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Rangers need £50m cash boost, insists Henderson


By Ronnie Esplin

Rangers legend Willie Henderson claims £50million is required for new players if the Ibrox club is to compete with Celtic.

The Light Blues were dismissed with ease in Sunday's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park by the Hoops, whose 2-0 win was no reflection of their superiority in a season where they have not lost in five Old Firm meetings.

The Parkhead club secured their sixth Ladbrokes Premiership title earlier in the month and are gunning for the treble in their first season with Carnlough native Brendan Rodgers as boss.

Henderson, star of the Ibrox club in the 1960s and early 1970s, was speaking at Hampden Park where he was helping launch this year's nominations for the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.

The former Scotland player was scathing of Rangers' efforts on Sunday and said: "The fans at least expect an enormous effort from players wearing the blue jersey.

"They accept that Celtic are a better team just now but they shouldn't be a better team with effort and that was disappointing for the fans who have put up with a lot for a long time.

"If Rangers are going to compete with Celtic, there has to be a huge investment in this club to purchase players who are going to be of a standard who can play for Glasgow Rangers and compete with Celtic - £50million, solely for players.

"It might be an idea for another investor, if there is another investor who could be brought into the club who is interested in putting money into football. It is certainly needed.

"If it is going to take someone else to be added to what is already at Rangers, prepared to invest the money in the club, then maybe it is time that the board sit round the table and discuss it with other people.

"You are going to have the same situation that you have just now if they don't do that."

Henderson believes it is over half a century since there was such a gulf between the clubs.

Ahead of the last league meeting of the season at Ibrox on Saturday, he said: "We played Celtic on the Saturday (1963 Scottish Cup final) and drew and on the Wednesday we beat Celtic 3-0 in the replay, in front of a quarter of a million people in total.

"At that stage there was a huge gulf between Celtic and Rangers.

"We were far in front but then along came the genius Jock Stein. The gulf today is the same as before Jock Stein came.

"We were always very confident of beating Celtic."

Henderson believes that any manager, not only the recently appointed Portuguese coach Pedro Caixinha, would struggle with the Ibrox squad, of whom he would keep only "three or four" for next season.

He said: "I am afraid some of them are not that good."

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