FORMER Bayern Munich manager Felix Magath has declined to outline his motivation for becoming a shareholder in Rangers amid speculation he has been identified as a potential technical director at the club.
The 61-year-old German, who has been out of football since being sacked as Fulham manager in September, is understood to have spent around £200,000 on a shareholding of around one per cent of Rangers.
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It is believed Magath has subsequently held talks with one of the groups currently involved in the battle for boardroom control at Ibrox – not American banker Robert Sarver, who is still awaiting a response from the current regime to his revised £20 million takeover proposal.
Magath’s interest in Rangers has come as a surprise to the individuals he spoke to in Scotland earlier this week, but they were impressed by both his knowledge of the situation at the financially stricken club and his enthusiasm for the possibility of taking up an active role in its footballing operations.
When contacted by a German news agency, Magath was unwilling to provide any details of his interest in Rangers. “I don’t want to comment on my stock dealings, that’s private,” said Magath. “I spent the Christmas holidays in London and actually visited someone in Glasgow, but I don’t want to comment on whether there has been talks with the club either.” A European Cup and
European Championship winner as a highly-regarded midfielder with Hamburg and West Germany in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Magath went on to manage eight Bundesliga clubs with varying degrees of success. His reputation as a coach soared during a spell at VfB Stuttgart, which included clashes against Rangers in the Champions League group stage of 2003-04, and earned him a move to Bayern Munich, where he claimed consecutive Bundesliga titles in 2005 and 2006. Magath then went on to guide unfashionable Wolfsburg to the crown in 2009.
But his first foray into coaching outside of Germany proved calamitous. He won just four matches in his seven months in charge of Fulham, presiding over their relegation from the Premier League before his dismissal.
Rangers caretaker manager Kenny McDowall, while refusing to specifically comment on Magath, endorsed the view that the club’s short-handed scouting system requires a major revamp. “Since the club went into the trouble that we are into, we have been operating without a scouting team,” said McDowall. “The whole thing has got to be addressed at some point, but at the moment there is nothing.”
Rangers, meanwhile, announced they have received an allocation of 21,000 tickets for the League Cup semi-final against Celtic at Hampden on 1 February. Defender Stevie Smith has admitted the club’s support have every right to be “dreading” the return of the Old Firm fixture on the back of Rangers’ recent form which sees them
13 points behind Hearts in the second tier of Scottish football.
Smith said: “Maybe if we were playing well we could look forward to it a bit more. But we aren’t. The fans will probably be dreading it because in the big games this season, we haven’t done well. We know that, but we will deal with the Celtic game when it comes.”
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