Rangers have issued a statement confirming the sacking of manager Graeme Murty after Sunday's humiliating 5-0 defeat to Celtic but implied that he could return to the club as development coach with the academy. The statement read: "Graeme Murty has this morning been relieved of his duties as manager of Rangers.

"Jimmy Nicholl and Jonatan Johansson will take charge of the team for the three remaining matches of the season.

"Rangers are grateful to Graeme, who did not hesitate when asked last October to become interim manager after the departure of Pedro Caixinha and then, at the turn of the year, when he was offered the role as manager until the end of the season.

"Graeme has had to contend with difficult and challenging circumstances but conducted himself in a thoroughly professional manner. He will take some time to consider his options, which include returning to his role at the Rangers Academy.

"Jimmy Nicholl and Jonatan Johansson have already started preparing the team for the match against Kilmarnock on Saturday and they will be in place for the two remaining fixtures, against Aberdeen and Hibernian.

"The club hopes to be in a position to comment further on the managerial situation in the near future."

It is somewhat ironic that Rangers would, given the comments from chairman Dave King in the run-up to the cup and league games against Celtic, praise Murty for contending with 'difficult and challenging circumstances' and conducting' himself in a thoroughly professional manner' unlike the club's chairman.

Then there is the surprising revelation that the option of Murty returning to his role with the Rangers Academy is on the table - given how badly he has been treated by the club and players alike.