Brendan Rodgers: Managers could be put off Rangers job

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has suggested a fragmented top-level structure at Ibrox could put off managers from England. Picture: SNS
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has suggested a fragmented top-level structure at Ibrox could put off managers from England. Picture: SNS
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Brendan Rodgers says that managers in England could be put off the Rangers job by the “fragmented” structure at the Ibrox club.

Celtic manager Rodgers expressed “disappointment” for former Rangers boss Mark Warburton, his assistant David Weir and head of recruitment Frank McParland after their controversial departures from Ibrox.

Rodgers claimed the good work they had done in getting Rangers into the Premiership and the Scottish Cup final had been too quickly forgotten.

After claiming the trio had resigned, something denied by Warburton, Weir and McParland, Rangers declared they would now appoint a director of football to work above a new head coach.

However, Rodgers said the “alignment” of the strategy adopted by the board was more important than the structure. In a clear reference to the suggestion that the main channel of communication between Warburton and Ibrox chairman Dave King appeared to be emails, the Celtic manager drew a contrast with his own working environment in which there was no “fragmentation”.

Hailing the regular dialogue between himself, chief executive Peter Lawwell and main shareholder Dermot Desmond, Rodgers said: “The key thing you look at as a manager before anything is the alignment at the top of the club. I came into here and I looked to see if it is aligned at the top of the club.

“In terms of the interest, that’s shareholders and their interest. Two, it’s strategy. If you don’t have that alignment, you can put in what you want, a director of football or four managers, it’s very, very tough.

“If there is alignment at that level, it will allow you to build, develop and grow. If a serious manager is looking at that, it is something that has to be right. If they think it’s workable it can be a good job.

“I came to Celtic because of the stability of the board, the intellect of the board. I knew, when I met and spoke with them, what they were about and what their interests were.

“I needed to ensure that the strategy with which I wanted to work was aligned with that. There is no big confusion. There are major shareholders at Celtic who invest in the club, but sensibly. There is consistency in how the club is run. There is no fragmented approach. It’s very simple. Peter on a day-to-day basis. Me in football. That’s it. I speak with Dermot; that’s the leadership. There is no messages on email, no nothing. It’s very simple and simplicity is the best way.”

Rodgers believes Warburton, who worked under him as academy director when he was Watford manager nine years ago, was attempting to develop the Ibrox club against a testing backdrop.

“I can’t help but feel disappointed for him and Davie and Frank,” said Rodgers.

“After the Celtic-Rangers game at Hampden, everyone was lauding the work Mark had done [as Rangers reached the Scottish Cup final in April last year].

“He had come into a difficult situation. He was trying to provide a base for the club which allows it to hopefully grow after he’d gone… and he’s then looked to build on that.

“They had a great year in the first year, imposed that style, the supporters enjoyed it, they had good success, they beat Celtic, which was a big measure for them.

“They came in this year and of course it’s been a little bit difficult. But it’s a tough league. When you are Rangers then people want to do very well against you.

“So I’m disappointed in how it ended for him because I knew his passion for Rangers and I knew how much he wanted to do well.

“I also feel for big Davie Weir who was a legend at the club. These guys were giving their lives to it.

“Frank was working under incredible restrictions in terms of players and staff. It was a difficult ask for them. So I have empathy for them.”