COMMENT By Richard Parks
One senior Rangers man who can fully expect to be at the club this summer and beyond is Mark Allen.
Graeme Murty is almost certainly heading for the exit door – or back to the youth team – after Dave King insisted results have “not been satisfactory” and that “it is a priority that we commence next season with the best appointment we can make”.
While the merits of publicly ousting the incumbent in an open letter to supporters on the official website ahead of the biggest match of the season can and will be debated, there is little doubt about the board’s faith in Allen.
The director of football was prised from Manchester City last June following an extensive search and has made such an impact that King has attributed the Glasgow giants’ impressive turn-of-the-year form to the impact made by the players brought in by Allen and pinned his faith on more top signings.
“We can expect further progress now that Mark Allen has settled in as director of football,” King told supporters on the Rangers website.
“It is significant that the Club has experienced its highest level of call-ups for senior international duty for many years. This is directly attributable to the work that Mark did in the recent transfer window and provides a mood of optimism to build on for the upcoming summer window.”
The former City academy chief joined after Rangers had completed most of their summer-of-2017 signings but he had his feet firmly under the table by January, when six new recruits were brought in.
Allen demonstrated in the winter window that he is a shrewd operator. After the haphazard and mostly hopeless recruitment of last summer and previous windows, the 54-year-old demonstrated that much can be achieved with a shoestring budget if you shop in the right places.
All six signings have made an impact, with Jamie Murphy and Declan John the two standouts, while Russell Martin, Greg Docherty, Sean Goss and Jason Cummings have all been key members of a squad that has been much improved in the second half of the season.
King is pinning his faith in Allen once again producing the goods in the summer, and he is spot on with that stance.
Allen has the knowledge, contacts and nous to bring in the players Rangers need to close the gap on Celtic.
In recruitment, if you get more right than you get wrong, you’re usually on the right track.
Allen has demonstrated that he can steer the club’s recruitment sensibly and even pull out some blinders along the way.