Rangers caught in crossfire as battle between Miller and Caixinha intensifies
COMMENT By James Black
Kenny Miller appeared for Rangers Under-20s’ side on Sunday amid claims he had been banished from the first-team squad but it’s the club itself who are the only losers in the ongoing spat between the senior player and Pedro Caixinha.
Last week reports surfaced that Caixinha had singled out Miller and Graham Dorrans for criticism following the Old Firm defeat to Celtic, with Miller accused on being leaking details of it to the Daily Record.
Fan site the Rangers Observer had earlier carried a similar, albeit much tamer, version of the story which suggested that all was well within the Ibrox dressing room.
A source has told Football Insider that the Rangers Observer has close links with the Ibrox PR department and is used by the club to get certain pieces of information into the public domain.
When Rangers then travelled to face Hamilton on Friday night, Miller was nowhere to be seen and the 37-year-old turned out for the Gers’ Under-20 side yesterday afternoon against Brentford B.
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In recent months Rangers supporters group and second-largest shareholder Club 1872 have pushed for a boycott of the Daily Record over a perceived bias against the Ibrox side following a number of stories which appeared in the newspaper.
Football Insider has learned that the Daily Record’s editorial staff maintain there is absolutely no agenda against the Gers and, in turn, feel that the boycott is a ploy by former Record journalist – and now Rangers PR guru – Jim Traynor to settle old scores with his former colleagues.
Both sides have played a childish game of tit-for-tat while the vast majority of Rangers fans are left bemused at seeing their club used as a pawn in a battle of egos between Traynor and the Record’s Keith Jackson.
It’s no secret the pair loathe each other and neither seems overly concerned who gets caught in the crossfire of their long-running feud.
Jackson even used the violence in Barcelona yesterday to take a shot at the Rangers Observer and Traynor in a now-deleted tweet referencing a story written in 2005 by Traynor claiming Rangers fans deserved to be on the receiving end of baton charges by Spanish police after a UEFA Cup tie with Osasuna.
Jackson’s latest column insists that Miller was not the source of their information about his omission last Friday, while the Rangers Observer recently posted an article comparing the fall-out with Barry Ferguson and Paul le Guen’s bust-up which lead to the Frenchman getting sacked shortly afterwards.
Neither side seems willing to back down in this fight and it does nothing to benefit the club.
If Miller is the mole within the dressing room then it’s difficult to argue with Caixinha’s stance.
The Portuguese has a reputation for being a strict disciplinarian and came down on Michael O’Halloran like a ton of bricks when the forward no-showed an Under-20’s clash with Hearts in April.
O’Halloran was shipped out of the club at the first opportunity.
Others who have crossed Caixinha have had similar treatment and it’s difficult to see any other resolution than one or the other leaving the club in the near future.
Regardless of which one does leave first, it’s certain that the whole sorry mess has done no favours for anyone inside Ibrox.
Rangers have been caught in the crossfire as this unseemly battle intensifies.
In other Rangers news, Charlie Nicholas believes that Caixinha will be axed by the Gers.