Rangers: Michael Beale sacked as manager; Steven Davis takes interim charge

Michael Beale has been sacked as Rangers manager after Saturday’s home defeat by Aberdeen left them seven points behind Celtic after seven games of the Scottish Premiership season.

It was the Ibrox side’s third Scottish Premiership loss of the campaign and comes after a heavy Champions League play-off defeat by PSV Eindhoven.

The club said results had “fallen short of what everyone connected to Rangers would expect”.

Former midfielder Steven Davis has taken interim charge, supported by Alex Rae, and coaches Steven Smith, Brian Gilmour and Colin Stewart, with Rangers expected to take their time in identifying a permanent successor.

Beale, 43, left Queens Park Rangers in November to replace Giovanni van Bronckhorst and started with 13 wins out of 14 games but ultimately ended last season without a trophy.

Although his side won their opening Europa League group-stage game against Real Betis, and have reached the semi-final of the Viaplay Cup, league defeats by Kilmarnock, Celtic and Aberdeen have proved costly.

“Results this season have fallen short of what everyone connected to Rangers would expect,” read a club statement.

“Therefore, the decision was reached today to terminate the contract of the manager, as well as the contracts of coaches Neil Banfield, Damian Matthew, Harry Watling and Jack Ade.

“The Rangers board would like to put on record their thanks to Michael and his staff for their efforts since joining the club last November.”

‘Horrible result’ marks end of tenure

When asked about his future after the 3-1 defeat by Aberdeen at Ibrox, Beale conceded to BBC Scotland that the “horrible result” had mounted further pressure on his shoulders.

Asked if he had any indication whether his job was safe or not, he added “I haven’t spoken to anyone right now” before concluding with “we’ll see what happens”.

“Everyone realises where we are, the standard and results need to be better,” the Englishman continued. “We can’t hide behind the fact that we won four games because today wasn’t good enough.”

Beale – whose recruitment has also be heavily criticised – vowed “to make it up to” a disgruntled fanbase, but he will now not get that chance.

Instead, Davis and Rae will take the team to Cyprus for Thursday’s Europa League group game with Aris Limassol and will likely remain in charge for the trip to face unbeaten St Mirren on Sunday.

Speaking earlier in the day, former Rangers striker Kenny Miller said he expected Beale to be in charge for those matches but acknowledged that “a lot of fans need to be turned”.

“It’s a long way back, even at this stage,” he told Sportsound. “There are questions to be answered and it is the job of the board to analyse without emotion, to make calm, sensible decisions that are right for the future of the club.”

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