A joint-statement from Mark Warburton, David Weir and Frank McParland was released through the LMA as the trio looked to set the record straight regarding their exit from Ibrox. Here’s what we learned from the statement
Someone is telling porkies
How fitting of the post-truth, fake news era. We’re still unsure of exactly how Mark Warburton’s exit from Ibrox came about, but one thing is for certain - somebody is lying through their statement writing pen. It’s either King, who insisted Warburton and company assured their own exit after a bungled attempt to remove themselves, or Warburton, who claims King’s version of events is untrue without going into any further detail.
“We would like to formally place on record, that at no stage did we resign from our positions at Rangers.”
This, if accurate, would contradict the board’s version of events that Warburton, Weir and McParland attempted to withdraw resignation offers after a move to Nottingham Forest fell through.
Unfortunately we may never get a full explanation, especially if the parties settle on a out-of-court compensation package, which will likely include all sorts of gagging orders.
This is going to run for quite some time
It would be surprising if Rangers didn’t issue another statement to reply to this one, especially since Warburton questioned their reasons for going public in the first place.
“It is a matter of surprise to us, and to the League Managers Association (LMA), which is advising all three of us, that despite its detailed public statements, the club has not answered key questions put to it by the LMA, in writing, requesting an explanation of why it suggested that we resigned from our positions.”
It may challenge the board to do so again. Warburton may even be baiting them here. He, better than the rest of us, will know Rangers’ penchant for releasing a statement.
Even if it all goes quiet on the statement front, the legalities of the matter won’t be completed for several months yet. Warburton and his team will want compensation; Rangers will fight tooth and nail to give them nothing. King, having been hauled into court by Mike Ashley’s unique brand of high-cost trolling, now looks set to be brought back by his own manager.
As alluded to earlier, this could be settled privately without much fuss or newspaper headlines. But it’s not really been the way Rangers have done things over recent years.
Warburton is really proud of the Petrofac Cup win
Yes, winning any trophy at the national stadium in front of thousands of fans is going to be something pretty memorable. Not sure it deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as the Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Celtic, however.
“Winning the Petrofac Scottish Challenge Cup and beating Celtic, in a memorable semi-final to reach the Scottish Cup Final, are experiences we will never forget.”
It even gets top billing in the sentence. A written-down sentence.
Warburton is staying on brand with his message to the fans
Despite some of the lacklustre performances and poor results, some fans were still behind Warburton even during the closing days of his reign. In their eyes, he’s always conducted himself well in public, always praised the support, talked up the tradition of the club and never did anything to embarrass them - other than a few questionable answers (hey, nobody is perfect).
While it was unlikely he’d do anything else, talking “privilege”, “tradition” and “history”, and then going on to thank the fans for their “unwavering passion and dedication” was still telling. He clearly doesn’t want the support to think any less of him and wants to leave behind some sort of legacy, even if this season was a disappointment.
Although, as a generalisation, football fans will always side with the club in instances such as this. That’s because fans won’t see this as King v Warburton. Warburton is no longer part of Rangers, while King is. While he still retains the backing of most, as he does, this is going to be looked upon as Warburton v Rangers, and there’s only one winner in the eyes of the Ibrox faithful.