Rangers chief scout Neil Murray leaves club after investigation – but questions remain



Third Division champions Rangers have parted company with chief scout Neil Murray after both parties reached an agreement, according to the official club website.

The former Ibrox midfielder, a close friend of manager Ally McCoist, had been suspended by the club pending the conclusion of an investigation into the 40-year-old.

The statement on the official club website confirmed Murray’s departure from the club, but also added that he would be acting for the club on a consultancy basis. It read: “Rangers’ chief scout has been in talks with the Club for more than a week and both Rangers and Neil have agreed to part company.

“However, contrary to one malicious newspaper report Neil is not departing because of any ‘scandal.’ This Club has neither suggested nor said anything of the kind.

“In fact, Rangers are happy to point out that Neil has agreed to act as a consultant for the Club.”

Murray added: “I am happy with the decision made and have no desire to add to the speculation and sensationalism which has surfaced in the media.”

According to the statement, the club are ’embarking on what will be a far-reaching restructuring programme at various levels of the Club and will not be deflected from the task despite attacks from the newspaper in question’.

The last section was in relation to the exclusive article published in the Daily Record over the suspension of Murray. The question has to be asked though – why was there an investigation in the first place if nothing happened at all?

Manager Ally McCoist confirmed there was an investigation on Murray, he stated on Friday that: “Neil has been suspended by the club pending an investigation. It’s a really sensitive matter and that’s all I can say on it.”

Sensitive? Yet the club are now stating that the Record’s article was mere speculation and sensationalism?

Rangers chief executive Charles Green told STV Sport: “We need to start running a tighter ship because we know it’s unlikely we’ll be in the top division next season. We need new faces at the club and we need to move Rangers forward because standards are not up to what Rangers expect.”

Is that the crux of the matter? The standards were not up to what the club expect? In terms of the players that Murray scouted and brought in?

So Murray is another employee to leave Ibrox as part of Charles Green’s ‘far-reaching restructuring programme’ or in laymen’s terms cost-cutting process. The 40-year-old joins former reserve team coach Tommy Wilson who left the club and thereafter joined MLS outfit Philadelphia Union and physio Pip Yeates was sacked also, after spending several years at the club.

Another question is with the £22 million that the club brought in through the share issue and Green’s forecast of being in profit next year, coupled with the club – according to Green – not in debt. Why the need for far-reaching restructuring?

Green was quoted previously saying: “The company is currently trading at a loss and the reason for that is our income is halved from coming out of the SPL and Europe and going into the Third Division. Typically, Rangers would be close to a £60million turnover per year and we’re down to below £30million now. The normal way to deal with that would be the chief executive would take a knife and get rid of 25 to 30 per cent of the workforce. We would have had wholesale redundancies, closed down half of Murray Park and got rid of half the training staff.

“But that’s not the actions of a club that is moving and wants to go forward so what we did as a board and as investors was carry those losses and bear them. We wanted to keep the infrastructure and this company intact and how that turns around is we’re out there now looking at other income streams.”

Again has Charles Green over-exaggerated the ability of Rangers to produce revenue from these ‘other income streams’ and is now cutting costs where he can? Remember that he also mentioned that season ticket prices would increase next season and that player wages would be cut also.

Plenty of questions still remain not only over Murray’s parting of ways, sacking or resignation, whatever way you want to call it. And plenty more over the need for far-reaching restructuring by Green.


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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