Rangers director Alastair Johnston cites ‘institutional failure’

Rangers director Alastair Johnston. Picture: Robert Perry
Rangers director Alastair Johnston. Picture: Robert Perry
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Rangers director Alastair Johnston insists “institutional failure” left the Ibrox club with no option but to sack Pedro Caixinha.

Following Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock, the USA-based former chairman joined a board meeting via conference call on Thursday morning where the decision was made to relieve the Portuguese coach of his duties.

Under-20s boss Graeme Murty will assume the caretaker role for the second time this year when Rangers travel to Murrayfield to face Hearts on Saturday.

Johnston, who returned to an Ibrox boardroom role in June after a six-year absence, said: “We had a board teleconference this morning and the decision was made.

“I don’t think it was a fait accompli, there was a lot of sharing of opinions and viewpoints and lots of questions asked and answered.

“It wasn’t a quick three minute call, let’s put it that way.

“But the decision was obviously something that was under consideration for a while, we are not deaf and blind.

“I think the events of the last couple of weeks demonstrated institutional failure, if you will.

“It was a systemic problem and not just one we thought could be corrected easily with the current personnel.

“You can’t not be disappointed after losing a manger after seven months but the board had to reach a decision which was in the best interests of the club in the long run and if a decision was going to be made it was better being made sooner rather than later.”

Johnston acknowledged the financial implications of changing the management team but claims they were outweighed by the need for a new face at the helm following a dismal start to the season.

However, he believes Caixinha has left a squad which needs minor alterations rather than a major overhaul.

He said: “There are financial implications but in the circumstances they had to be seconded, if you will, to the best interests of the club.

“My own view is that we have a better squad than people think and perhaps a new management team will get more out of them.

“A lot of Rangers fans thought the players we brought in during the summer were actually positive.

“I don’t think we have seen the best of them and I would like to think that the new management team will be able to get more out of them.

“In many ways that’s what Celtic did when they brought in Brendan Rodgers.

“They had good players but they brought in a guy who got more out of their players.

“They didn’t add too many players to their club but they got whole lot better results once they brought in Rodgers.”

Johnston was not involved in the recruitment of Caixinha but confirmed that Mark Allen, appointed director of football in the summer, will have a hands-on role in appointing the new boss.

He said: “Since we appointed Pedro we have got a director of football in place and he will obviously have a responsibility that we didn’t have before.

“The immediate plan is to go back to Graeme Murty which is the obvious thing to do at this stage while we evaluate the candidates and needless to say there will be a lot of people contacting us and there will be some people we will contact.

“Obviously you want to do this as soon as possible but obviously you want to get it right so I wouldn’t want to have any conjecture about the time frame.”