Derek McInnes, Rangers’ first choice successor to sacked Pedro Caixinha, took just two days to reject overtures to become the new manager of the beleaguered Ibrox side.
The former Rangers player had been interested in talking to the club, but after speaking to Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne – who had rejected Rangers’ official approach – McInnes declared that he was happy to stay at Pittodrie.
McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty were both missing from training over the two day period.
Speaking to the official Aberdeen website, McInnes declared: “I’ve had a lot to consider over the last couple of days and I appreciate it’s been a testing time for everyone, including my family, and I’m pleased to be now totally focusing on purely on-the-field matters.”
Club chairman Stewart Milne, added: “As everyone is aware, Rangers made an approach on Tuesday evening and they were refused permission to speak with Derek.
“I spoke with Derek, who felt it was a major thing to be considered for the managerial position at a club such as Rangers and we agreed he could have some time to think about the approach and talk it through with his family.
“Over the past 48 hours, I have been in constant dialogue with Derek and having weighed up the opportunity, he has taken the decision to remain as Aberdeen FC manager. Derek has also been maintaining close contact with Paul Sheerin.
“Derek appreciates all that he has at this club and feels he wants to keep driving the club forward. This is where he wants to be and he feels he very much has unfinished business with Aberdeen FC.
“I personally am delighted that Derek has decided to remain with the club and everyone looks forward to putting the speculation of the past few weeks behind us and concentrating on matters on the park starting at Dens tomorrow evening.”
McInnes, who is under contract until 2020, has led the Dons to three successive runners up spots in the Premiership, as well as lifting the 2014 Scottish League Cup.
It had looked as if McInnes would leave in the summer for Sunderland, but after holding talks with the English championship club, McInnes rejected the move and remained in Scotland.
Murty to remain in charge until next year
Rangers have now been without a manager for six weeks and after the club’s embarrassing failure to secure the services of McInnes – despite a plethora of ex-Rangers players and pundits being rolled out to laud his credentials – the club have had to admit that Under-20 boss Graeme Murty will continue as interim boss until next year.
In a statement published in the wake of McInnes snubbing his former employers, Rangers said: “There has been a great deal of media speculation regarding the appointment of a new manager. We assure all supporters that they will be the first to know when we are certain we have someone with the correct qualities required by our club.
“The Chairman made it clear at the AGM that the club did not consider there to be an outstanding candidate among those who had applied for the position and the club was therefore considering managers currently under contract. This requires permission from their present clubs.
“The position of Rangers manager requires an ability to win football matches and the mentality to cope with the demanding off-pitch environment that goes with being the Rangers manager. This is a critical aspect of our assessment of any candidate during the interview process.
“After the two games against Aberdeen, we requested permission to engage with their manager to assess his readiness and willingness to consider the Rangers position. This was declined. We were subsequently made aware by Aberdeen’s statement that, at this stage in his career, it would be best for him to remain in his current post. We endorse that position because moving to a massive club like Rangers is a big step with concomitant risk. We continue to consider candidates but will only appoint someone in whom we have full confidence and who feels he is ready for the job.
“In the meantime, we have great confidence in Graeme Murty, who will continue as interim manager at least until the end of the year. The manner in which he has approached this task is a credit to himself and the club.”
The pathetic nature of the statement and the implication that the club was too big for McInnes, seems to have already vindicated the 46-year-old’s decision to remain in the North East.
Without an independent fan group to hold the current board accountable for their farcical handling of the managerial hunt, the anger among ordinary Rangers fans will increasingly grow to cataclysmic proportions all the while Dave King is safely tucked up in South Africa away from the wrath of the club’s supporters and the scrutiny of those in the media who have not taken their 30 pieces of silver from the Ibrox side and its PR arm.