0:46 Rangers chairman Dave King tells Sky Sports News why he is stepping down in the new year
King acknowledges Rangers are yet to profit financially from success on the pitch, and while he has promised Alfredo Morelos will not be sold in January, eventually the club will need to cash in. The inspired decision to hire Steven Gerrard has paid off, but until silverware is delivered and the books are balanced Rangers will continue to operate in Celtic’s shadow.
In many ways Rangers are healthier than five years ago. The football infrastructure at Ibrox was broken when King arrived; the scouting department and youth academy have been revitalised, the first team is stronger and the training ground has been upgraded. The matchday experience at Ibrox has been improved for supporters, with ambitious plans in place for the club’s 150th anniversary in 2022. On the surface, King has improved Rangers’ fortunes.
Yet why, in the middle of potentially the club’s best season in years, is he stepping aside now? His courtroom wrangles with the Takeover Panel and Mike Ashley still hang over him, though he denies their influence in his decision.
His desire to spend more time with his family and look after his South African affairs is understandable, but the silent facts may be that the emotional, physical and financial toil of running Rangers is now too much of a burden.
The man who once promised to spend “his children’s inheritance” on Rangers will remain a significant shareholder, though a fresh share issue in January is intended to attract new investors. Who they are, and what they bring to the club, will be intriguing.