Well, that exit plan didn’t go, well, to plan.
Mark Warburton and his management team, along with agent Dave Lockwood, seem to have lost yet another match — this time with the Rangers board.
In an evening of confusion, Rangers released a statement announcing Warburton’s resignation which the now ex-manager denied.
It is believed that Warburton was pinning his strategy on a move to Nottingham Forest, and approached the board with a request that compensation would be waived if he chose to switch clubs. Forest somewhat gazumped Warburton by announcing that their interim management pair of Gary Brazil and Jack Lester would remain in charge until the end of the season.
Rangers released this statement.
“Rangers has accepted the resignations of manager Mark Warburton, assistant manager David Weir and the club’s head of recruitment Frank McParland,” the statement read.
“At a meeting with the management team’s representative earlier this week the club were advised that Mr Warburton, Mr Weir and Mr McParland wished to resign their positions on condition that Rangers agreed to waive its rights to substantial compensation.
“Rangers’ agreement to waive compensation would assist the management team to join another club. This compensation amount was agreed when Rangers significantly improved Mr Warburton and Mr Weir’s financial arrangements before the start of this season.”
The relationship between Warburton and the board, in particular with King has become more distant and strained in recent weeks, and the board clearly decided that the remainder of the season would be better off with a manager that felt committed to the club. The statement continued;
“It is important that Rangers has a football management team that wants to be at the club and that the board believes can take the club forward to meet our stated ambition to return to being the number one club in Scotland. We are clearly short of where we expected to be at this time.”
Graeme Murty will be in charge for Sunday’s cup tie with Greenock Morton.
Early contenders to replace Warburton are thought to include Billy Davies, the former Forest manager coincidentally, St Johnstone’s Tommy Wright and Aberdeen’s Derek McInnes.
It is widely felt that Warburton was never as committed to Rangers as many would have liked him to be. Continually being linked to jobs back in England as well as his family remaining in London meant that he never gave the impression of seeing Rangers as a long term project, more of a stepping stone to return home.
Considering the size of the budget afforded to Warburton and his head of recruitment, the season has not reached the levels expected by the board who were clear on their expectation for a top two finish.
As a former City trader, no doubt Warburton will be disappointed that his strategic gamble has backfired and he now finds himself out of work