STEWART ROBERTSON has revealed Rangers are building a team that will give them ‘every chance of winning the Premiership’ next season.
Four players have already arrived with more set to follow, and Robertson insists not qualifying for the Europa League as a result of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final defeat to Hibernian will have no negative impact on the club’s transfer plans.
Speaking today in an exclusive RangersTV.tv interview, Robertson explained: “Europe would have been a bonus. We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t win the Cup, but had we won, we would have sat down and reassessed things in terms of what was required squad-wise if we were to make it through the rounds.
“We go as we were though with plan A, and that’s building a team for the Premiership, one that can compete at the top end of the Premiership and one that gives us every chance of winning the Premiership.”
Boss Mark Warburton has often spoken of his desire to have the bulk of his transfer business completed before the start of pre-season on June 18, and Robertson explained the board will do everything they can to back the manager in that aim.
He added: “Mark has been up front consistently that he is keen to get as many players as possible in before June 18 when the boys come back for pre-season.
“We have already signed four and there are others in the pipeline. Hopefully we will have the majority done before June 18, and that’s really important as it allows the boys to bed in and you then have them bonding as a group and creating the team spirit as quickly as possible, and that’s something we’re going to need next season.
“Six or seven has been the number mentioned consistently since January, and we are probably still looking at that kind of number.
“It’s very much a case-by-case basis. We will look at the value a player will bring to the club, and the manager will make a case for every player he brings to the board.
“We’ll assess that, but we are trusting his judgement on players. If he says the player will fit into the team and will add something to the team, then that is the first step, and from there we will try to get a deal done with a player.
“There are always a few twists and turns, but it has been so far so good, and the vast majority of players we have looked to bring in have actually come in.”
The signing of Joey Barton in particular has caught the imagination of the club’s supporters, and Robertson believes his capture to be huge both for the club and the team.
He continued: “Joey Barton is a massive signing for the club. He brings experience and a combative nature on the park. He is a very, very good football player as we saw last year and in previous years, and he is a fascinating character as well.
“His press conference and interviews were terrific on Tuesday, and he is a very, very engaging personality, so I am looking forward to having him around the club. He will be a massive addition for the team.”
All four additions so far have been coordinated by Head of Recruitment Frank McParland, and Robertson is delighted with the work he has done so far, while he also believes the true extent of his work will be visible come the closure of the transfer window.
He concluded: “Frank has a terrific reputation in the football industry, and we are seeing with the quality of player coming in that his relationships with players and agents are so important.
“We knew that when we brought Frank in, and that it would take a bit of time for us to eventually see the fruits of Frank’s labour, but hopefully by the end of this transfer window, we’ll be able to look back and have a number of successful signings.”