Journalism

Rangers boss Mark Warburton: I am well aware of the size of the task… I relish the challenge

London Evening Standard

A year ago, Mark Warburton was preparing Brentford for their first season in the second tier of English football for more than two decades.

Now, he is trying to lead Rangers back into the Scottish Premiership for the first time since 2012, when the record 54-time champions were dumped into the Third Division with Rangers oldco later liquidated.

The difference in the scale of the tasks is huge and Warburton is well aware that little patience will be shown if results do not go his way. In May, after being thrashed 6-1 on aggregate by Motherwell in the Championship play-off, Stuart McCall was sacked — and he was Rangers’ third manager of the campaign.

“The objective this season is very clear: get promotion,” said Warburton, who signed a three-year contract. “Rangers are a huge club and need to be in the top division, fighting for the major titles within the country. Our fans want us to be playing Celtic. That is the weight of expectation, we acknowledge that.

“I want to see us play a brand of football which the supporters are excited by. As I always said at Brentford, I want to make sure that people go home and feel they have had value for money.”

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Latest blog

FIFA reform needs practical ideas not wild, stupid ones

Inside World Football

Any organisation in crisis prompts outlandish ideas on what should be done to reform it. But even then some of the ideas proposed to reform FIFA are so absurd as to make you wonder if those proposing them are really serious or just seeking sound bytes. That FIFA needs reform is a given. But to reform FIFA we need to understand what kind of an organisation it really is.

It is fundamentally a trade organisation whose trade is football. And like many trade organisations it has peculiar rules like the one which says no organisation that belongs to FIFA can take FIFA to court. Clause 3 of Article 64 entitled “Obligations” imposed on the football associations that make up FIFA could not be clearer or more stringent. And its trade, football, also has peculiar rules such as that a club cannot poach a football player, manager, coaching staff, or anyone connected with its on field football activities, from another club without the permission of the club which employs them.

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Welcome to my website which has a flavour of my activities over 30 years as a writer and broadcaster. There are details of my books, articles, broadcasting, public speaking and awards.

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My new book Game Changer is about the rise and rise of the English Premier League.

The Premier League’s rise was a spectacular cocktail of events, few of which were properly anticipated let alone planned for. Game Changer takes us on a mesmerizing journey charting this rise, involving high stakes, multi-billion pound deals, powerful and rich people, and the future of the beautiful game.

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The spirit of the game was first nurtured on the playing fields of the English public school and this Corinthian spirit was then exported around the world. Today, sport is dominated by corruption, money and celebrity. Yet, we still believe and talk about the game as if it had a higher moral purpose. This book tells the story of how sport has lost its original spirit and how it emerged in the 20th century as the most powerful political tool in the world.

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