Rangers: Warburton appointed without meeting King

The 52-year-old former Brentford manager was interviewed by Murray and Gilligan before his appointment as Stuart McCall's successor. Picture: SNS
The 52-year-old former Brentford manager was interviewed by Murray and Gilligan before his appointment as Stuart McCall's successor. Picture: SNS
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NEW Rangers manager Mark Warburton has revealed he did not hold any face-to-face discussions with Dave King before being appointed on Monday.

His only serious interaction with the club chairman and proposed major investor appears to have been hearing an interview given by the South African-based businessman after he was passed fit and proper to head up the Ibrox board.

“We haven’t met as yet,” said Warburton when he was introduced to the media along with assistant David Weir this week, before he headed to the European Under-21 Championships in the Czech Republic. “I am sure he’s a very busy man and he’s chairman of the football club, so whenever the schedule allows I look forward to that [meeting him].I heard [his] interview, the passion was very evident. I thought he spoke very well of the aims and ambitions for the club, so I was very impressed by that speech. The questions were quite demanding and the answers were good.”

The 52-year-old former Brentford manager and Weir were interviewed by directors Paul Murray and John Gilligan, who Warburton said “asked the right questions about David and I”. Gilligan was at pains to stress there was nothing untoward about King having no hands-on role in the recruitment process for manager, which involved his setting up a selection committee, and that sub-group

conducting interviews with candidates before presenting their recommendations to the full board .

Gilligan said good business practice was followed in that it was “not Dave sitting in a room deciding”. “I wouldn’t like this to come out the wrong way,” he said. “The board of RFC as it stands right now is the PLC board and each director on there is charged with tasks.

“In this instance, Paul and I were charged with the task of going and recruiting the manager and then reporting back to the board and explaining why we thought the choice was right and then the board then gave their opinion. Dave, contrary to what a lot of people might think, was quite comfortable with that, he delegated that job and that’s the way a board should operate. We recommended and then the board took the recommendation and decided yes. This is how I worked at Tennent’s when I was MD of a £150 million business. People come with recommendations, you have a board meeting and OK it.”

Meanwhile, Paul Murray this week appeared to distance himself from King’s recent pledge that Rangers would spend “whatever it takes” to secure top-flight status from their forthcoming Championship campaign. The Ibrox club intend to operate with a playing budget broadly in line with the £6m sum of last season. Murray, though, maintained greater controls would be placed on such an outlay.

“We are looking through the budgets and have been for a few weeks. People are looking to make up headlines saying we will spend x number of millions but it is not really what we want to do,” the Rangers director said. “We want to spend money wisely and, probably a bit differently from the past. We will try and get value. Now in football, you can’t give any guarantees and we will obviously make

mistakes. But we will factor in as many decisions as possible to try and get the best decisions.

“We need to rebuild the playing squad. Our ambitions are to get the club back to the very top of Scottish football as quickly as possible. But we don’t want to do that by taking unsustainable risk. We are talking about youth development, that is important but you need to marry it with experience as well. There is no real upper limit, there is no real lower limit. We are trying to make the right decisions for the club to make the first team as competitive as possible, as quickly as possible.”