THE new title brings new responsibilities for James Bisgrove. His plans for the coming months and his vision for the next few years have changed considerably with one step up the Ibrox ladder.

His appointment as chief executive officer comes as Rangers enter a fresh era on and off the pitch. Douglas Park and Ross Wilson have gone and Stewart Robertson is going after it was confirmed on Tuesday that he will step down as managing director at the end of July.

John Bennett now leads the Ibrox board. It will be Bisgrove, currently the director of commercial and marketing, that will run Rangers on a day-to-day basis, though.

There is room for improvement at all levels. The fact that such a situation is acknowledged is a positive and it will provide the platform for Bennett and Bisgrove to support Michael Beale in his attempts to bring the Premiership title back to Ibrox next term.


Preparations for Robertson's departure have been ongoing since he informed the board of his intention to step down and pursue another opportunity, one which isn't within the game, last month. That process resulted in Bisgrove taking his desk but not his title as Rangers created the position of chief executive officer rather than filling the post of managing director.

Bisgrove presented nine key priorities to Bennett and his board and improving relationships with supporters and key stakeholders in the media will be a top priority going forward. Encouraging progress has been made in terms of Press liaisons recently but there is scope for greater accessibility and accountability beyond Beale and his first team squad.

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It was one of the points that Bisgrove raised in the announcement of his appointment as he stated he was 'personally looking forward to energising our engagement with all Rangers supporters and overseeing a strengthened and aligned culture'.

The messages to fans have not been regular or detailed enough for some time and the prospect of a more open approach, one which seeks to work with rather than work against, will ultimately provide punters and Press with more information on what is happening at Ibrox.

Senior management will host quarterly forum sessions at New Edmiston House going forward and fans advisory boards could also be formed. Bisgrove will be a more visible presence than Robertson has been in recent seasons and must be front and centre to own the failures as much as the successes.


This is an area that Bisgrove has more than played his part in during his four years at Ibrox as commercial revenues have risen to record levels. Now that he has even more scope and authority, Bisgrove has the opportunity to really put his stamp on Rangers from a business perspective.

Speaking on Tuesday, he stressed the need to oversee 'the continuation of our positive financial performance and sustained profitability off the pitch' and ensuring every pound is spent wisely will be a priority as the band of investors - headed by Bennett - continue to provide additional resource where required.

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The annual growth from £8million commercial revenue at the end of 2018 to just under £29million four years later sat alongside rises in match day revenues and player trading and the opening of New Edmiston House and the Blue Sky Lounge were notable moments for Bisgrove.

Success on the pitch, and particularly in European competition, will be integral to the process and Rangers will be mindful of Financial Fair Play regulations. Revenues from sponsorship, for example, must be maximised and even Bisgrove's critics within the support will acknowledge his ability to sell Rangers as a brand.

One of his key appointments will be the director that fills his shoes and the work to identify that candidate will begin in the coming days. Bisgrove will go to the market to see what prospective commercial chiefs are available, but he will also look internally and creating a culture where ambitious individuals can move forwards and upwards, like he has done, will be one of the pillars of his stewardship.


The search for Wilson's replacement will be even more significant than the one for Bisgrove's own successor. The timescale for that process is flexible at present, though, and the role of the sporting director - in terms of remit and scope - will be assessed before Rangers consider candidates to fill a position that has also had varying titles over several seasons.

Bisgrove has vowed to ensure that Beale and his staff 'continue to have the resources and environment they require to put a winning team on the pitch and to deliver regular trophies for our supporters' and the success of that endeavour will go some way to determining his standing amongst supporters.

It is all about silverware at Ibrox but the investment and focus on the Academy and Women's structure will also continue as Rangers operate a broad football department.

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The fortunes of the first team will be shaped by the work that is done in the transfer market this summer. Beale has insisted that the departure of Wilson will not cause an issue in terms of executing those plans and the same can be said as Robertson transfers power to Bisgrove over the next couple of months.

Much of the work for the window has already been completed as Bennett and Beale, alongside John Park, plot out Rangers' business. Robertson will be involved in that as well and Bisgrove will become increasingly influential at executive level as the Ibrox squad is overhauled ahead of the new campaign.