Ibrox changes

Rangers search for new manager after sacking Beale

Michael Beale
Axe: Michael Beale

Rangers have launched the search for a new manager after sacking Michael Beale less than a year into his tenure.

The weekend defeat to Aberdeen was the final straw for the Ibrox board which had been under pressure from an unhappy fan base after a poor start to the season by Steven Gerrard’s former No. 2, who replaced Giovanni van Bronckhorst in November.

Despite being heavily backed in the summer transfer market, Rangers are currently seven points behind Celtic in the Premiership after losing three of their opening seven league matches – including the season’s first Old Firm derby at Ibrox.

Any hopes of making the lucrative Champions League group stages were swept away by PSV Eindhoven and while they are in the semi-finals of the League Cup that hasn’t been enough to delay the axe.

The contracts of Beale’s coaching team of Neil Banfield, Damian Matthew, Harry Watling and Jack Ade have also been terminated.

Current player Steven Davis will lead an interim management team, with a Europa League clash at Aris Limassol on Thursday followed by a Premiership meeting in Paisley against St Mirren before the international break.

A club statement said: “The club is pleased to announce that Steven Davis will lead the interim management team.

“The team will consist of former Rangers player and hugely experienced coach Alex Rae, former Rangers player and current coach Steven Smith, coach Brian Gilmour, and goalkeeping coach, Colin Stewart.”

Rangers chairman John Bennett commented: “I’d like to thank Michael for his dedicated work since he re-joined the club as manager last November.

“It is clear that results have fallen well short of the board’s, Michael’s and our supporters’ expectations.

“The search process for the new manager is already underway. I wish Steven Davis and the interim management team every success – they will remain in charge for as long as it takes to make the right appointment.”

Former Rangers defender Kevin Muscat is the early favourite with bookmakers to land the job. He replaced Celtic-bound Ange Postecoglu in 2021 as boss of Japanese outfit Yokohama F Marinos, winning the league last season.

Other names being mentioned include current Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes, former Chelsea boss Graham Potter and Jesse Marsch, who is still on the lookout for a new job following his sacking by Leeds United in February.

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