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Former Celtic boss John Barnes backs Steven Gerrard for Rangers job with a warning note

By Adam McKendry

Former Celtic boss John Barnes believes his fellow Liverpool legend should take the Rangers job on offer to him.

But Barnes has warned Gerrard that, if he becomes Rangers manager, players won’t agree to move to Ibrox just because of his reputation.

Gerrard is on the verge of succeeding Graeme Murty as Gers boss after revealing that he and the club had met for “positive talks” earlier this week.

Those talks are expected to resume, possibly as early as today, as both parties aim to work out a deal that would see Gerrard take over.

However, Barnes has issued a warning to the former Anfield midfield hero, claiming that reputation alone won’t convince players that a move to Ibrox would be the best option.

Another former Liverpool great, Barnes endured a disastrous spell in charge of Celtic in 1999 as an inexperienced manager and was sacked after just a brief spell in charge at Parkhead.

And, although he thinks Gerrard should take the Rangers role, Barnes doesn’t expect it to be an easy ride for him.

“The whole idea of players going to Rangers just because Steven Gerrard is there, that doesn’t happen anywhere in football anymore,” Barnes claimed.

“It’s more to do with if you have money to pay, then the better players will come.

“I think Rangers being in the top division for three or four years, to get that money and to possibly get into the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League, then the money can be there in the, hopefully for them, not too distant future.

“But at this exact moment in time they’re just not able to compete financially so fans shouldn’t expect Rangers to compete on the pitch with Celtic over a season.”

Barnes also believes that the task at hand for Gerrard is a substantial one, and thinks Rangers fans shouldn’t start putting unrealistic expectations on him for the upcoming season.

“I think it will be a good move for Steven. If he wants to manage, I think he can be very good and Gary McAllister being there will also help,” Barnes continued.

“But I think the Rangers fans would have to really temper their expectations in terms of Steven Gerrard coming and if they don’t challenge Celtic straight away then it’s a failure.

“He will know the challenge. He’s not going to go there and be naive enough to think all of a sudden, ‘I’m going to turn it around.”

Meanwhile Rangers have announced that directors Paul Murray and Barry Scott have resigned for the Ibrox board.

Former Deutsche Bank accountant Murray was previously a board member during Sir David Murray’s reign as Ibrox chairman before the club’s 2012 liquidation crisis.

But he returned as a director of the Rangers International Football Club PLC when Dave King’s consortium wrestled power back from the then Mike Ashley-backed regime in charge three years later.

Hong Kong businessman Scott only joined the board last December having been part of a group who invested £6.5million in loans to the club.

Their resignations come just days after it was reported that chairman King had breached takeover rules after failing to follow through with an order to make an offer for the remainder of the club’s shares.

Gers said in a statement: “Rangers International Football Club PLC notify the resignation of two directors, Mr Paul Murray and Mr Barry Scott.

“Paul has been a director since March 2015 and played an important role at that time in helping oust the previous board and restore the club to the hands of those who have its best interests at heart.

“Paul has served with distinction as a director since that time and all at Rangers are very grateful for his efforts. We look forward to welcoming him again as a supporter.

“Barry joined the board more recently and his enthusiasm and drive were welcome.

“The board knows it will continue to enjoy his support and appreciates the commitment he has shown to the club.”

Graeme Murty was sacked as Light Blues boss on Tuesday just 48 hours after seeing his side suffer a record 5-0 league defeat to Celtic following a 4-0 Scottish Cup sem-final loss. 

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