Rangers chairman Dave King
Rangers chairman Dave King has told the Daily Mail that former manager Mark Warburton pleaded with him to sign defender Philippe Senderos and midfielder Joey Barton.
Warburton guided the Gers to promotion from the Scottish Championship last season, and after beating Celtic in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup, fans were optimistic that a bright season in the top flight was on the horizon.
Warburton set about adding to his squad, and whilst young players such as Matt Crooks, Josh Windass, Joe Dodoo and Jordan Rossiter all arrived, Rangers did also bring in some bigger-name players with greater experience.
Not only did Niko Kranjcar arrive, but Rangers also snapped up defender Philippe Senderos and midfielder Joey Barton, all big name players with vast Premier League experience.
Defender Senderos, formerly of Arsenal, Everton, Fulham and Aston Villa as well as AC Milan and Valencia, joined on a free transfer having left Grasshoppers last summer, whilst Barton left Burnley for Ibrox after the Clarets' promotion to the Premier League.
Seen as two players who could bring veteran leadership to the Rangers side, the two players have proven to be disastrous signings for the club.
Senderos has played just four times for Rangers and was sent off on his debut against Celtic in September, whilst Barton was infamously suspended by the club after just eight games and released from his contract back in November.
Now, Rangers chairman Dave King has told the Daily Mail that Warburton – who left Ibrox last month – begged him to sign both players, with King believing that Warburton wasn't strong eough to manage the pair.
“The decision with Joey was one made in the full knowledge of the risks,” said King. “In my view, he could have been a great signing. I watched him play for Burnley against Liverpool. He played the whole game and still looks like a decent player. But if you are going to have big signings with big personalities, you have to have the ability to manage the big signings with the big personalities. Don’t ask people’s advice and, if you get it, get shirty about it. That was a decision the manager had to make. It didn’t work out.”
“It was an expensive exercise but we made a decision to back the manager with all of the risk. He said: “Please, I need you to back me on this one. This guy will make a big, big, difference.” It was the same with the (Philippe) Senderos signing. It wasn’t part of the budget but Mark really appealed and said: “Please, please, please, I want Senderos as well.” We backed him,” he added.
Who do you think Rangers should have signed instead of Barton and Senderos?