Rangers' first Scottish Premiership match under Mick Beale will be on December 15 at home to Hibernian, live on Sky Sports Football; Ibrox side are nine points behind Celtic in the league after 15 matches
Saturday 3 December 2022 14:10, UK
Rangers have appointed Mick Beale as their new manager on a deal until 2026.
The 42-year-old arrived at the club's training ground on Monday to complete his move from QPR, where he took charge less than six months ago, and replaces Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who was sacked last week.
Beale - who has maintained good relations with Rangers since his departure as coach last November - will be joined by coaches Damian Matthew, Harry Watling and Neil Banfield, with further appointments expected.
He said: "It is fantastic to be back and to see everybody this morning, there are some new faces but some people that I know really well so it is great to see everyone.
"I am hugely proud, it is a wonderful, wonderful football club, it is an institution.
"For everyone that works here it is a huge privilege, but to be the manager of this football club, that is extremely special.
"Some wonderful people have sat in this chair prior to me, and I am hugely proud to be the person sat here now."
Sporting director Ross Wilson, added: "I am pleased to welcome Michael back to Rangers. I know how excited he is about everything that comes with the prestige of being Rangers manager.
"Equally our players and staff at both the training ground and at Ibrox are looking forward to working with Michael. He has a clear plan and will get to work with the group straight away along with the technical and support staff.
"Finally, this is a coveted managerial position and after an intense week of discussions, I wish to extend our sincere thanks to all of the excellent managers who we met to discuss the role."
Rangers chairman, Douglas Park, said: "I am delighted to welcome Michael as our new manager as we aim to strengthen our on-field performance.
"Michael is a very exciting appointment for us, and his energy and ambition stood out both when he was here previously, and in the discussions we have had prior to him re-joining.
"The board will support both Michael and Ross Wilson to make this appointment a success, and I wish him the very best going forward."
In 2002 Beale joined Chelsea's academy as a coach and spent 10 years at the club before moving to Liverpool where he would go on to work with the U23s.
At the age of 36 he was appointed Sao Paulo assistant manager, only to resign from the role just seven months later and return to Anfield.
Beale then spent three years at Rangers as part of Steven Gerrard's backroom team, helping the club win their 55th top-flight title in 2021 before moving with Gerrard to Aston Villa.
In June, 20 years after his coaching journey started, Beale sealed his first head coach role at QPR and took the club to the top of the Championship in October.
That form led to an approach from Wolves as they searched for a new manager but Beale turned it down, citing "integrity and loyalty" as the reason.
Beale has spoken about his desire of managing in the Premier League one day, so it might seem strange he turned down Wolves in October, only to leave QPR for Rangers a few weeks later.
However, what can't be underestimated is his love for the club and Scotland following that first stint in Glasgow.
After more than a year away, he has still maintained good relations with key figures at the club including Gers sporting director Ross Wilson and even attended a match against Aberdeen last month.
While he won just one league title alongside Gerrard, the expectation of delivering more silverware was not lost on him.
Over 50,000 fans will fill Ibrox on a weekly basis - something not every club can boast - and the pressure to deliver for those supporters is what he thrives on.
The lure of Champions League football is another huge incentive. Rangers suffered an awful campaign under Van Bronckhorst this season - losing every game - but he will be confident of building a squad that can battle against Europe's elite next year.
Off the field, it is understood his family struggled to settle in the West Midlands, following his move from Glasgow, and a return to familiar surroundings was also appealing.
Rangers suffered a tough start to the 2022/23 season under Van Bronckhorst.
A host of poor results - which led to his dismissal - mean the team are nine points behind leaders Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.
The team also endured a sobering Champions League campaign which saw Rangers lose all six group-stage matches, a run which included a 7-1 hammering by Liverpool at home.
The players returned to training on Monday, following a two-week break for the World Cup, and met Beale as they look to the future.
Rangers' first Scottish Premiership game under their new boss will be on December 15 against Hibernian at Ibrox, with an Old Firm just two weeks later, both live on Sky Sports.
A Scottish League Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden Park is also on the horizon, with the defence of the Scottish Cup thereafter.
Speaking to Sky Sports, former Rangers striker Kris Boyd said:
"This is a fantastic opportunity for Mick Beale to manage a massive institution and a club that is recognised all over the world.
"That responsibility brings huge pressure. He will need to front up to everything and keep his cool when that pressure builds from the stands and on social media.
"Beale's relationship with the club and fans will help but while he has credit in the bank, that only goes so far - Giovanni van Bronckhorst's sacking proves that.
"Just months after that run to the Europa League final and winning the Scottish Cup, he was sacked. That in itself highlights the pressure and demands of Rangers.
"There is no doubt Beale is a top coach - some players have described him as the best they've worked under.
"You don't work at the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Aston Villa and Sao Paulo if you're not highly regarded but there's a huge difference from being a coach to boss of Rangers.
"People will ask if he's ready for such a job after a brief spell at QPR. It is a gamble but those in charge at Ibrox believe he is the right man to take the club forward."
December 15: Hibernian (h), Scottish Premiership, kick off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
December 20: Aberdeen (a), Scottish Premiership, kick off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
December 23: Ross County (a), Scottish Premiership, kick off 7.30pm, live on Sky Sports
December 28: Motherwell (h), Scottish Premiership, kick off 7.45pm
January 2: Celtic (h), Scottish Premiership, kick off 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports
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