Scottish Daily Mail

Ibrox director of football’s arrival will be ‘imminent’


JAMES BISGROVE has confirmed Rangers are closing in on a director of football to follow the appointmen­t of manager Philippe Clement. The Ibrox club have been operating without someone in the key recruitmen­t and leadership role since sporting director Ross Wilson exited for Nottingham Forest in April. Talks have now taken place with a number of candidates, with chief executive Bisgrove optimistic of an appointmen­t being made in the near future. ‘We do believe a director of football, a technical director, is something that will add additional value,’ said Bisgrove. ‘It is a live conversati­on that we are having at the moment to complement and complete that leadership structure. ‘That will be a club board appointmen­t, but Philippe will absolutely be a part of that process and we will make sure he meets whoever that is before we make the decision. ‘That person will add additional value and expertise and leadership to the recruitmen­t function. ‘We currently have John Park at the top of that division. We have made some changes to the scouting function recently. We have modernised some of the processes in terms of data and video analysis and I think we have been more strategic on how we have set that up and Philippe will have a say on that as well. ‘It is a decision the board will take on a long-term football strategy to make sure we have really robust processes around decisions we make right across the football department.’ Pressed on a timescale, Bisgrove added: ‘In the next few weeks, if not months. ‘There are variables depending on the individual­s the board believe has the best fit. I believe it will be imminent.’ Speaking as Clement was officially unveiled at Ibrox yesterday, Bisgrove (pictured) also stressed the 49-year-old Belgian will be given time to implement his ideas. Giovanni van Bronckhors­t was sacked after a year at the helm before Michael Beale’s tenure lasted just ten months. ‘I think we recognise that continuity and stability are going to be absolutely key to this club,’ said Bisgrove. ‘This is the 19th manager we have had in 151 years and we went through a process that was multi-layered, that took on a lot of due diligence and took a lot of time with the board to get this appointmen­t right. ‘It goes back to my point on stability and continuity. This club does not have a habit of changing managers frequently. ‘The success that we’ve had has been built on that stability and that’s why Philippe is here and has picked Rangers.’ Graeme Souness aided the board during the interview process, with Bisgrove offering thanks to the former Ibrox boss. ‘He was a great help,’ said Bisgrove. ‘He joined us in London when we met Philippe for the first time and some of the criteria that we set out were so aligned with his own characteri­stics when we talked about leadership, understand­ing the club and dealing with the pressures. ‘Graeme was able to ask those questions from a real place of experience. He and Philippe had really good conversati­ons. He added a lot of value and the board really thank him for that.’

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