Dave King closes on new Rangers boss but will have to shell out

Rangers chairman Dave King at the club's Annual General Meeting. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS
Rangers chairman Dave King at the club's Annual General Meeting. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS
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Dave King says the next Rangers manager will have a sound knowledge of British football, money to spend in January and he could be in place next week.

He also hinted that the new man is currently in a job and therefore compensation would need to be paid, and that he will be given a three-year contract.

The Ibrox chairman has been criticised for his failure to appoint a successor to Pedro Caixinha who was sacked five weeks ago. However, speaking after yesterday’s rather than benign annual general meeting where most questions were tepid rather than scalding, King insisted that an appointment is quite imminent.

He said: “The timescale we had in mind when Pedro departed was to do it as soon as possible but to be thorough.

“In our evaluations if a name popped up quite quickly that we felt was absolutely the right person we would have done it as quickly as we could. But it wasn’t an appointment we were going to make just for the sake of being speedy.

“It forced us to look outside to what was available with managers currently under contract. As soon as you move into that area you have got to talk to clubs, you’ve got to talk about compensation.

“It has maybe taken us longer than we would have liked but not longer than is necessary.

“Even if it takes us another week it shouldn’t be a factor in an investment we are making for three years. It has taken longer than expected and I really thought the pool of available candidates would have been a lot stronger.

“Mark Allen [Rangers’ director football] went through their track record, and it’s not necessarily right or wrong, it’s just a fit for Rangers at this point in time.

“We mapped that against the criteria we set. We didn’t want to go for a foreigner who had no experience of British or Scottish football.

“Some of the criteria we set down was quite difficult for some of these names to stand up against. We ended up looking up at people who are in contracts rather than looking at people who applied for the job.

“We are more cautious with who we are appointing in terms of their British, Scottish experience.”

King sanctioned the spending of close to £8 million by Caixinha and he feels some of it has been wasteful but he will give money to the new manager as he demands at least a second-place finish in the Premiership.

He said: “We have to make funds available, if we don’t we won’t return to being the No 1 club in Scotland, so that’s non-negotiable.

“We are going to back whoever we appoint, just as we did with Pedro. We spent money in the summer but it doesn’t diminish what is available in January.

“We were always going to have to top up in January and the new manager will have to decide how much he wants to spend in January after assessing the squad.”

King admitted Caixinha’s failure to challenge Celtic was a disappointment but he still believes Rangers can finish second this season.

“I hoped we would comfortably, as a minimum, come second, and mount a challenge to Celtic. That clearly hasn’t happened but the chance to finish second is still within our reach.”

The chairman knows there has to be an upturn or he could lose the supporters.

“There is a worry a lack of success will see some fans drift away, that’s an absolute fact,” King said.

“What we have at the moment is a level of support that’s above the level of success. The fans are supporting the team no matter what and we are very alert to that.”