DAVE KING has today revealed he wants Rangers’ women’s side to become the ‘best team in Scotland’.
King has admitted he was “astonished” at how the women’s team have been “ignored” in the past, and pledged to not only help put them on top domestically, but also to help them compete in European competition.
He told RangersTV following this morning’s AGM: “I was genuinely astonished when I had my first discussion with Amy McDonald to understand what was going on with the women’s team.
“They were not only treated like an unwanted step-child, they were effectively ignored. It wasn’t even remotely the expectation or the value we would expect of Rangers.
“The women’s team, I think, was neglected. So I gave Amy assurances that we wanted to see Rangers women’s’ team being the best team in Scotland and we wanted them competing in Europe.
“We don’t want Glasgow City – why shouldn’t it be Rangers? So we have given them a mandate in terms of their recruitment and they are going to have a massive overhaul of their squad.
“So we really are taking women’s football very, very seriously. It is expanding globally and I think it is going to be good for Rangers right across the club to have a strong women’s football team.
“It’s something which might be one of my legacies that I have pushed it very hard and will continue to do so as a shareholder.
“I’m not going away – I will still be a shareholder and will just be coming and asking the questions rather than sitting on the other side of the mic.”
King also addressed the club’s Academy, and how they have continued to progress over the past few years.
He explained: “The Academy, if I look at the feedback I get at board meeting and I look at the quality of players and the representation we are getting at that level with Scotland, then I think from an Academy point of view, we have made massive progress.
“The challenge, now of course, is that going to deliver players into the first-team? That is ultimately what the Academy is about.
“We are looking at it and saying they really are doing great things and the guys are coming through and dominating Scotland squads, and that is a huge improvement, but what we are working with Steven [Gerrard] on is to find a pathway to get some of these youngsters into the first-team as that is really the ultimate test of the quality of the Academy.”
King also spoke of his pride at the club’s new ‘Everyone Anyone’ initiative.
He added: “I think it has been fantastic. It has been received so well, not only within the club, but it has been received so well by others outside the club.
“Interested parties who have been looking at Rangers from authorities to politicians who are saying Rangers are maybe not doing enough are now looking and saying, ‘wow – this is a great initiative.’
“It has been good for the club internally and it has been good for the club reputation-wise. Where we still have a challenge is getting the fans to start really endorsing it.
“Most are, but there is still an element out there that have just got to buy into it and understand this is not just a publicity stunt or a promotion – this is something we strongly believe in.
“We carry it and embody it in the way we go about our business in the club as executives and as supporters of our club.”