Michael Beale must earn John Bennett trust again with £25m Rangers jackpot move
Michael Beale has very quickly come under a lot of pressure as Rangers manager, following a disappointing start to the season both domestically and in Europe.
While the defeat to Celtic in the first Old Firm derby of the campaign was the big turning point for several fans, for those above Beale at Ibrox failing to qualify for the Champions League may well have been a much bigger hit.
The 7-3 aggregate defeat at the hands of PSV was not only an embarrassing display for the Light Blues on the pitch, but a costly defeat off of it, with a potential loss of £25million to the club that immediately piled pressure on Beale [The Scottish Daily Mail, 12 August, page 2].
Luckily for the former QPR boss, he has been afforded the time and opportunity to turn his fortunes around and a win over St Johnstone after the internal break will have ensured that he will be the man to lead Rangers into the Europa League for now at least.
With John Bennett and the Rangers board’s finger potentially hovering over the sack button, Beale has to ensure the Light Blues’ Europa League campaign is at least moderately successful to begin to earn back some of the lost jackpot.
The Ibrox boss was backed heavily in the transfer market, making nine new additions to his side having allowed Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos to depart as free agents as well as losing the likes of Fashion Sakala, Ianis Hagi and Glen Kamara.
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Real Betis offer the first test of the Gers’ second foray into Europe this season and a win over the strongest side in the Light Blues’ group would massively increase their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages as on paper, Beale and Manuel Pellegrini’s teams are the favourites to progress.
With each round Rangers progress, the more money they will receive and with every tie a two-legged affair, there will be another massive gate receipt from a sold-out Ibrox crowd that will go some way to helping Bennett and the board move further away from pulling the trigger on the Gers’ boss.
Now that the gap to Celtic already sits at four points, the Hoops have already gained a huge advantage in the race for the Scottish Premiership title. Any further slip-ups will leave Beale on borrowed time so he has to ensure that his side breeze through the Europa League with flying colours.
Anything less than expected will surely see time called on his expensive, yet underwhelming time at Ibrox.