Has Ibrox Run Into Difficulties In Negotiating For Their New Manager?

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If you assume, as we all do, that the financial state at Ibrox is one of the reasons Gerrard fled Ibrox for Birmingham, you must assume that nothing has changed for the better in the week since he scuttled back to England.

If you’re looking at it rationally, things there are worse than before.

Before this week they had a settled backroom team and a management who knew the players and the club’s financial position. All of them are gone. They got such a modest sum of money for them that they could comfortably blow all of it on assembling the new team. If they try to do it on the cheap then cheap is exactly what they will get.

The countdown clock is still ticking towards the weekend. I am certain they did not want to go into that game without a new boss. I am certain they don’t want to go into the game against Sparta having failed to sort this stuff out. But we’re in Tuesday now and there can’t be much room left for them to get their act together.

They claim to be relaxed about it all. But are they really? How can they be? Would we be? The spin is that they want to “get it right” and don’t want to rush it … but they are down to a final three. They have re-interviewed Van Bronckhorst and the strategic leaking going on everywhere suggests strongly that he’s their number one pick.

So why isn’t it done? What’s the hold-up? Some in the press have already started to speculate that perhaps there are issues in getting it over the line. Issues like the Dutchman having one idea about what he needs and the club having another.

Ibrox’s media strategy is obvious here. “We are not panicking.” But a week ago they were a settled club and now they are promoting guys from the backroom to the coaching department to plug the gaps. They are frantically trying to get a deal done, but in the meantime they have three coaches doing the first team training and haven’t said who is in charge.

This is a cup semi-final at Hampden they have coming up, not a game against a plucky struggler at home. The European match next midweek is critical. And they are content to “take their time.” Who really believes that? Who’s asking the questions?

Van Bronckhorst and his people know they are desperate to get the deal done. This is the moment for using whatever leverage they have. Lennon used his and got consideration for the top job; it is the stupidest thing our club has done in living memory and I can only wonder if they weren’t perhaps stupid enough to put it in writing if certain conditions were met.

If you were in Van Bronckhorst’s shoes, what would you demand? And if you were in the shoes of their directors what could you realistically deliver? Don’t let anybody kid you that things are carrying on over there as normal and that the feeling inside the club is of excitement; a week ago they knew were they were. Now nobody inside or outside of there has a clue.

That’s a crisis, however the press tries to dress it up.

And that crisis deepens with every day they don’t get a deal done.

The media isn’t asking and their fans don’t want to … but is there a delay here because they can’t give convincing answers to the questions their “candidates” are asking?

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  • Slugger O’Toole says:

    I’d be surprised if they took as long as our Board did to appoint a new manager

  • Benjamin says:

    The first clue something was amiss was when they announced an interim manager on Sunday. In and of itself that isn’t cause for alarm, but the timing of it in conjunction with the timing of everything else should raise alarm bells among the blue half of Glasgow. By the time they made this announcement, Stevie G and his team has been in Birmingham for 3 days, and van Bronckhorst had already been interviewed for the job. If his appointment was as imminent as was suggested in the media, there would be no point in formally announcing an interim manager only for the permanent manager to take over a day or two later.

    Any reasonable reading of this situation suggests that either van Bronckhorst isn’t coming, or if he is it isn’t going to be wrapped up before the semi-final on Sunday. Announcing the interim management team – who had very likely already taken training with the team since Thursday without any such announcement – would have been done now so it doesn’t look like they’re panicking, which is definitely the perception that would result if they made the announcement the day of or the day before the semi-final.

    My guess is that van Bronckhorst wants assurances regarding a transfer budget, and the board can’t or won’t give him what he’s asking for. Once they realized this after the initial interview on Saturday, they recognized that they’ll either have to find someone else with lower expectations, or wait until van Bronckhorst lowers his expectations. Either way, they need to prepare for at least one match with an interim manager in charge, and they needed to do so publicly so as to not create another PR crisis while also signaling to van Bronckhorst that they’re willing to wait and/or move on it he doesn’t back down regarding transfer funds.

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