Glasgow Rangers: a club suffering perpetual adversity?
It’s been suggested for weeks but now there can be no doubt - Glasgow Rangers are a club in crisis.
Forget the Old Firm drubbing at the weekend. Sadly for Gers fans, that’s almost par for the course these days.
Each of Rangers’ three most recent managers have been on the end of four-goal hiding against Celtic and the Hoops’ dominance shows no sign of abating.
It’s a sad indictment for Scotland’s most decorated football club and a stark reminder of the impact an inept board of directors can have on a team.
Make no mistake, most of Rangers’ problems can be attributed to mistakes made by the club’s hierarchy.
The disastrous and somewhat baffling appointment of Pedro Caixinha towards the end of last season preceded an embarrassing Europa League exit and the acquisition of several players who were written off as flops before Christmas.
Rangers were up against it before the domestic campaign had even begun in August, although few could have envisaged the sheer scale of the fallout as we approach the final five Premiership fixtures.
It's almost six months to the day that Caixinha was dismissed and the Light Blues are still no closer to choosing a full-time successor.
Instead, Graeme Murty – originally head coach of Rangers’ development squad – remains in charge of first team matters while carnage ensues all around him.
Chairman Dave King’s failed bid to bring Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes to Ibrox was well-documented in the press and prompted nationwide ridicule when the ex-Rangers man made it clear he had no intention of leaving Pittodrie.
That in itself didn’t upset Rangers fans, who were generally of the mind that McInnes was not the right man to accelerate progress.
But the manner in which the club seemingly put all their eggs in one basket on a frankly underwhelming candidate sparked a lot of ire among the Gers faithful.
Here we are, a month from the season’s end, and a permanent appointment has still not been made.
Murty has been left to carry the can for the board’s unremitting shortcomings and has unsurprisingly fallen short of matching the demands of supporters.
The situation came to a head at Hampden Park on Sunday.
Previous rumblings of discontent among the playing staff were evidenced both during and after Rangers’ Scottish FA Cup semi-final defeat to their Old Firm rivals.
Before the half-time whistle had been blown, boyhood fan Andy Halliday was captured on television uttering some choice words towards a fan after being hooked before the interval.
The petulance continued in the second period, with popular winger Daniel Candeias heading straight for the tunnel following his substitution.
And a few minutes from the end, top scorer Alfredo Morelos and January signing Greg Docherty were seen angrily remonstrating with each other while play continued all around them.
It has since transpired that club captain Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller expressed their disgust in the dressing room after the game, directing their fury at Murty personally.
Rangers then took the unusual step of suspending both players indefinitely following the incident, which has caused further uproar among many fans who believe they were right to air their views.
Whatever your take on this most recent episode, or the ever-expanding catalogue of recent controversies, there can be no doubt that Rangers are a club in turmoil at present.
For most, the magnitude of the task ahead in usurping Celtic hit home a long time ago. Others dared to dream that a 55th league title might have even been possible this season.
If long-term success is to be even remotely possible going forward, decisive action is required immediately.
A club the size of Rangers should not be subjected to such amateurish stewardship but until that is properly addressed – starting with the employment of a proven manager – nothing will change.
That’s the worry Rangers fans now have, and if recent history is anything to go by, it’s a very valid concern indeed.