Pedro Caixinha sacking: ‘Institutional failure’, admits Alastair Johnston

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Tasha Fuiaba, a US mariner who had been sailing for five months on a damaged sailboat, climbing on board the USS Ashland in the Pacific Ocean, 25 October 2017
Striker Kenny Miller had fallen out of favour with Pedro Caixinha in recent weeks

Rangers director Alastair Johnston described the events that led to Pedro Caixinha’s sacking as “institutional failure” and a “systemic problem”.

The Ibrox board removed the manager from his post only seven months and 26 games into his tenure following Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.

Stories of unrest in the Rangers squad had emerged this season.

“I think the events of the last couple of weeks demonstrated institutional failure, if you will,” said Johnston.

“It was a systemic problem and not just one we thought could be corrected easily with the current personnel.

“You can’t not be disappointed after losing a manger after seven months but the board had to reach a decision which was in the best interests of the club in the long run. If a decision was going to be made, it was better sooner rather than later.”

Portuguese Caixinha fell out with the club’s veteran striker Kenny Miller over dressing room “leaks” and reportedly told skipper Lee Wallace, Miller and injured players to stay away from Ibrox for Wednesday’s game.

At the same time, Rangers lost ground to Celtic in the Premiership, falling to fourth in the table after Kilmarnock’s injury-time equaliser and lost the League Cup semi-final to Motherwell on Sunday.

Johnston, who is based in the United States, took part in a board teleconference on Thursday morning where the decision was made to relieve the Portuguese coach of his duties and appoint under-20s boss Graeme Murty in a caretaker role for the second time this year.

Murty’s first match will be against Hearts at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Johnston, who returned to an Ibrox boardroom role in June after a six-year absence, said of the decision to sack Caixinha: “I don’t think it was a fait accompli.

“There was a lot of sharing of opinions and viewpoints and lots of questions asked and answered. It wasn’t a quick three-minute call.

“But the decision was obviously something that was under consideration for a while; we are not deaf and blind.”

Highs and lows from Caixinha’s time as Rangers boss

Johnston acknowledged there will be a cost to pay off the current coaching team and employ replacements but believes Caixinha has left a squad which needs only minor alterations.

He said: “There are financial implications but in the circumstances they had to be seconded, if you will, to the best interests of the club.

“My own view is that we have a better squad than people think and perhaps a new management team will get more out of them.

“A lot of Rangers fans thought the players we brought in during the summer were actually positive.

Last six Rangers managers
Manager Games Won Drawn Lost Trophies
Pedro Caixinha (March 2017 – Oct 2018) 26 14 5 7 0
Mark Warburton (June 2015 – Feb 2017) 82 54 15 13 2
Ally McCoist (June 2011 – Dec 2014) 167 121 22 24 2
Walter Smith (Jan 2007 – May 2011) 246 155 53 38 8
Paul le Guen (May 2006 – Jan 2007) 31 16 8 7 0
Alex McLeish (Dec 2001 – May 2006) 235 155 44 36 7

“I don’t think we have seen the best of them and I would like to think that the new management team will be able to get more out of them.

“In many ways that’s what Celtic did when they brought in Brendan Rodgers.”

Johnston confirmed that Mark Allen, appointed director of football in the summer, will be heavily involved in appointing the new boss.

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