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CEO Bisgrove’s ominous Champions League warning to Micky Beale

Straight after he watched his side lose their SPFL opener away to Kilmarnock James Bisgrove issued a curiously timed warning to Micky Beale.

Despite the club’s on going losses the Ibrox money-men provided their manager with £15m to build his dream team over the summer. With no Sporting Director the signings were all made by Beale which cuts out one excuse that Giovanni van Bronckhorst had last season.

Everything was done for the manager, all that he was required to do was match the achievement of the flop he had replaced last November and deliver Champions League football to deliver another pot of UEFA gold.

Asked about reaching the Champions League Bisgrove told the Daily Record:

Of course it’s important that Rangers strive to be at the top table in European football. I’m sure Michael and the team will be doing everything possible to navigate the Q3 round and, if that goes well, the play-off.

I don’t think whether we’re in the Champions League or the Europa League group stage will have a material impact in terms of what we’re doing with the squad as we’re pretty much there now in terms of building a squad that we think can compete in the Champions League.

Of course it’s not easy. We’ve got the test now against Servette and then you look at the potential teams we could play in the playoff. They are really difficult ties.

But we hope that we’ve assembled a squad that Michael can be really competitive with in terms of getting to that group stage.

Bisgrove will find out that there is about £15m less in his budget when he gets his payments through from UEFA this season although that can be made up by a run deep into the competition just like van Bronckhorst achieved two seasons ago.

After handing over £15m to the manager for nine new signings there was a feeling of Deja Vu about last night’s team sheet.

Jack Butland replaced Allan McGregor in goals, Jose Cifuentes was in midfield replacing Ryan Jack with Cyriel Dessers filling the shorts of Alfredo Morelos. Kieran Dowell is injured but the other five signings were on the bench watching last season’s losers.

The defence has had one change in five years, James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and Borna Barisic are known quantities, when the pressure is on they wilt. Beale opted to stick with them while he rebuilt his midfield and forward line.

The former QPR boss is bound to be looking for more players after last night’s defeat but that conversation isn’t likely to be welcomed by his recently appointed CEO.

If the manager wants £6m to spend on defenders perhaps he should have taken a second look into the eyes of Danilo before committing himself to signing the striker from Feyenoord.

Beale has been well backed but came up short, he knows what happened to van Bronckhorst as he was pushing himself into the spotlight when the Dutchman was under pressure.

Neither Bisgrove or Chairman John Bennett were in their current roles when Beale was appointed, if the pressure turns on the boardroom they have an easy scapegoat with the current manager told to look out the gardening gloves after failing to deliver outside the shadow of Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllisterr.

NB After giving Ianis Hagi away to Alaves Beale is still holding out on Leeds bidding £5.5m for Glen Kamara who hasn’t played any football since the June internationals. Barisic, Kemar Roofe and John Lundstram are all out of contract in nine months time.

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