Derek McInnes has turned down the Rangers job
The Aberdeen manager has dished out the equivalent of a right-hander from Anthony Joshua!
And I’m not sure Dave King and his board can recover from a punch of this force.
Their credibility is shot to pieces. Today they lie spark out on the canvas. What an embarrassing situation for the Ibrox board to deal with as they limp back to the drawing board.
Six weeks after identifying the number one target, King made his approach for the Aberdeen manager – a Rangers fan as a boy and an ex-Ibrox player who helped the club win nine-in-a-row – and got a knockback.
Derek is perfectly within his rights to turn down the offer. Aberdeen is a fine club with a strong support.
With a new stadium and training ground in the pipeline it’s an exciting time to be at the Dons – a club with little debt and a clear vision for the future.
And I accept Derek – a loyal guy – would be reluctant to do the dirty on his chairman and walk out.
But this is Rangers he’s turned down – a club with an emotional pull, more than 40,000 season ticket holders and a budget second only to Celtic.
I don’t believe it shows a lack of ambition on his part – he’s weighed up the two clubs and decided Aberdeen remains the best option.
But what does it tell us about Rangers? Simply that the Ibrox club is still a wreck behind the scenes, lacking in structure and unconvincing when it comes to delivering on promises.
Most clubs are clever enough to work behind the scenes through third parties to line up a manager, make sure he wants the job and then make their official move.
That way you avoid having your pants pulled down in public.
Perhaps Rangers did this and Derek changed his mind, or was persuaded to stay by Stewart Milne at the 11th hour.
When I heard Derek was staying at Aberdeen you could have knocked me down with a feather.
It was a genuine ‘wow’ moment. The last time I was this taken aback by a decision was when Maurice Johnston was wheeled out into the Ibrox boardroom just weeks after agreeing to join Celtic!
I do think Derek is in his last season at Aberdeen. He’s led them to three successive second place finishes, won a cup and been in finals.
I’m not sure how much more he can do, and this won’t be his last offer to take on another job. Next time might be the right time.
I thought he might be tempted to take on the Rangers job now even though the way they dragged out the situation was ridiculous. The fact Derek doesn’t want it speaks volumes for the security he feels at Aberdeen with Milne at the helm, and the insecurities he perhaps foresaw in making the jump to Ibrox.
Did he get the feeling he wasn’t really wanted? Were there issues over money at a club bankrolled by loans? Was Mark Allen’s input as director of football a problem?
Rangers have been unable to find a replacement since sacking Pedro Caixinha
We might never get the answers, but Rangers fans should demand them.
When Derek turned down Sunderland in the summer most observers thought it was a wise move.
The club was a basket case. It had no structure, no clear plan, too many players on too much money producing too little where it matters on the park.
A big club gripped by chaos – it’s a description that could just as easily fit Rangers this morning.
I’m sure the Aberdeen fans will – by and large – be thrilled that Derek is staying put. They love nothing better than getting one over on Rangers and this is a real victory.
Derek might be wary of some fans’ reaction tonight as he walks along the touchline at Dens Park, but I’d expect him to be well received.
Rangers claimed they carried out a “forensic” approach before choosing Pedro Caixinha. That didn’t ring true at the time.
Last week the Rangers AGM was told that due diligence had been carried out on the new man – now this.
Rangers might now turn to Graeme Murty or send an SOS to Alex McLeish. But they daren’t make another wrong move.
Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic travel to Hibernian at the weekend
HIBS will be at Celtic’s throats on Sunday.
In much the same way as Hamilton riled Neil Lennon a few weeks back, get set for his side trying to ruffle the Hoops’ feathers.
Lennon has impressed me with how he’s gone about re-establishing Hibs in the top flight.
Celtic’s winning streak has to come to an end at some point. If Hibs play to their best on Sunday then Celtic won’t get many tougher tests in the league this season.
θ IT’S normally a concern being a proud Scot working in England during a World Cup year.
There’s always that nagging fear that one day they might actually do something and win the thing.
But despite reading “England’s route to the final” from a few media sources last week, I’m feeling comfortable about England’s prospects in Russia.
They are ranked outside the top 10 for a reason, and while a group featuring Panama, Tunisia and Belgium has been kind to them, 2018 won’t be 1966 all over again.