Rangers: Michael Beale sacked as manager

Ulsterman Steven Davis takes interim charge at Ibrox Stadium

Michael Beale has been sacked as Rangers manager following Saturday’s home defeat by Aberdeen which left them seven points behind Celtic after seven games of the Scottish Premiership season.

It was the Ibrox side’s third Scottish Premiership loss of the campaign and comes after a heavy Champions League play-off defeat by PSV Eindhoven.

The club said results had “fallen short of what everyone connected to Rangers would expect”.

Former midfielder Steven Davis has taken interim charge, supported by Alex Rae, and coaches Steven Smith, Brian Gilmour and Colin Stewart, with Rangers expected to take their time in identifying a permanent successor.

A large number of fans would not be displeased if Steven Gerrard were to return to the manager’s office , despite the fact that Rangers fired him before taking on Beale.

“At least he looked like a Rangers manager and he talked a good game,” one fan told The Democrat.

Outspoken Celtic fan Hugh Jordon said: “In 2012, when Rangers F.C. went bankrupt and the club’s assets sold to a new consortium, I honestly believed the emerging company would develop a more modern, positive and progressive outlook. I was wrong.

“The old Rangers sense of entitlement prevailed and it was clear many associated with the club held a deep grudge against competitors.

“Eleven years have seen 11 managers hold the post at Ibrox and in all that time, only one SPL title and one Scottish Cup have been secured.

“Once again, the club finds itself facing a rebuild programme as the search for a replacement for Michael Beale begins.

“Scotland could do with a stable Rangers, but among other things, the ‘We Are the People’ mentality should be ditched, for one very good reason, because it’s not true.”

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Ibrox Stadium where the Rangers’ manager’s desk is vacant once again.
Another fan, Jack Gallagher, was less pessimistic. He wrote on social media: “I think Steve Davis will lead Rangers to champion status.”
Michael Beale, 43, left Queens Park Rangers in November to replace Giovanni van Bronckhorst and started with 13 wins out of 14 games but ultimately ended last season without a trophy.

Although his side won their opening Europa League group-stage game against Real Betis, and have reached the semi-final of the Viaplay Cup, league defeats by Kilmarnock, Celtic and Aberdeen have proved costly.

“Results this season have fallen short of what everyone connected to Rangers would expect,” read a club statement.

“Therefore, the decision was reached today to terminate the contract of the manager, as well as the contracts of coaches Neil Banfield, Damian Matthew, Harry Watling and Jack Ade.

“The Rangers board would like to put on record their thanks to Michael and his staff for their efforts since joining the club last November.”

Horrible result’ marks end of tenure

When asked about his future after the 3-1 defeat by Aberdeen at Ibrox, Beale conceded to BBC Scotland that the “horrible result” had mounted further pressure on his shoulders.

Asked if he had any indication whether his job was safe or not, he added “I haven’t spoken to anyone right now” before concluding with “we’ll see what happens”.

“Everyone realises where we are, the standard and results need to be better,” the Englishman continued. “We can’t hide behind the fact that we won four games because today wasn’t good enough.”

Beale – whose recruitment has also be heavily criticised – vowed “to make it up to” a disgruntled fan base, but he will now not get that chance.

Instead, Davis and Rae will take the team to Cyprus for Thursday’s Europa League group game with Aris Limassol and will likely remain in charge for the trip to face unbeaten St Mirren on Sunday.

Speaking earlier in the day, former Rangers striker Kenny Miller said he expected Beale to be in charge for those matches but acknowledged that “a lot of fans need to be turned”.

“It’s a long way back, even at this stage,” he told Sportsound. “There are questions to be answered and it is the job of the board to analyse without emotion, to make calm, sensible decisions that are right for the future of the club.”

Meanwhile, Rangers have condemned supporters who displayed a flag bearing a Nazi symbol during Saturday’s defeat to Aberdeen on the club’s Armed Forces Day at Ibrox.

The club said it is investigating how the banner, which included the Totenkopf skull and crossbones symbol, was allowed to be hung on railings at the stadium during the match.

The emblem, known as “death’s head,” was used by the 3rd SS panzer division during the second world war – known for committing a slew of war crimes including the murder of millions of people at concentration camps.

They also perpetrated 1940 Le Paradis Massacre involving the murder of 97 British soldiers from the Royal Norfolk Regiment who had surrendered in Northern France.

Around 150 personnel from the UK Armed Forces, including representatives from the Army and Navy, were in attendance for the match.

Police Scotland said it had received “no complaints” over the flag, but Rangers have launched their own internal probe.

A Rangers spokesperson said: “Clearly, this flag is absolutely unacceptable and the club condemns the displaying of it within our stadium in the strongest possible terms.  The club can confirm an investigation is now under way.”

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