It is little wonder that Dave King was so effusive in his expression of gratitude to Rangers supporters this week after the announcement of record season ticket sales at Ibrox.
For a club without a major honour to their name since 2011, shifting almost 46,000 season tickets – with a waiting list of close to 14,000 – is truly remarkable.
Ever since Rangers’ financial collapse in 2012, the loyalty of their fans has been fuelled by a sense of defiance as much as anything else. But their willingness to keep rolling up in huge numbers on match days now has a fresh perspective. It is not simply hope of better times under Steven Gerrard’s management, it is expectation.
After providing the support with encouragement during his first season in charge, the onus is now firmly on Gerrard to deliver silverware in 2019-20.
If chairman King was playing to the galleries with his pronouncement of Rangers as the country’s “premier club”, it was also a reminder of the clear demands he has set for Gerrard who is again being firmly backed during the summer transfer window. He accepted the Rangers job because it satisfied his desire to operate in the most exacting environment possible as he started out on his senior coaching career. The forthcoming campaign, with Rangers fans increasingly desperate for an end to Celtic’s domestic dominance, promises to be the acid test of his managerial credentials.