Murray mint too small for Rangers

Rangers 2 Aberdeen 0

It was 20 years ago yesterday that Sir David Murray bought Rangers for £6m and he used the anniversary to reiterate that he wants to get out. He also explained why, despite being one of the richest men in Scotland, with a fortune estimated at £720m and a business empire with a similar annual turnover, his pockets are no longer deep enough for Rangers to be truly competitive in this modern football lark. Not at any level above the domestic, that is. Murray's achievements as chairman and owner are not in doubt. Rangers have won 31 trophies in two decades, modernised Ibrox, built a £14m training base (Murray Park), and, last season, had a club record income of £64.5m, and profits of £8m.

Murray's arrival in 1988 coincided with the start of the "nine in a row" years. The early part of his reign included the landmark signing of Mo Johnston, a Catholic. And while Scottish society, and football, is still blighted by sectarianism, Murray's Rangers continue to make efforts to fight it.

In pure football terms, Rangers and their Old Firm rivals Celtic are less likely now than ever to see their duopoly in Scottish football seriously threatened. Aberdeen were the last non-Old Firm side to win the title, in 1985, and on Saturday's evidence it will be another 23 years at least before they do it again. Rangers' win was par for the course. Aberdeen have not won at Ibrox for 17 years, and even though Rangers were depleted and sluggish, Jean-Claude Darcheville and Kris Boyd's scrappy second-half goals led to an ultimately comfortable victory.

That means Rangers stay just four points off the pace in the slipstream of Celtic, who won 3-1 at St Mirren and who could yet be distracted for a while in Europe, with a Champions League fixture in Aalborg tomorrow.

Yet what real hope do either Old Firm side have of making any impact at the business end of the Champions League? As things stand financially, none. Of his own club, Murray says: "If you ran Rangers as a business without a benefactor, you would have to downsize by up to 25 per cent."

He adds that "this has not been a good financial year for Rangers," and asserts, with broad accuracy, that "there's not much between Rangers and Celtic. They beat us, we beat them. We've both got a lot of £2m-£4m players, so there's little to choose between the squads." He says that will only change, for either club, if someone invested "serious money". Murray came within minutes of selling out last year but pulled out of a deal with an unnamed British buyer because of concerns about the incomer's intentions. No other serious interest has been expressed since so for now Rangers will remain Murray's, and a big fish in a small pond, but no more.

Goals: Darcheville (52) 1-0; Boyd (68) 2-0.

Rangers (4-3-3): McGregor; Broadfoot, Weir, McCulloch, Whittaker; Mendes, Ferguson, Adam; Darcheville (Novo, 78), Boyd (Beasley, 68), Lafferty. Substitutes not used: Alexander (gk), Edu, Dailly, Niguez, Kinniburgh.

Aberdeen (4-4-2): Langfield; Mair (Foster, 71), Diamond, Severin, Considine; Young (Maguire, 71), McDonald, Kerr, Mulgrew; Miller, Aluko. Substitutes not used: Bateman (gk), Hodgkiss, De Visscher, Stewart, Paton.

Referee: C Thomson.

Booked: Rangers Broadfoot; Aberdeen Diamond.

Man of the match: Aluko.

Attendance: 50,166.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine