THIS time last week, Mark Allen was the Director of Football at Rangers.

Friday the Thirteenth saw him pack his bags and leave Ibrox for the last time after two years in the position and overseeing something in the region of THIRTY-FIVE transfer deals

Eleven days beforehand, the former Manchester City academy director had been heavily involved in the club agreeing to pay £7million to Liverpool for winger Ryan Kent just before the transfer deadline.

That fee is the second highest in Rangers’ history, eclipsed by the outrageous £12million lavished on Chelsea for Norwegian striker Tore Andre Flo by Dick Advocaat in November 2000.

Allen was in charge to give the go-ahead for the £3.5million swoop for Swedish centre-half Fillip Helander from Bologna whose non-appearances in the team are a bit of a mystery.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS…Steven Gerrard is left with his thoughts.

Steven Gerrard welcomed wingers Brendan Barker, Jordan Jones and Jake Hastie as well as Kent to the club in the summer window. Hastie, who joined from Motherwell, has now been put on loan at League One Rotherham where he might get some game time.

So, Allen was immersed in the wheelings and dealings – and then suddenly, NOTHING.

The official script was he was leaving the club for “family reasons”.

One day, he is ushering in the second-biggest arrival in the club’s history – let’s not bother about liquidation and so on at this point, please – and the next he was accepting his P45 and heading for the exit? That doesn’t sound right, does it?

There had been rumblings in the background about the Ibrox hierarchy not being satisfied about the lack of action regarding getting rid of some of the deadwood among the squad.

Allen, of course, had been tasked with revamping the entire scouting network and was clearly given a free reign as he swept through the club that had brought in some fairly weird and not-so-wonderful signings during the reigns of Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha. Joey Barton? Jordan Rossiter? Niko Krancjar? Joe Dodoo? Carlos Pena? Walter Montoya? Eduardo Herrera? Fabio Cardoso?

Where was Uncle Tom Cobley when the English and Portuguese supremos were put in charge of the chequebook?

HOLD ME…Jordan Rossiter and Ryan Kent, two of the purchases during Mark Allen’s reign.

Allen set about the job with a fair bit of verve and gusto and a revolving door at Ibrox could have been installed as players came and went at breakneck pace.

The jury is out on Kent, of course, but the Welshman was in the building when the likes of Eros Grezda, Umar Sadiq, Kyle Lafferty, Aaron Nemane, as well as the aforementioned and expensive Helander, were brought to Govan.

Allen, of course, also played a role in taking Gerrard to the club from his academy role at Liverpool.

However, there has now been a mysterious parting of the ways with the usual official statements that never actually tell you anything.

Asked if he will now be involved in the process of naming a successor, Gerrard answered: “Probably.”

Seems like a lot of grey areas involved in the waygoing of Mark Allen.

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About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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