After a ropey start to the season, a 3-1 home defeat to bitter rivals Aberdeen was the final nail in the coffin for Michael Beale’s 10-month tenure at Rangers.
On Sunday, the club announced their decision to part ways with Beale. And thus begins the search for their fourth permanent Rangers manager in two years.
Beale’s time in charge of Rangers was a bitter disappointment. Millions of pounds were spent, and not a single trophy won.
The Gers faithful may be happy to see the back of him. But now their eyes turn to the board of directors, Chairman John Bennett, and CEO James Bisgrove to right their wrongs and hire a manager capable of bringing success to Rangers.
Michael Beale was no stranger to Ibrox when he took his place on the hot seat in November 2022.
He had been a first-team coach for three years during the Steven Gerrard era. When Gerrard moved to Aston Villa, Beale followed.
He returned to Scotland to take on his first managerial position at Championship side Queens Park Rangers in June 2022 before replacing Giovanni van Bronckhorst at Ibrox.
The announcement was met with scepticism from the Rangers fanbase. However, he won his first four games in charge and was named Scottish Premiership Manager of the Month for December.
However, two defeats to Old Firm foe Celtic meant Rangers finished the season trophyless.
The Rangers board backed Beale in the summer of 2023. He was given full financial backing. The combination to the vault, you could say. And boy, did he use it.
Beale brought luxury players and, in doing so, seemed to lose the core group of players needed to succeed in Scottish Football.
Beale signed Cyriel Dessers for £4 million. Danilo for £6 million. And Sam Lammers for £2.5 million. Quality players? Sure. But to say Beale overpaid for them is an understatement.
Beale paid the biggest price when his side kicked off their 2023/24 campaign with an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock – the club’s first opening-day defeat since 1998.
Rangers scraped by Servette in the Champions League qualifying, only to be hammered by PSV Eindhoven 7-3 on aggregate.
The first old firm of the season didn’t go Rangers way either, losing 1-0 at home. The most recently, another home defeat, this time to Aberdeen, sent Beale packing.
Beale’s successor has work to do. The Gers are in financial turmoil again and have nothing to show for it, currently sitting seven points behind Celtic.
The bookies have released their odds and favourites for the next Rangers manager job. Let’s take a look.
Bookies Odds For Next Rangers Manager
Kevin Muscat – 5/2
Odds on favourite as the next Rangers manager
A former Rangers player is the favourite to take on the Ibrox hot seat.
Kevin Muscat appeared 22 times for Rangers in 2002/03 when the side won the domestic treble.
Since then, the Aussie has had a well-traveled managerial career. Muscat won the Australian A-League premiership-championship double in 2015 with Melbourne Victory.
He returned to Europe in 2019 as head coach of Belgian side Sint-Truidense. But in 2021, coincidentally, he succeeded Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama F. Marinos when he departed for Celtic.
Kevin Muscat was a paid thug in his playing day. He was once dubbed the most hated man in football. He had a horrific track record for reckless challenges and off-the-field incidents.
However, he might have an edge and fire that could pull Rangers from the hole they find themselves in.
It’s interesting to see Muscat was previously a bookies’ favourite the last time around, see our previous Rangers Manager odds post.
Pascal Jansen – 4/1
Pascal Jansen was linked with the Celtic job before the Brendan Rodgers appointment. There’s no surprise he is linked to the Ibrox job now.
Jansen doesn’t have an exhaustive CV. But since taking charge of AZ Alkmaar in 2020, he has a 60% win rate.
He has yet to lose a game this season as AZ manager and has the team in second place in the Eredivisie.
The 50-year-old is under contract at AZ until the end of the season; however, he is reportedly keen on opening talks with Rangers.
Derek McInnes – 8/1
Rangers have not had a Scottish-born, permanent manager since Ally McCoist left in 2014. Derek McInnes could change that.
McInnes had a storied playing career that included five years on the Ibrox books, although some of that time was spent out on loan.
The 52-year-old was the long-time Aberdeen manager before leaving in 2021. He then joined Championship team Kilmarnock and took them back to the Premiership.
McInnes famously turned down the Rangers manager job in 2017 during his Aberdeen tenure. It might hurt the Gers ego to offer him the position a second time.
Graham Potter – 10/1
Graham Potter might have the highest stock out of all the bosses on this list. Despite his recent sacking from Chelsea, his name still carries a lot of weight.
He had a poor run as Chelsea manager. He lost 11 of the 31 games he was in charge of and left the club 11th in the league at the time of his dismissal.
Regardless, he has a wealth of experience at a high level.
Potter could see the Rangers’ manager position as an opportunity to showcase himself and get back into contention for a Premier League job.
This is not something Rangers fans will want – but something they may need to accept.
Kjetil Knutsen – 12/1
Kjetil Knutsen is a name that not many will be familiar with, But he has an accomplishment that Rangers fans will be smitten with a 5-1 aggregate win over Celtic.
Knutsen is the current manager of the Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt. He led the club to back-to-back Norwegian Eliteserien titles in 2020 and 2021 and has found great success in European competition.
As mentioned, he hammered Celtic 5-1 in the 2021 UEFA Europa Conference League and thrashed Jose Mourinho’s Roma team 6-1 in the same campaign. Knutsen was also given 12/1 odds for the Celtic job earlier this year. But the 55-year-old is still to coach outside of his home country