Brian Laudrup makes stark rivals finance admission; notes Celtic advantage with or without Gio

By John McGinley

November 15, 2022

Brian Laudrup has questioned Rangers’ ability to raise the funds necessary to fund a full rebuild up against a surging Celtic under Ange Postecoglou.

Scottish football gossip right now almost fully revolves around the crisis at Rangers and the future of under-fire manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who has become the scapegoat for all their current problems.

There are serious question marks about the Dutchman’s future, with former players urging the Rangers board to make a definitive decision on his job quickly.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Laudrup is in that camp too but has noted that any manager has a significant challenge ahead with many players such as Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent and Allan McGregor coming to the end of their contracts.

With a large rebuild needed, which the Dane thinks will be the biggest since Steven Gerrard arrived, Laudrup is worried about his former club’s ability to compete with the Bhoys in the transfer market.

Writing in his Scottish Daily Mail column today [15/11 print edition, page 68], Laudrup said: “The actual make-up of the playing pool is going to present a major challenge for any manager. Make no mistake, a massive rebuild is looming next summer. It’s an incredibly tough position. And, potentially, a very expensive one, too.

“If the end is, indeed, approaching for many of these players at Ibrox, the search for replacements will not be easy. People might draw comparisons with the rapid transformation of the Celtic squad after Ange Postecoglou took over last year. But they were able to sell Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer for good fees and that helped to pay for a lot of the new signings.

“Rangers have sold three players for very good money this year in Nathan Patterson, Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey. But you look at the squad now and the next big profit is not obvious.

“That’s what I mean about it being expensive. You question how much Rangers could raise in the transfer market to fund the complete overhaul of a squad that will be expected to compete with Celtic.”

I don’t pretend to be an expert on finances at Ibrox but this kind of chat from their club legends demonstrates the anxiety surrounding Rangers right now, beyond the immediate position of the manager. Nothing is going to come easy for them, even if Van Bronckhorst is given the boot.

It’s obviously important that Celtic don’t become complacent, as they have in the past. That’s why it’s more important than ever that figures such as Postecoglou continue to set Celtic’s bar in Europe, rather than Scotland.

Along the way, Rangers could find themselves stuck playing catch-up for a while, if Laudrup’s concerns play out.

In other news, 10 total: Every Celtic link at the 2022 World Cup past and present.