Derek McInnes is among the early front runners as the search for a third Rangers manager this year gets under way after Pedro Caixinha’s seven-month Ibrox reign was brought to an end yesterday.
The Portuguese has paid the price for his club’s poor start to the campaign after being told his 229-day spell in charge was finished.
While Caixinha was at the training ground yesterday, Light Blues chairman Dave King convened an emergency board meeting where it was agreed a change was required. When asked if he was still manager as he left the Rangers training ground, Caixinha said: “Of course I am”. But soon after he was summoned to Ibrox to be told he was being dismissed.
Rangers issued a board statement confirming the departure and stating poor results based on the substantial investment made had prompted the decision to make a change.
The statement read: “The decision to part company with Pedro was taken after careful consideration and the search for a new manager will begin immediately. Pedro was appointed in March this year but results have been disappointing and not commensurate with the level of investment that was made available.
“The priority is to appoint a new manager as quickly as possible but the board will take as much time as is necessary to secure the right person capable of representing Rangers and providing the brand of football supporters rightly expect.”
Caixinha departs Ibrox with the club fourth in the Premiership, out of the Betfred Cup and out of Europe. Assistant manager Helder Baptista and coaches Pedro Malta and Jose Belman have also left.
Development squad head coach Graeme Murty will take charge on an interim coach, with Aberdeen manager McInnes, former Don and Gers manager Alex McLeish, Billy Davies and current player Kenny Miller the early front- runners for the job. Caixinha’s departure brings to an end a tumultuous spell in charge.
He suffered the worst home defeat to Celtic of any Rangers manager when they lost 5-1 to the Hoops in April and he was in charge as Rangers lost at home to Aberdeen for the first time since September 1991.
He was given £8million by Rangers to bolster his squad in the summer but made a nightmare start to the new campaign when he presided over the worst European result for a Scottish club as his side crashed out of the Europa League following a first-round defeat by Progres Niederkorn, of Luxembourg.
Home defeats by Hibernian and Celtic, and a Betfred Cup semi-final loss to Motherwell at Hampden on Sunday increased the pressure on the 46-year-old and the loss of an injury-time equaliser to Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Wednesday proved the final straw for the Light Blues board.
He leaves without having managed three wins in a row as manager and having won just 14 of his 26 games in charge.
Ibrox contenders, Pages 54, 55