Chris Sutton has branded Rangers ‘a toxic place’ and believes manager Graeme Murty would be well advised to leave the troubled Ibrox club before the end of the season.
BT Sport pundit and former Celtic striker Sutton has expressed sympathy for Murty, insisting he has been undermined by both Rangers chairman Dave King and experienced players Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace who have both been suspended amid the fall-out from last Sunday’s 4-0 defeat in the Old Firm Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.
Sutton, who feels Rangers could now miss out on European football next season as they battle it out with Aberdeen, Hibs and Kilmarnock for a top-three finish in the post-split Premiership fixtures, insists Murty will probably be relieved to get away from the club as soon as he can.
“Would I hang around if I was Graeme Murty? No. Why would he hang around?,” said Sutton.
“This is a guy who went to Rangers as head development coach to try and further his coaching career, to build and gain experience.
“He is then launched in at the deep end. What has happened in the last week, you can see it is a toxic place.
“He’s not been backed by the hierarchy, then for the players to turn, with the whole suspension thing this week, tells its own story. He has been undermined.
“There is no way back. Why on earth would he want to stay there and see players around who have let him down? If that was me, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near the place.
“Everything has unravelled. It seems that from top to bottom that there is no leadership. I totally agree with some of the things that have been said about the timing of Dave King’s statement in the build up to the game last week. There is a lack of leadership all the way through the club and it is something that they somehow have to address. We are all sitting here wondering how on earth they are going to address that.
“The interesting thing is that had Graeme Murty won the game at the weekend they would all be wondering whether he’d be the manager for next season. But it has gone horribly, horribly wrong and he is not going to be there next season.
“I can’t second guess but with the way things are, I think it would be impossible for him to carry on. Everybody has a level of pride and I don’t know everything that has gone on but from what I am seeing, what I am hearing, he will probably be grateful to leave and get out of it.”
Sutton says the buck stops firmly at King’s door with Rangers now back to the drawing board in pursuit of a manager who can restore them as a club regularly challenging for and winning silverware.
“I didn’t understand the point of the statement from Dave King last week,” added Sutton. “Okay, it was about selling season tickets, but couldn’t it have waited until after the game?
“I do have sympathy for Graeme Murty. He was thrown in as caretaker and went along with it but then he has the chairman issue and it also looks like he has been undermined by certain players.
“I don’t think Dave King has done anywhere near enough as chairman. There has been a lot of talk from Rangers as a whole in the last season or two but they don’t back it up with anything on the pitch.
“If you are a Rangers fan, you are scratching your head as to how Rangers can go forward from this.
“What is the plan? It’s all up in the air and Dave King has to take responsibility for this. There was the whole issue of how Pedro Caixinha got the job, who interviewed him - that whole situation was an embarrassment and a sham.
“Then you get to Graeme Murty who was thrown in at the deep end and then undermined before a crucial game - he (King) basically said he didn’t trust him to take it on next season. That was needless. All the way through the club, they need to take a look at themselves.
“Do I think Rangers are in danger of missing out on Europe? Yes, I do, but it is still in their hands. This is the same group of players who at times this season have performed okay but you just wonder, when everything is thrown into the mix, how Rangers are going to respond. They have to respond but with the turmoil that has been there this season you wouldn’t put anything past them.”
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