David Weir has accused Rangers chairman Dave King of undermining his manager Graeme Murty at the worst imaginable moment by making his task of concentrating solely on Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic almost impossible.
A statement from King on Monday talked of the requirement of “immediate success” next season from “whoever is appointed” which again cast into question the possibility of Murty not being retained beyond the five-month period in permanent charge he was given last December.
Weir was assistant to Mark Warburton in a management team that had their contracts terminated by King last February. He believes Murty, who the pair brought to the club as development coach, has been placed in an invidious position.
Yet, the 47-year-old considers that would also be true of any successor. He suggests the increasingly precarious nature of helming the Ibrox side and the inability to deliver on the club’s title expectations as a consequence of Celtic’s dominance make the role of Rangers manager akin to a footballing death wish.
“Graeme Murty is the manager and he deserves the respect of being manager,” said Weir. “Obviously the statement cast doubt on that and put it up for debate again, whereas I think that Rangers should be focusing on the semi-final just now and focusing on the manager they’ve got and giving him as much support as they can.
“Obviously season tickets are up for renewal, so that was possibly part of it, but looking at it from a coaching point of view it’s probably a question that Graeme didn’t need asking. I’m sure his press conference this week will be different to the one that he really wanted to be [giving].
“Rangers [manager] has always been one of the most attractive jobs in British football for obvious reasons, the support, the infrastructure, the chance to be successful.
“But it has become a bit of a hotseat now, and it’s a little bit of a revolving door, which makes it less attractive. Rangers have had five or six managers in the past three or four years, temporary and permanent. They’ve had 16 permanent managers in their whole history and that does not tell too many lies about what has been going on recently.
“There will still be lots of people interested, because there will be lots of managers who believe they could make a difference, and that’s the way it should be. The reality is, though, that it is maybe not as attractive as it once was.
“If you’re at Rangers and you’ve not got a chance of being successful, as Walter Smith said, it’s a long and slow death. You’re just surviving, because it has been proven that second is not good enough. At the moment, Rangers are fighting for second.”