King destroys fragile Warburton: He begged me to sign these two players but couldn't handle them
By Alex Stevens
Rangers chairman Dave King has delivered a no-holds-barred assessment of the final months of Mark Warburton’s time as manager of the club.
In a fresh critique, outspoken King claimed Warburton was too “thin-skinned” to handle the harsh Ibrox spotlight and struggled to get to grips with the big personalities in the dressing room.
Warburton and his management team David Weir and Frank McParland left Rangers in acrimonious circumstances in mid-February.
They have subsequently been appointed at Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest, while Rangers have appointed little-known Portugese Pedro Caixinha as their new manager.
King explained how Warburton begged the board to sign experienced Premier League performers Joey Barton and Philippe Senderos last summer but did not have the man-management skills to handle them.
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“Mark’s temperament is different, as you know,’ said King, as quoted by the Mail. “It’s not a criticism. He is a little bit thin-skinned. In an environment like Glasgow, having a thin skin is certainly not an advantage – particularly with the media.
“The media gives guys a pretty hard time, sometimes on facts, sometimes on vapour. But the fact is it’s part of the Glasgow deal.
“When there is a lot going wrong on the park, the media is going to be all over you. You have to be up for that.”
Barton joined on a two-year contract last summer but had a dressing room bust-up with Warburton in the wake of the 5-1 Old Firm thrashing in September and quit in November with a six-figure pay-off.
King insisted the board had no choice but to back the former manager’s desire to sign the controversial Barton, who has subsequently thrived back at Burnley, as well as ex-Arsenal and Aston Villa defender Senderos.
“The decision with Joey was one made in the full knowledge of the risks,” said King to the Mail. “In my view, he could have been a great signing.
“I watched him play for Burnley against Liverpool. He played the whole game and still looks like a decent player.
“But if you are going to have big signings with big personalities, you have to have the ability to manage the big signings with the big personalities.
“It was an expensive exercise but we made a decision to back the manager with all of the risk. He said: ‘Please, I need you to back me on this one. This guy will make a big, big, difference’.
“It was the same with the (Philippe) Senderos signing. It wasn’t part of the budget but Mark really appealed and said: ‘Please, please, please, I want Senderos as well’. We backed him.”
Like Barton, Senderos has made little impact at Ibrox, accumulating just four appearances for the team in what has been a wretched campaign for him.
The 32-year-old is behind the likes of Clint Hill, Rob Kiernan and Danny Wilson in the Rangers centre-back pecking order.
In other Rangers news, one of the club’s midfielders has agreed the terms of a mammoth new deal.