apart from Danny Wilson, they are an unknown quantity, many of whom have had a rather nomadic playing career with numerous clubs in the lower reaches of English football. If you take the two lads from Wigan for instance, the fact Rangers were able to secure their services without almost any delay suggests that Wigan were more than comfortable to let them go. Maybe they and the others simply need a fresh club to kick start their careers again………Some people are concerned that so little money has been spent………….it could be that better quality players have been approached and are simply not interested in playing in the Championship or (as some believe) the money is simply not there for transfer fees and/or salaries they would require. Regardless, all will become clear when the season starts.


  2. No ifs or buts, starting with the first competitive game this Saturday I pray we hit the ground running. This is the famous Glasgow Rangers and all the new signings must understand half hearted displays will not be tolerated, do so at your peril. We have suffered such like displays over last three seasons……NO MORE.


    1. Camnod, What I don’t understand is the players who put in ‘half hearted’ displays were experienced ‘Rangers men’ …………..Boyd, McCulloch among others. Guys who knew all about what is expected at Ibrox. However, I wrote on this site a dozen times last season that the players had crumbled mentally due to the pressure and level of expectation. It may therefore take some or all of the younger players who have arrived a while to settle in. I suspect they are in for a culture shock when they realise that winning every week is what is required………………can they handle that??


  3. Glad you picked up on the tone of Mr Ralstons questioning , I thought the same .He doesn`t realise no-one in Scotland makes marquee signings anymore not even the mhanky mob.They have automatic entry into the Champions League qualifiers , are financially secure and their big signings are Boyata and Ciftci for a couple of million , whilst selling Matthews for a couple of million .Nothing is said about their downsizing or their flop signings being quietly freed at a massive loss (Pukki and Baldi) .Lazy journalism …………Rangers – the only story in town.


  4. Excellent analysis of MW’s preferred policy. For far more on MW at Brentford please have a look at alll last season’s blogs at and I’m more than happy to discuss how he did at Brentford and what he will bring to Rangers.


  5. I`ve read all the above comments with great interest, l have mixed views agreeing with certain parts of all the comments,. I think that the last three years have been a waste from the thieving lot we had and this fat boy at SD stripping us of all we had and are still trying too, to the players we signed, this l think will be the dawning of a new era for Glasgow Rangers were we will play decent attractive and winning football pull the crowd back to Ibrox and and over the years grow stronger and stronger, you don`t need to buy expensive players because we can`t, what we can do is play a brand of football and produce a brand of player than will at least give us a fighting chance over the teams at the top table who think nothing of spending Millions and paying millions in wages every month, Believe and be professional its football not rocket science


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