It’s been three years since the embattled Rangers board thought the best idea to put some distance between themselves and the supporters’ base baying for their blood was to set up a gazebo in the corner of Ibrox and have the rest of Scottish football collectively fall about laughing.
READ MORE - What can we expect from the Rangers AGM?
While relations between fans and the men who run their club will be less strained at this year’s AGM, taking place at the Clyde Auditorium on Thursday morning, there’s no doubt that the honeymoon period for Dave King and co has long come to an end. For the first time in their stewardship, fans will be demanding answers on a number of topics. Including but not limited to...
“Why haven’t we hired a new manager?”
Five weeks in the middle of the season is a ridiculously long time to wait for a new boss. It would be understandable if the plan was to give Graeme Murty until the end of the campaign because they believed the right candidate would come along then, or they’d be in a stronger financial position to recruit him, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case. They just seem to be drifting along without much of a plan. Hearts took their sweet time to hire a new head coach earlier this season following the departure of Ian Cathro, but at least they’d interviewed a few candidates along the way.
“Seriously, though, where’s the new manager?”
The board better be ready for just how vehement the criticism is going to be from the Rangers support. A new manager, even one they weren’t particularly keen on, would have at least provided a distraction with supporters keen to know his plans, tactics, players he likes etc. Instead, the indecision has poured fuel on the fire. While it’s not a reason in itself to hire a new manager, failing to get one in place in time for the AGM is a massive PR blunder.
“How on earth did we end up with Pedro Caixinha?”
People like to blame. They also like assurances that mistakes won’t happen again. The shareholders will be looking for full transparency on the process which led to the Portuguese coach taking the reins at their club. Someone will have to eat some humble pie, probably Stewart Robertson, admitting exactly what caused them to be wooed by Caixinha and promise that the board are currently discussing candidates which have a proven track record and, preferably, experience in British football.
“What is Mark Allen’s exact role at the club?”
It is British football, after all. It wouldn’t be the same without thinly-disguised distrust of the fancy continental position alien to those who’ve grown up with the manager as a patriarchal figure at a football club. Aside from that, though, there are a few pertinent points which deserved to be raised. Having worked in youth football the majority of his career, what was it about Allen that led the Ibrox board to feel confident about him as a director of football? How big a say does he have in the new manager search? Is it ultimately his decision? Will he sign the players? Why did he think Aaron Nemane was worth bringing in? Questions of that nature. There should also be queries regarding the length of time it took to get Allen in place, and why Caixinha was allowed to build most of his side before the DoF arrived.
“Is Stewart Robertson fit for purpose?”
The dynamic between Dave King and his man in Glasgow will be scrutinised. Especially if, as expected, King turns up for the AGM. If Robertson’s making the decisions they’ll want to know why King trusts this man? If he’s not they’ll dig deep into their working relationship and why it seems to take Rangers an absolute age to do anything off the park (other than release statements). They’ll also quiz Robertson about the club’s finances, as that’s his background, and how they’re going to give the new manager the type of funds to keep at the top of the table. Speaking of which...
“How do we stop Celtic winning ten-in-a-row?”
King cannot promise to spend fortunes on the team again. The crowd won’t buy it and they’ll turn against him in a hurry. Instead, they’ll be looking for some sort of plan which pacifies a crowd desperately wanting some hope to cling to. He should probably avoid saying ‘hope our next manager overachieves and Brendan Rodgers ****s off’. Even if it is the truth.
“Does the board recognise the mistakes they have made?”
There will need to be some accountability or they’ll just come across as arrogant and deluded. The honeymoon period is over. Fans are still thankful for King and The Three Bears for wrestling the club from the clutches of the previous regime, but just because you’re thankful, doesn’t mean you’re content. Supporters want a board who they can trust going forward. If they don’t see signs of that then they’ll be a revolt. Showing humility doesn’t necessarily make you equipped to run a football club, but it may buy them a little extra time to get things right.