So much for loyalty, right? So much for standing by their man. Just days ago, the Ibrox club allowed a Sky special which we jokingly called Gio: The Movie to go ahead, lauding him and looking back on his first year as boss.
That was accompanied by their directors telling a reporter from the BBC that they were unanimous about keeping him around.
I guess it only takes one ringing endorsement from Souness to change everything, eah?
To be honest, it always looked untenable.
They were facing going into the AGM having to defend having him in the building.
They had started to prepare the groundwork for that – this much is obvious considering some of what was being put into the public domain about injuries making a difference and how they wanted to give him a chance with a full strength team – but it was hard to see how it was tenable since he’d lost the dressing room.
Maybe, ultimately, that was what finally decided the board.
The certainty that the players were not going to do it for him. He had lost control of them, as evidenced by Morelos’ gleeful, almost mocking, holiday snaps. It’s the one relationship time won’t fix.
Their club now faces the nightmare scenario of having to attract a new manager and fund him properly for next season.
Mark my words, having bitten the bullet and gotten rid not only of Van Bronckhorst but the whole backroom team they have just pissed away any financial jackpot that this year’s Champions League qualification earned them.
They are, in effect, back to square one.
Which is a far cry from where they imagined themselves when this season kicked off. They were gearing up to conquer Europe at that point, and imagining Ange as a one season wonder.
Obviously, this is a huge story and one that has a lot of juice left in it, but what we can say right now is that Ibrox had one option here that might have given them a road through; to accept that this season is a write-off, to give Van Bronckhorst some additional time and to get the decision absolutely spot on. They’ve now cast that advantage away.
In choosing to go now they’ve narrowed their range of options – it won’t be someone currently in a job, for example, unless someone really cheap – or something well planned out and thought through.
The very fact that games kick off again in little over three weeks means they’ve set themselves a ticking clock … which multiplies the possibility of making a mistake.