MARK Allen, Rangers’ new director of football, has a vital role to play in the appointment of the club’s next head coach – but the Ibrox side are “bound for failure” if they appoint the new man without first defining the club’s strategy.

That is the view of Damien Comolli, the former Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool director of football. Unlike back in March, when the Ibrox side were rebuffed by Southampton’s Ross Wilson as they attempted to appoint both he and Pedro Caixinha as part of a twin-track process, Rangers now have a functioning director of football in post as they begin their search for a new manager and Comolli for one feels he should be far better placed to make a recommendation than executives who may spend their day jobs in alternative professions.

Now a consultant to various different clubs, it has always been part of Comolli’s modus operandi to have a shortlist of suitable alternative coaching candidates in his head in the event of exactly this kind of managerial upheaval, and he believes Allen will already be sifting through candidates in the wake of Caixinha’s sacking on Thursday. He believes the most important aspect of the process is selecting the right figurehead to fit the strategy of the club, rather than worrying too much about his specific skillset.

“Ideally if you are running a football club, you want to appoint a director of football and allow them to make the recommendation of who the manager should be,” Comolli told Herald Sport. “That way you know a director of football and a manager will be comfortable working with each other, because they more or less picked each other.

“But sometimes you can plan all day for things to happen and they don’t happen the way you think they are going to happen,” he added. “I have been in situations when I was appointed after the manager and we were still able to work together. And I have also been in situations when it was up to me to make the recommendation of the manager to be appointed and it was a mistake, my recommendation, although I don’t want to go into specifics about that!”

While now two directors of football work in precisely the same manner, as football insiders it is a no-brainer in theory at least that they should be better placed to make recommendations than businessmen who spend their working lives pre-occupied with car garages, bus companies and the like. “The job remit of directors of football changes from club to club,” said Comolli. “Sometimes a director of football only deals with agents on transfers, sometimes they are there to be negotiators and pick the players, sometimes they make all the football decisions or make recommendations to the board on those football decisions. But part of the job remit of the director of football SHOULD always be to recommend to the board head coaches – even if some of them will have done it before and some won’t.

“The most important thing when you appoint a head coach is appointing the right leader - not so much about what he can do technically or tactically with the players, or whether he coaches so much or not. For me, that always comes second, because the most important thing for me is ‘which leader do you want as a football club for your first team?’. Which individual do you want to be the face of your football club?

“And in every job I was in and still now, in my mind I always had a shortlist in my mind, if not on a piece of paper. Even if things were going fantastic at a club, you know that sometimes results will go south for reasons you cannot control. Or perhaps your manager does fantastic and goes to another club. So part of the remit of the director of football is always having a short list in your head and thinking ‘ok, if we have a problem, who do we go for?’

“The director of football should know who is in the market, who is at the end of his contract, who is doing well. Who speaks the language of the club he is working in, and – probably most importantly – does this manager fit the culture of the football club? For instance, a manager who is suited to work at Tottenham might not be suited to work at Newcastle or the other way round. A director of football is better equipped to make those decisions and recommendations, rather than someone where it isn’t his day to day job.

“I haven’t seen Rangers play for many years so it is hard for me to comment too directly but for me it is not so much which market, or which name it should be, the question for me would be, as an organisation, as a board, what do they want to achieve? Do they want to bring players through the academy, or do they want to win tomorrow and just spend money to get the team to win tomorrow? What are their values, their business model?

“And this is not just their identity from the past, because everybody knows what Rangers is, how big the club is, but what do they want the club to strive for? What kind of person do they want running the club, what kind of investment?

“Once they know for sure what they want the club to be, then they can decide who they want to lead the project. If they do things the other way round, then they are bound for failure. If they pick the person without having a clear idea of what they want to be as a football club, then it is always going to be short termism. I am sure, for instance, when Celtic appointed Brendan Rodgers they knew exactly what he could do, what he couldn’t do, how he fitted their business model. Whether he would develop players from the academy and if that was what they wanted to have.

“When people ask me now, who do you think we should appoint, I never have an answer for them. Instead I fire back questions - what do you want to achieve? How do you want to play? How do you want to run your football club? Tell me your values first and then I will tell you what you should do.”