Giovanni van Bronckhorst 'lucky and grateful' to be Rangers boss as Ross Wilson explains appointment

New Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst says he is ready to ‘enhance’ the successful work of his predecessor Steven Gerrard after sealing his return to the Ibrox club.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has been confirmed as the new Rangers manager. (Photo credit should read CARLO HERMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
Giovanni van Bronckhorst has been confirmed as the new Rangers manager. (Photo credit should read CARLO HERMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

The 46-year-old Dutchman’s appointment was confirmed on Thursday afternoon as he becomes the 17th permanent manager in Rangers’ 149-year history.

Van Bronckhorst must wait to obtain a work permit before he can formally take charge of the Scottish champions’ first team squad. He will not be in the technical area for Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup semi-final against Hibs at Hampden but is expected to be at the game.

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The winner of five major trophies during his three-year spell as a Rangers player from 1998 to 2001, van Bronckhorst emerged as a bright coaching talent when he led his hometown club Feyenoord to their first Dutch title in 18 years in 2017.

He expressed his enthusiasm at taking over a Rangers side currently four points clear at the top of the Premiership as he bids to build further on the restoration job carried out by Gerrard before his departure to take charge of Aston Villa last week.

“I am absolutely delighted to be returning to Rangers as the club’s new manager,” said van Bronckhorst.

“I feel so lucky to be going to work with a squad which is in a great position on all fronts and largely has that experience of being winners.

“I look forward to carrying on and enhancing the work that has been done already and I’m grateful for the chance to work again at this huge football club.

“I cannot wait to meet the club’s incredible supporters again and begin this new era for us all.”

Rangers chairman Douglas Park hailed a fresh start under van Bronckhorst and pledged to provide him with the backing he requires.

“I am delighted to welcome Giovanni as our manager to begin a new era and build further on what has already been achieved at the club,” said Park.

“The team is in a good position on the park and, as a board, we will support both Giovanni and (sporting director) Ross Wilson to continue to make Rangers a success.

“I wish Giovanni all the very best in his role and look forward to working closely alongside him.”

Wilson revealed van Bronckhorst was first approached by Rangers two days after Gerrard decided to quit, insisting he was always on their radar as part of a potential succession plan.

“Gio has been part of a long list of managers we have been tracking for a period of time to ensure we are always ready,” said Wilson.

“When Steven intimated his decision last Wednesday, we immediately got to work on what was then a focused shortlist. We held initial talks within 48 hours and concluded our decision making within six days of the role becoming available.

“We found agreement with Gio extremely quickly and we have enjoyed working with him on assembling the backroom team that will complement an already excellent support staff that we have built here at Rangers.

“Gio has already shown himself to be a winner, he knows the club, he knows the quality of the squad and is absolutely aligned with our approach and mindset. I am looking forward to introducing him to the squad soon.”

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