Wal­lace: We will spend to make it into the top flight

Rangers tar­get Pre­mier­ship ti­tle in three years de­spite fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FRONT PAGE - MICHAEL GRANT CHIEF FOOT­BALL WRITER

Gra­ham Wal­lace, the rangers chief ex­ec­u­tive, jus­ti­fied fur­ther sum­mer spend­ing on play­ers and the re­cruit­ment of a pub­lic re­la­tions con­sul­tant l ast night de­spite an­nounc­ing re­dun­dan­cies and ad­mit­ting far too much had been spent on ally mccoist’s squad over the past two years.

The long-awaited pub­li­ca­tion of Wal­lace’s 120-day busi­ness re­view into the club’s chaotic fi­nances re­vealed the as­ton­ish­ing haem­or­rhage of cash out of Ibrox. af­ter the takeover by charles Green’s con­sor­tium in 2012, £70.7m flooded into the club through ticket sales, commercial rev­enues and a share is­sue yet only £3.5m was left in the bank by last De­cem­ber.

rangers staff were told yes­ter­day morn­ing that some were be­ing made re­dun­dant. Wal­lace was crit­i­cal of the club’s re­cent mis­man­age­ment al­though he made a point of not men­tion­ing any in­di­vid­ual. The re­view stated that “the club ac­quired a num­ber of play­ers in sum­mer 2013 that, based on fi­nan­cial fore­casts, it should have known it could not af­ford”, and was crit­i­cal of con­tracts be­ing of­fered with­out the club even hav­ing a lawyer present. rangers’ wage bill was far too high for its re­quire­ments this sea­son and last, he said. Yet mccoist will be per­mit­ted to make some ad­di­tions in the sum­mer to en­sure rangers are as strong as pos­si­ble in the SPFl cham­pi­onship to se­cure pro­mo­tion to the Pre­mier­ship at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity.

“It’s fool­hardy to be look­ing at slash­ing and burn­ing the play­ing squad when we’ve got to get through the cham­pi­onship next sea­son to get to where we want to be,” said Wal­lace. “If you look at the evo­lu­tion of the squad and you look at what we have got now, you ask yourself ‘do we need the squad we have got to­day to have com­peted this sea­son or last sea­son?’

“Quite clearly not. We have won both di­vi­sions by some con­sid­er­able mar­gin. how­ever, those de­ci­sions have been taken. We work with what we have. Our fo­cus is very much to en­sure that we can win the cham­pi­onship next sea­son to be back in the top di­vi­sion the year af­ter.

“as part of the man­ager’s plan­ning we look at the squad and where the gaps are. he is as­sess­ing what he wants to do with re­gards to re­newals and, work­ing to­gether at a fi­nan­cial level, we will agree what we can af­ford. There are funds avail­able.

“The cham­pi­onship is go­ing to be a good di­vi­sion next sea­son, there are some good sides in that di­vi­sion. We ex­pect to be suc­cess­ful next sea­son and to then be back in the Pre­mier­ship. There­fore, it is part of what we need to get the job done next sea­son but it is also the sea­son be­yond that. We still have a num­ber of play­ers who have more than a full sea­son to go and are al­ready part of our po­ten­tial squad plan­ning for the sea­son af­ter.

“We’ve marked out in our strat­egy that we hope to be through the cham­pi­onship next sea­son and into the Pre­mier­ship the year af­ter. We hope to be in the top two in our first year and we are tar­get­ing the ti­tle in our sec­ond sea­son back [2016/17].

“Is that a chal­lenge? Yes it is. You look at who oc­cu­pies that spot just now [celtic] and the strength of their busi­ness, the level of in­vest­ment and the wage bill and po­ten­tially two more cy­cles of cham­pi­ons league money. let’s not for­get, you’ve got to get through three qual­i­fiers to get to the group stages so there’s an el­e­ment of un­cer­tainty there as well. But the po­ten­tial in­come, even in the europa league, is still good money for a busi­ness like us.”

Wal­lace de­fended the ap­point­ment

of PR con­sul­tant Paul Tyrrell, who pre­vi­ously worked with Liver­pool, Ever­ton and Manch­ester City and was there as the re­view was pre­sented at Ibrox yes­ter­day. When it was put to the chief ex­ec­u­tive that the club lacks a chief scout, which should have been the pri­or­ity, Wal­lace said “I wouldn’t dis­agree”.

He went on: “If you look back to what the man­ager has said about not hav­ing a scout­ing and re­cruit­ment net­work, to me it makes no sense at all. We are agreed we need a fun­da­men­tal over­haul of that depart­ment and we are al­ready work­ing on that. We’ve just not got to the point where there’s some­body in the frame.

“I think you have to trust my judg­ment as chief ex­ec­u­tive in terms of look­ing at the ar­eas of the busi­ness where we should be spend­ing money and where we need sup­port. [Re­gard­ing Tyrrell’s ap­point­ment] We are not en­ter­ing into sig­nif­i­cant, long-term deals for huge amounts of money that is putting other people’s jobs at risk. What my fo­cus is is mak­ing sure that we have got the right ca­pa­bil­ity within the club.”

Wal­lace said he con­tem­plated post­pon­ing yes­ter­day’s an­nounce­ment in case it ap­peared dis­re­spect­ful to club leg­end Sandy Jar­dine, who died on Thurs­day night.

“I did give con­sid­er­a­tion last night as to whether we should con­tinue to­day and do this as sched­uled. I took the view: what would Sandy want? Sandy would want the best thing for Rangers Foot­ball Club which would be to al­low us to move on in the right man­ner, so we de­cided to con­tinue as planned, but it is a very sombre place here at the foot­ball club.”

Pic­ture: SNS

Wal­lace has com­pleted a re­view of Rangers and urged fans to take con­fi­dence from how the board are op­er­at­ing.

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