Michael Beale promised the biggest rebuild that had been seen in a number of years. Four months on, the Rangers boss has been true to his word.

The message in the aftermath of the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic was an admission of where Rangers stood at that time. It was also a signal of intent as Beale laid out where he wished his side to get to sooner rather than later.

This has not been a case of change for change sake. Even after the highs of 55, a Scottish Cup win and the run to Seville, there is an acknowledgement that Rangers have not done enough or won enough in recent seasons, and this new era must deliver successes that are sustained rather than fleeting.

Beale has defined it as going on another journey with his staff and his squad. Given the all-or-nothing nature of Old Firm life, it is an expedition that will end with reputations enriched or ruined as Beale does it his way and with his team after a summer that he has driven from the off.

The Herald: Rangers manager Michael Beale

It has been a process of emotional farewells and excited welcomes. A legend has left Ibrox, as have a handful of title heroes, but their departures have made space for new faces to offer a fresh hope heading into a campaign that simply must deliver a return on the investment.

The summer has been one of renovation on and off the park. The turnover of players is the most visible and expensive part of that process but the transformation in the dressing room does not tell the whole story of how Rangers have been refreshed and rejuvenated.

It was always going to take more than a lick of paint. The work required was more widespread than that. This is no quick fix, yet it is one that does require immediate results.

John Bennett, who succeeded Douglas Park as chairman in April, has overseen the operation from the top. Below him in terms of the pecking order but alongside him when it comes to an aligned vision is chief executive officer James Bisgrove.

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Stewart Robertson, the managing director, and sporting director Ross Wilson moved on early doors, as was head of academy Craig Mulholland as Andrew Dickson also departed. Through promotion and recruitment, Rangers have the look and feel of a very different operation right now.

The most important part of the jigsaw is, of course, Beale himself. The three pillars of the power base do not need to agree on every aspect, but it is imperative that there is shared thinking and beliefs and the way in which Rangers have moved through the transfer window speaks to that calibration of ideologies.

This has been Beale’s window in every regard. That brings its own pressure and the Englishman will be fully cognisant of the risks and rewards as he embarks on his first full campaign as manager.

That defeat to Ange Postecoglou’s side at Hampden gift-wrapped the Scottish Cup and the domestic clean sweep for Celtic. Beale could not carry the can for the abject way in which Rangers challenged for the Premiership title, but he had to shoulder his share of the blame for both cup bids being unsuccessful as Rangers suffered damaging, demoralising defeats to their Old Firm rivals.

The Herald: James Bisgrove

The slate has been wiped clean and the list of excuses has been erased. It is Beale that must answer the questions and address the criticisms should Rangers falter but there will be a belief that the record, and their fortunes, will change for the better this term.

Deals for Kieran Dowell, Dujon Sterling and Jack Butland, a statement of intent acquisition, were done early. Leon Balogun’s arrival was a reactionary move but the money spent on Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and Danilo, plus a loan switch for Abdallah Sima, spoke to the blueprint.

Beale started working on this plan as soon as he returned to Ibrox to replace Giovanni van Bronckhorst. As he attempted to win games and trophies towards the end of the campaign or get some down time with his family, he put in the hours and clocked up the air miles to meet prospective signings in person and ensure, as far as possible, that the risks were mitigated.

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This is now a squad and a side assembled in his image and his name. If his plans come to fruition, it is he who will take the acclaim of the Ibrox crowd and the prospect and the challenge has enthused and motivated the 42-year-old over recent weeks.

The backing that Beale has received speaks volumes about the trust that Bennett and Bisgrove have in him as a man and a manager and the Englishman could not have asked for more at this stage. Nine players have been signed and around £13million invested in his forward line as he has ripped it up and started again in a manner that mirrors his first stint at Ibrox alongside Steven Gerrard.

Back in the summer of 2018, Rangers embarked on the rebuild more in hope than expectation. Immediate success would have been welcomed but it was always a long shot given the situation that Gerrard and his staff inherited and where Rangers found themselves as a team and a club.

Beale had far more solid foundations upon which to build this summer. As a result, Rangers can be, and should be, expected and demanded to challenge immediately as preparations are finalised for the Premiership opener with Kilmarnock on Saturday and the Champions League qualifiers to come.

The squad still retains the experience of the likes of James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and Ryan Jack and that nous and know-how over the course of a campaign will be hugely significant for Rangers.

Assembling a title-winning team in one summer is not easy. Postecoglou showed that it could be done, however, as he delivered in his first term at Parkhead and Beale has the advantage of his previous tenure and those six months after his return to bank on heading into a term that will determine his fate and could shape his Ibrox legacy.

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The dynamic across the Old Firm divide has altered in the wake of Postecoglou’s departure and the appointment of Brendan Rodgers. It remains to be seen, though, whether it has shifted towards Rangers or not and the opening weeks of the season could set the tone for Beale.

The trips to Kilmarnock and Ross County are tricky but simply must be won, as does the visit of Livingston, as Rangers aim to maintain the feelgood factor of the summer and build some early momentum heading into an Old Firm fixture that provides an opportunity to lay down a marker in the Premiership.

The Herald: Michael Beale

The campaign will be permeated with such moments, from Old Firm encounters to away days at Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibernian, from difficult afternoons at Ibrox to the tests posed by juggling domestic pursuits with a European campaign.

Beale has done all of his homework and is as prepared as he can be, yet Rangers are still stepping into the unknown in many regards. It will be a journey of highs and lows, of trials and tribulations, of mistakes made and lessons learned.

The big rebuild has been completed. Time will tell if it comes crumbling down around Beale and the board or if the masterplan will re-establish Rangers at the top of Scottish football and the investment in time, money and effort pays off in the manner required at Ibrox.