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McInnes snub is an embarrassment for 'clueless' Rangers chiefs: Ferguson


By Andy Newport

Former Rangers midfielder Derek Ferguson has claimed a failed approach for Derek McInnes is embarrassing for "clueless" Ibrox directors.

Rangers waited almost six weeks after sacking Pedro Caixinha to make a move for their No.1 target, but McInnes has opted to stay at Aberdeen following two days of talks with his chairman Stewart Milne.

There was no secret who Rangers chairman Dave King and his fellow board members wanted and they are now back at square one with Graeme Murty set for a seventh game as caretaker boss when Ross County visit Ibrox tomorrow.

Ferguson, who played for Rangers between 1983 and 1990, said: "I think it is a bit embarrassing. A club of the stature and the size of Rangers Football Club, to be six weeks without a manager, it's not good enough. And the reason I'm saying that is because, being a player, at times players look for excuses. And they've got the biggest excuse of all, that they have not got a manager there to answer to.

"The directors just look clueless at the moment. There's been no clarity. We heard at the AGM that Mr King said they were looking at certain people in employment. Well, it's not worked out and it's not good enough. Is he going to take another six weeks? It's scandalous."

Ferguson felt McInnes would have had serious reservations over how much control he would have outside of first-team affairs at Ibrox, and over a potential working relationship with director of football Mark Allen.

But he added: "I thought emotion would have played a part, looking at Derek being a Rangers supporter and playing for the club as well. I thought that would have played a huge part in it.

"I'm absolutely stunned because I thought it was a gimme as soon as Rangers were pursuing him. When Derek wasn't at training, I thought there was only going to be one outcome."

McInnes, meanwhile, has vowed to put the saga behind him and focus his efforts on Aberdeen.

Having left preparation for tonight's trip to Dundee in the hands of youth team boss Paul Sheerin and coach Barry Robson over the past 48 hours, McInnes says he is now ready to get back down to business with the Dons.

Confirming he would not be rejoining the club he supported and later played for, McInnes said: "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 purely on on-the-field matters."

It took Rangers chairman King 40 days to make his move but, with last week's double-header against Aberdeen out of the way, the Glasgow giants finally swooped.

Rangers won both games and it appeared McInnes was edging towards the Pittodrie exit when he failed to lead his team out for training on both Wednesday and yesterday.

But, in a shock turn of events, it was confirmed shortly before 6pm yesterday that Rangers had failed to prise him away from the Granite City.

The Dons announced on their website: "Following weeks of speculation, Aberdeen Football Club can confirm that the management team of Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty will be remaining at Pittodrie."

It is the second time in six months that McInnes has opted against leaving Pittodrie after he also turned down Sunderland before signing a new three-year contract.

Dons chief Milne said last month that he was increasingly confident McInnes was going nowhere as Rangers' interest intensified.

But while he refused Ibrox chiefs permission to open talks with his boss, he revealed he did give McInnes time to think over his future.

Milne said: "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 that 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 manager.

"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.

"I personally am delighted that Derek has decided to remain with the club.

"Everyone is looking forward to putting the speculation of the past few weeks behind us and concentrating on matters on the park starting at Dens tomorrow evening."

Belfast Telegraph

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