Kenny McDowall: King needs 5 years to fix Rangers

Rangers interim manager Kenny McDowall. Picture: SNS

Rangers interim manager Kenny McDowall. Picture: SNS

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KENNY McDowall has warned Dave King he should be prepared for the long haul because it could take him five years to fix Rangers.

The former oldco director claims he is on the verge of a dramatic Ibrox return after forcing out the current Light Blues board.

The whole infrastructure’s got to be looked at. It’s been decimated over the past four years. This is a long-term project, it’s not going to be fixed overnight

Kenny McDowall

Chairman David Somers and director James Easdale have already resigned but chief executive Derek Llambias and finance director Barry Leach are refusing to budge before Friday’s crucial general meeting. King, however, knows he has the votes to clear them out.

The Johannesburg-based businessman is due to fly into Scotland on Thursday and his first task upon taking the Ibrox throne will be to appoint a new boss.

Ally McCoist has been placed on garden leave, with McDowall - who has also handed in his notice - left to pick up the pieces as interim manager.

The change at the top has done little to improve Rangers’ on-field performances and they are currently a massive 24 points behind Championship leaders Hearts, albeit with three games in hand.

Rangers have been allowed to fall into this mess on the back of losses stretching to almost £25million over the last two years and the resulting cutbacks which have left the club without a scouting network or youth system anywhere near fit for purpose.

Now McDowall claims it could take King until the year 2020 to put things right.

He said: “The whole infrastructure’s got to be looked at. It’s been decimated over the past four years. This is a long-term project, it’s not going to be fixed overnight.

“That’s why it’s so important that whoever comes in gets it right whether it be a new coach or a new manager, it’s got to be the right appointment and it’s got to be done properly from the ground up to give us a proper chance.

“The fans understand that it can’t be fixed overnight. It will be at least five years before it’s anywhere near what it was.

“The whole football side has to be looked at. The scouting department, the youth academy. The staff is nothing like it used to be. These things have to be addressed.”

With Hearts galloping away towards automatic promotion, Gers will now have to clear some tricky hurdles in the play-offs - such as second-placed Hibernian or a top-flight struggler like Motherwell, Ross County or St Mirren - if they are to reclaim their Premiership place.

But McDowall does not believe waiting it out in the second-tier for another year while Rangers get their house in order is an option the Ibrox faithful will accept.

“Time’s a great thing and it’s not something you get a lot of here,” he said. “If it’s time you’re looking for, this isn’t the place to come because you’ve got to win week in week out here.

“The place to be is the top league. That’s how the club gets sorted. Whether we can compete in the first season back in the Premiership or not we’ll see but at least you’re up there and you can attract better players of a higher calibre. That’s where we need to be.”

With King’s victory imminent, the bookies are already drawing up their list of potential candidates to become just the 14th man to manage the club on a permanent basis.

McDowall has 10 months of his notice period to serve but admits he does not know if his role will change once King’s new regime sweeps into power.

He said: “Until something happens I won’t know my position. Whether it’s Dave King or the current board or whoever running the club. If it’s the current I wouldn’t expect anything to change. If it’s somebody new then I’d expect them to come looking for me as opposed to me looking for them.

“At the end of the day I’ve put my notice in and I’ve said all along I’ll give everything until I’m finished. Until that happens, until somebody wants to come and speak to me I’m here to get Rangers winning on the park and get us promotion.

“It’s good timing for somebody new to come in and take it forward. I’ve had a fantastic time here and nothing lasts forever, but I’m still here.

“I’m here for the next 10 months, regardless if I’m the manager, assistant manager or coach. If it changes it changes. It’s not my decision whether I should stay or go.”

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