Rangers board left to rue sleeping on £20m rival Celtic investment
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers board left to rue sleeping on £20m rival Celtic investment

As the pressure builds on the Rangers board, the Ibrox club’s hierarchy must look back on the recent transfer activity of Old Firm rivals Celtic through the painful goggles of hindsight.

Only a year ago were our rivals in disarray and Rangers seemingly preparing a commanding domestic dynasty of their own with Steven Gerrard’s albeit stuttering side still boasting a solid lead at the top.

Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

But fast forward 12 months and it’s all gone Pete Tong for Gerrard – who’s been sacked by Aston Villa – and for Rangers – who appear on the verge of sacking his replacement Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Whilst there might be plenty on the Rangers board who still believe in the Dutchman, and perhaps sympathise with his situation, once the ire gets directed upstairs then it won’t be long before they knock on the manager’s door.

That board criticism is more than merited too; Rangers completely and utterly slept on the club’s 55th title win and, domestically at the very least, have regressed as Celtic have made big steps forward.

Steven Gerrard’s post-Ibrox exit comments about the Rangers board not wanting to go to the well one more time after the title win have really begun to hit home.

The Gers didn’t spend a penny after winning 55 in the summer of 2021 as Celtic splashed out the bones of £20m and then repeated the feat again in this window.

In came John Lundstram and Fashion Sakala, out eventually went the Scottish Premiership crown.

Rangers board must rue failure to invest post-55

Yes somewhere we had to pay for the pre-55 investment and the impact of Covid-19, but all that talk about sustainability and moving away from director investment would probably have been better shelved for one more year.

We appreciate that sourcing this kind of money is hard but when you look at the situation the club is in now – potentially facing a costly settlement fee for their under fire management and with several key players set to leave on a free or for peanuts – it probably made more prudent financial sense to keep the momentum going.

Rangers’ stay as Premiership champions lasted only one season and now, as the club amble from one disgraceful domestic performance to another, it looks increasingly unlikely the trophy will be returning next summer either.

Four points is hardly an insurmountable difference but there is a distinct lack of believe in the stands, in the dugout and in the playing squad that we have the cojones to claw it back, no matter the painstaking soundbites.

But whilst fingers will be pointed all around as Rangers look to make sense of an appalling domestic regression in 12 months we cannot forget the board’s role in all of this.

Had Rangers raised the funds and took the rebuilding job of Celtic seriously then there’s every chance that we’d be dining at the Champions League table and looking like we actually belong there.

Perhaps more importantly, we’d be well on our way to a third title in a row and the domestic dominance that stared the entirety of Scottish football in the face only one summer ago.

Instead of Joey Veerman we’ve got a 37-year-old Steven Davis and a 33-year-old Scott Arfield, the same midfield of the last four seasons recycled and still no major investment in the area since Maurice Edu in 2008.

On the wings we’ve got Ryan Kent clearly with his mind elsewhere having let his contract run down and a shell shocked Rabbi Matondo. And Scott Wright.

Oh, and a team of players on high wages who are never routinely fit enough to ever play for the side.

The level of negligence by the Rangers Board in the transfer market has been alarming but the entire thing is painfully ironic.

If the club’s hierarchy didn’t rue not fixing the roof whilst the sun was shining back in 2021, there about to be hit with an ever bigger bill should it collapse in winter 2023.

Meanwhile, Rangers fans are touting three main managers to replace Van Bronckhorst should the Dutchman be sacked.