Rangers: Scottish and Sustainable

We've won the title at the first time of asking
We’ve won the title at the first time of asking

After guiding Glasgow Rangers back to the Scottish Premiership, we’ve secured the league title at the first time of asking. As you can see from the picture above, it wasn’t easy and it took a last day of the season victory by a higher goals margin than Celtic’s win to bring it back to Ibrox. The point of my posts though aren’t to give you a complete run down of the results or to outline the transfers I’ve brought into the club, I’ve got plans for this club, big plans.

In my previous post, I ran through playing the ‘Rangers’ way with a young and experience squad including ‘Rangers’ men. I also introduced a couple of other philosophies I wanted to bring to the club, ‘Scottishness’ and sustainability.

Scottishness

I want Rangers to be a hotbed of Scottish talent, and be constantly supplying the national team with players to lead them to the World Cup and European Championships. Two ways I’ll go about this, is purchasing the brightest prospects once they have been identified and producing my own young talent through the Rangers youth setup.

These three players were purchased from fellow Scottish clubs, and are all part of the Scotland national teams (Senior and u21) now:

  • Ryan Gauld is probably the brightest Scottish prospect out there. In order to secure his signature, I splashed out my highest transfer fee to date (£2.5m) on the clubs return to the Premiership. An effective, if unremarkable first season with the club, scoring 4 and laying on 7 assists, saw him make his full international debut. I still haven’t settled on his best position, but he will probably be the long term successor to Nicky Law’s behind the striker role and I’m currently working on improving his finishing in order to make him more of a goal threat.
  • Jordan McGhee was one of my first signings upon my arrival at the club. He’s had to patiently wait for more chances in the first team as my first choice pairing is Chris Hegarty and future club captain, Ross Perry. He’s only made 32 starts over his 3 full seasons at the club so far, but these performances have seen him made his full debut for the national team.
  • Rahan Ali hasn’t yet made a huge impact on the first team, but has scored 3 goals in his 8 fleeting appearances over his 2 full seasons. He has recently made the step up to the Scotland under 21 squad, and has scored 4 goals in his 4 appearances so far. I’d rather he stayed around the peripherals of the first team and developed at the club, than go out on loan.

The brightest products of the Rangers youth system so far include:

  • Carlo Forsyth – Carlo was part of the most recent youth intake and he’s got a big future at the club. He’s got some really promising mental attributes for a 16 year old, he’ll slot nicely into my midfield when the time comes.
  • Daryl Campbell – part of the 2014 youth intake, Daryl has progressed at an unbelievable level and at just 18, he’s now into his second season of being in and around the first team squad. He will eventually dislodge club captain, Lee Wallace, from the first team, but for now he will have to make do with bit-part appearances.

Sustainability

I have two understandings of sustainability in Football Manager; either producing youngsters at the club and selling them on for a profit, or purchasing players for free or next to nothing that you believe you can sell on in the future for a profit. As I’ve outlined already, I will be looking to produce players through the youth system at the club, but I won’t be looking to sell them on unless the bid is too good to refuse. I want to keep a core of ‘Rangers’ and Scottish talent at the club so it will take a lot for me to sell my youngsters.

So I will be bringing sustainability to Rangers by sourcing players cheaply, and selling them on at a higher price. I have already begun to do this in my early seasons with the club. Patrick Bamford and Pajtim Kasami were purchased for a combined total of £82k, both featured a reasonable amount in the first team in their time at the club, and were then sold on for a combined total of £1.8m. Not a huge profit, but it’s a good start. Both players were bought specifically to be sold on at a later date, and there are players at the club currently who also fall under this category.

The current season is a big one for the club, having to compete both in domestic and continental competition. I’m not entirely sure that the squad is ready to compete in the Champions League yet, but we’ll give it our best shot. Our appearance alongside Europe’s elite will certainly be a boost to the finances, as well as a boost to the reputation of the club.

These ideas won’t be alien to even the most amateur of FM players but if you’ve got any thoughts or ideas on how to improve upon my chosen philosophy at Rangers, just leave a comment or contact me on Twitter @FM_Samo

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