Jul 16, 2009
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Glasgow Rangers FC

Hello fellow FM-basers, I'm creating this guide to help anyone who wants to kick start a career as manager of the proud and successful Scottish side, Rangers. I find it a good challenge because of the financial position of the club, meaning that you generally have to look around for bargains and young players, whilst also trying to challenge successfully in the Champions League.



1a) Recent History
Scottish Football is well known for [generally] being a 2 team league - Rangers and bitter rivals Celtic. Prior to this season, Rangers have won the previous 2 SPL titles due to instability at Celtic, and a fantastic goalscorer in Kris Boyd. Rangers have therefore qualified for the Champions League, and would consider progression from the group stages a major success. They recently made it as far as the Europa League final, but they were beaten by Zenit.

1b) Financial Position
A critical element of playing as Rangers; the club has struggled over the last few years to make ends meet, and crushing debt is having a big effect in transfer dealings. As a result, they were forced to sell key players such as Kris Boyd, Pedro Mendes, DaMarcus Beasley, Kevin Thomson and bright youngster Danny Wilson. Therefore it is clear that the financial policy of Rangers is to consolidate, bring through youth and scramble around for free transfers.

1c) The Club's Board
Having played 7 seasons, I have never once had a problem with the board. Alastair Johnston is a pragmatic and intelligent board leader, and will generally consider most ideas put forward by the manager. Providing you keep to the financial limits laid out by the board, you should see the position improve over a couple of years, and if you qualify for the Champions League group stages, you should receive a cash injection in early November.

1d) Club Objectives
In the first season, it is clear that you will need to push for the title. It is always a challenge with the financial constraints, especially compared to the lavish spending seen on the other side of Glasgow. I recommend you aiming everything you have on winning the SPL in the first season, and see anything else (domestic cups and european progression) as a bonus. If you can guide the team to league glory in the first season, your financial position will be boosted significantly.


2a) The Players
Rangers have a relatively strong squad. I would recommend a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 style, playing direct and aggressive football. I will go more in depth with the tactics in the next section.

1. Allan McGregor (28 years old)
25. Neil Alexander (32 years old)​

No changes need to be made in this section - for the next few years you can see Allan McGregor as a simple choice for number 1. His all round game is good, and he is a fantastic shot stopper. Alexander too is a superb player to have - however I normally let him go at the end of the season, because of his relatively high wages (6k per week). You can let him go straight away, and bring in a cheap replacement such as Scott Fox to free up some wages, if you wish.

Full Backs
16. Steven Whittaker (26 years old)
12. Richard Foster (24 years old)
5. Sasa Papac (30 years old)
4. Kirk Broadfoot (25 years old)​

For the first season at least, there aren't too many problems here. Whittaker and Papac are brilliant at this level, and I find both Foster and Broadfoot to be more than adequate back-ups - Foster in fact can play on either side.
However, I do recommend you letting Papac go at the end of the season because his stats do deteriorate rapidly and I don't think that he's worth 12k a week. If you fancy you can get rid of him in the first window, meaning you can get in a cheap replacement. If that's the case, look for Stephen Crainey - a Gers lad himself, and I found him to be a great acquisition.

3. David Weir (40 years old)
22. Andy Webster (28 years old)
24. Madjid Bougherra (27 years old)​

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a position that needs strengthening - Papac and Broadfoot can both play here as well, but I think that it is neccessary to bring in at least 1 player for this position. You can either wait until January, where you will receive a cash injection, and buy players such as Ryan Bennett or Chris Baird, or you can look around for free transfers to bolster the side straight away. I recommend the following players for this position
Jose Goncalves - 24 years old, Portuguese
Great potential as a first team player, may take a bit of time to settle in but would be a brilliant acquisition. Will accept as little as 5k a week.
Jay DeMerit - 30 years old, American
Will adapt immediately, but is also aging and should only be seen as a shert-term signing. If you offer him Key Player status, and also give the agent a generous bonus, he can sign for 5.5k a week.

Central Midfielders

6. Lee McCulloch (32 years old)
7. Maurice Edu (24 years old)
8. Steven Davis (25 years old)
40. Jamie Ness (19 years old)
41. Kyle Hutton (19 years old)​

A thin midfield if, like me, you decide to play 4-3-3. I managed until January with these 5, but it was definitely a struggle. Lee is coming to the end of his career and I advise looking to get rid of him in January, or the end of the season if you're sentimental. Edu and Davis however, are different class - Davis went for 7m to Aston Villa on my file, and is without doubt the best midfielder in the SPL. Edu is consistent, and still plays for me on my file. Jamie Ness and Kyle Hutton are decent youth prospects, but don't progress too much. Use them as back-up early on, but get rid of them when the time comes.
I waited until January and brought in two absolute gems:
Tomasz Sokolowski - For 700k, you can get this man - he scores some aboslutely brilliant long-range goals, is really consistent, and fits into the team straight away. Speaks a number of languages, and that is only good for team morale.
Maor Buzaglo - 350k, as cheap as you can get. Scores goals, creates in abundance and is a fantastic second choice for Davis, also plays on the wings. BUY THIS MAN, you will not regret it. I made a 12.5m profit on him.

If you feel the need to buy free players for this position straight away, Chris James and Yohan M'Vila will provide decent backup, but no more under these financial constraints.

20. Vladimir Weiss (20 years old)
10. John Fleck (18 years old)
23. Steven Naismith (23 years old)
39. Gregg Wylde (19 years old)​

Again, relatively thread bare, and in fact Naismith is much better as a forward. In my formation, Naismith and Weiss would both play up top next to a poacher, effectively as inside forwards, but if you're playing a 4-4-2 they can act equally well on the flanks.
John Fleck is out for a number of months, and that is a big miss. When he does come back, I play him wide left and he does brilliant things for me, but he can also be brought inside.
VLADIMIR WEISS IS A GOD. He got an incredible amount of assists in that first season for me and he can also play in the centre and prove just as deadly. He is good enough to have a team built around him.
As I played with effectively 3 strikers, I didn't feel the need to bolster this position, but if you play 4-4-2, here are some cheap options:
Gai Assulin
Cheap, and fantastic potential. Only really a back-up at this point though.
Bernard Mendy
Very good back-up, and can play anywhere along the right flank. Be as stingy as possible with the wages - he should come for between 3 and 5k.

18. Nikica Jelavic (24 years old)
19. James Beattie (32 years old)
9. Kenny Miller (30 years old)
11. Kyle Lafferty (22 years old)​

No problems here in my opinion, at least not for the first season. I never got Jelavic to perform, but if you can he is lethal in this league. On the other hand, James Beattie settles in quickly, and a big man-little man strike force between him and Miller is deadly in this league. DO NOT UNDER-ESTIMATE BEATTIE - I know too many people who look to offload him straight away but he is a 20 goal a season player in the first 2 seasons. His experience and presence are enough to worry any defence in the SPL, and played properly, he WILL get you goals. Lafferty is a good back up and gets some decent goals when thrown in at the deep end.
If you want to buy a couple straight away, then Guillermo Franco or Jeremie Aliadiere are available, though I recommend keeping them as it is.

2b) Mentality
If you don't make too many changes, the mentality of the squad is very good. They are very driven and determined and look to keep it that way - a siege mentality is a very good way of combating the financial strength of Celtic.

2c) Tactics

I recommend you make your own 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation. I started with a 4-4-2 in the first season, but changed to 4-3-3 half way through, as it is the best way of utilising a thin squad.


This is the formation that got me through the first season, relatively unscathed. The wingers are pushed RIGHT UP next to a striker who plays as a poacher - this way they provide excellent counter-attacking capabilities, and with a passer as good as Steven Davis, you will get a lot of goals. Train Kenny Miller to a right winger and you will be able to play him on the right, Fleck or Lafferty on the left, and Beattie through the middle. It got me a lot of goals, so I recommend it to you.

The midfield trio will generally be Edu, McCulloch and Davis. The more defensive of the trio should be an anchor-man, protecting the back-four as you counter. Have one box-to-box midfielder (Maurice Edu), and an advanced playmaker (Davis), and it is a simple way to build your team.

It worked wonders for me, and I gradually adapted it to a changing team and it has gotten me results over the years such as this:

and this..

My single greatest achievement as Rangers manager to date!


3a) Match Preparation

I don't go too in depth with my training regimes - I generally just get as good staff as possible and set them on default training settings - but of course that's up to you. I do recommend however that you make full use of the Match Preperation.

I generally set it on my two formations (League and Europe), and put the intensity of the training to high, and team blend. This helps the morale and chemistry of the team, and also keeps them fit throughout the season. I don't generally have to many injuries, and I have an incredible team chemistry, unmatched in any other game I have played on FM.

3b) Staff

Personally, I like the staff, and have kept the majority of the original ones. Ally McCoist is an exceptional Assistant Manager and there is a good level of coahces throughout the club. Of course you are free to add if you disagree, but that is my personal opinion.
The scouting side of things is much different, and when possible (through cash injections), I think this is a place that should be boosted. As you will be struggling financially for a number of seasons, it is crucial to find the best, cheap young players in Europe as soon as possible - that has been the basis of my success to date, and I definitely recommend it.


This is the climax of my guide, and probably the most important. The first season is the hardest- you will face severe financial problems, and the most important thing is to win the SPL and qualify for the group stages of the Champions League. A Europa League run is an unwelcome waste of player energy, and I went out of the League Cup and Scottish Cup early on, which proved to be a God send.

With domestic success will come financial gain, and if you invest it in good, young players or cheap foreign players, you should be able to push Rangers towards a strong position on the European stage, and therefore help boost the Scottish league and it's reputation. Look for a big English team as an affiliate club - it helped get me Connor Wickham and Romelu Lukaku - and that should help you progress even more.

I will leave you with a couple of players I think you should keep your eye on if you progress past the first couple of season:

Tomasz Sokolowski
Maor Buzaglo
Ryan Bennett
Gianni Zuiverloon
Matty Gilks
Tom Cairney
Marcus Berg
Marc Albrighton
James McArthur
Jacopo Galimberti
Kevin Mirallas
Pape Souare
Fraser Fyvie
Alex Smithies
Neal Eardley

And that's it from me! I hope you enjoyed the read, and I would be happy to hear some feedback if you used this, and how much it helped you!

good to see somebody making a rangers guide I messed up with cairney put a bid in everything was accepted asked for it to be done for next window didn't realise you needed money at that point such a noob lol

I would like to say though that you should recomend to get rid of beattie as his wag is far to high you can sign a few decent player's
Papac is naturally a CB but we play him on the left as we have no one else decent enough
Darren Cole U19 played for us in CL
Archie Campbell does well
Leigh Griffith's can be a good signing
the sporting result i hope comes true as we got them in EL lol
Selling Webster is not a bad idea either
McGregor if you want Alexander top notch aswell

Also If you ask for parent club they always offer man u and chelsea for me man u gave me De laet or something.

I have sold Papac, Webster and Miller loaned out Beattie to rid of his wages hutton , perry and wylde
I signed Leigh Griffiths , De Laet(loan) , Tulasne , Mattock and Schneuwly (loan)

Might sell Alexander and replace with Tuffey
My target's are Tim Matavz or Goodwillie depends on fund's

Hope this help's in some way inspiration or something
James Beattie stays fit almost all season though, and he bags 20-25 goals? for the first season, I think yo ushould keep him, would rather sell Jelavic personally..
Archie Campbell and Darren Cole are rubbish though - maybe not in real life, but they're ineffective on this..
and DO NOT SELL WEBSTER, he became amazing on my game, he's club captain and club icon. scored tons of goals and is a brilliant defender, can't stress that enough!

and yeah in my season now Tuffey is my back-up to Alex Smithies xD

but thanks for the feedback :)
Sell Papac he's on £12k per week for roughly £1.2 mil

Sign Peter Masilela (awesome left back) far better than Papac & Masilela would be a key player for £250k and about £9k per week

£3k wages saved & £1 million in the coffers, keeps the bank manager happy ;)
Who'd want to go Rangers?!

Just kidding, it's a good guide, and will surely help a lot of people. Well laid out too.
Sell Papac he's on £12k per week for roughly £1.2 mil

Sign Peter Masilela (awesome left back) far better than Papac & Masilela would be a key player for £250k and about £9k per week

£3k wages saved & £1 million in the coffers, keeps the bank manager happy ;)

yeah I'd agree with that tbf. like I said in the guide, papac is easily dispensible, because he's old and rapidly deteriorates - masilela is a very good backup, although you have to get in there early cos he normally generates a lot of interest!
You say you have a tactic for the league - 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 - but what is your Euro tactic
You say you have a tactic for the league - 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 - but what is your Euro tactic

my league tactic is 4-3-3, controlling the tempo.
in europe I play a counter-attacking game with the same formation, sitting deep and then lofting it long to my strikers who are rapid - hoillett, walcott, zhirkov, fleck, welbeck. seems to work well in europe.
What I found was selling Lafferty and bringing in Jo on loan from Manchester City worked well.
yeahh I guess that would work fairly well..
I'm just saying what worked for me, and I tried to work under the constraints given by the club - I only brought in stephen crainey at the beginning.

bear in mind this guide was for the first update, I'm not sure how different running rangers is in the 2nd one..
yeahh I guess that would work fairly well..
I'm just saying what worked for me, and I tried to work under the constraints given by the club - I only brought in stephen crainey at the beginning.

bear in mind this guide was for the first update, I'm not sure how different running rangers is in the 2nd one..

Mate it's a great guide :), was just trying to help out!
Charlie Adam can be picked up on a bosman during january
Nice guide mate, Jelavic isnt that good for me either :/ ! Anyone know how to get the best out of him?
play him as a target man attack! , im rangers jst now he scored about 11 goals for me and im not even at xmas which is pretty good!

---------- Post added at 09:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:57 PM ----------

play james beattie instead of him tho he scores more
Is Scott Fox interested because he used to play for Celtic