2015–16 Rangers F.C. season

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Rangers
2015–16 season
ChairmanDave King
ManagerStuart McCall
(until 15 June)
Mark Warburton
(from 15 June)
GroundIbrox Stadium
Glasgow, Scotland
(Capacity: 50,947)
Scottish Championship1st
P36 W25 D6 L5 F88 A34
Scottish CupRunners-up
League CupThird Round
Challenge CupWinners
Top goalscorerLeague:
Martyn Waghorn (23)

All:
Martyn Waghorn (28)
Highest home attendance50,349 vs Alloa Athletic
(23 April)
Lowest home attendance20,915 vs Cowdenbeath
(10 January)

The 2015–16 season was the 136th season of competitive football by Rangers.

Overview[edit]

Rangers played a total of 50 competitive matches during the 2015-16 season.

In early June, Ibrox Stadium played host to the companies second EGM in just over three months.[1] A majority of shareholders voted in favour of a board resolution to renegotiate existing retail agreements with Sports Direct and voted against the early repayment of a loan from Mike Ashley.[2] Rangers made further appointments to the board with Stewart Robertson joining as managing director and Andrew Dickinson being promoted to financial director.[3][4]

The spectre of the previous board loomed large at the beginning of the season as Police Scotland's investigation into the sale of Rangers' assets to a consortium led by Charles Green led to arrests and seven indictments. On 1 September, both Craig Whyte and Green were arrested as part of the inquiry into the "alleged fraudulent acquisition" of Rangers' assets in 2012.[5] Just over two weeks later indictments were served on seven accused, including Green and Whyte, David Whitehouse, Paul Clark, David Grier, who were all working for administrators Duff and Phelps at the time, Gary Withey who worked for a law firm involved in the purchase of Rangers by Whyte and Imran Ahmad, a former Rangers commercial director.[6] Indeed, the latter indicated that he would not co-operate with the proceedings,[7] subsequently a warrant was issued for his arrest[8] and charges against him were temporarily stopped.[9] A week later, Green took the company to the Court of Session in an attempt to force the PLC to pay his legal fees with regards to the forthcoming trial,[10] however, the action was dismissed by Lord Doherty a few months later[11] and an appeal to the Inner House was also refused in March 2016.[12] On 30 October, Rangers announced it was not appropriate to proceed with a share issue and listing on the ISDX market until the criminal proceedings being brought against Charles Green, Imran Ahmed, Craig Whyte and others was concluded.[13] On 5 February 2016, prosecutors have withdrawn six of 15 charges brought against six men in the alleged Rangers fraud case[14] which resulted in all charges against Duff and Phelps administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark being dropped, although prosecutors indicated there would be filing fresh charges against the pair.[15] Charges against Green were also dropped meaning that the former chief executive of the club was not facing any.[16] A few months later, in May 2016, it was announced that charges against Gary Withey and David Grier were dropped and they would not stand trial alongside former Rangers owner Craig Whyte, the only person still facing charges.[17]

Fireworks night 2015 arrived a day early in Govan as 4 November proved to be a contentious day in the history of Rangers. The club's PLC owner, Rangers International Football Club, announced a loss of £7.5m for the year ending June 2015.[18] This meant the company was required to find approximately £2.5m in order to cover expenses for the rest of the season.[18] Moreover, the outcome of HMRC's appeal against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal regarding the previous owner and its use of EBT's. The Court of Session ruled that the use of Employee Benefit Trusts broke tax rules therefore the payments were eligible for tax deductions,[19] although an appeal to the Supreme Court was sought less than a month later[20] and granted in March 2016.[21] This judgement caused debate in Scottish football as many people erroneously believed the decision made by the Nimmo Smith commission not to strip Rangers of titles was based on the outcome of the tax case.[22] Coincidentally, the Commission's ruling was taken to an arbitration tribunal by the club's owners with RIFC PLC disputing its liability for the £250,000 fine plus £150,000 in additional costs, imposed on the company that previously owned the club. The SPFL subsequently imposed this on the new owners of the club as part of the terms of the five way agreement.[23] However, an independent SFA tribunal ruled that RIFC PLC was liable for the fine in March 2016.[24] Further legal matters occurred a week later, although not directly involving Rangers, as Mike Ashley lodged a challenge to the SFA's decision to pass King as a fit and proper person by seeking a Judicial review,[25] however, the litigation was abandoned in April 2016 after his legal team received information about King's finances which the SFA used in their fit and proper deliberations.[26] Ashley had also raised court proceedings against Dave King, accusing him of breaching a court injunction regarding the commercial agreements between Rangers and Sports Direct, however, the Royal Courts of Justice dismissed the motion for him to be jailed,[27] moreover, a further accusation that King committed contempt of court was cleared.[28] In the end, the court action against King was discontinued by Sports Direct as the company halted litigation claiming a breach of confidentiality in relation to a commercial deal, in which the Judge called "ridiculous".[29]

The end of November saw the PLC's Annual general meeting, however, prior to this Mike Ashley continued with his ligation against the company and successfully managed to have Resolution 11 withdrawn which would have allowed shareholders to block the voting rights of dual ownership shareholders.[30] The AGM passed without major incident however, the Chairman Dave King announced the adoption of the Living wage for company employees and the repayment of a £5m loan from Ashley's Sports Direct.[31] Although on 11 December, it was reported that the company had not repaid the £5m loan despite earlier claims to the contrary.[32] That same day it was reported that former Rangers player Arnold Peralta had been shot dead in his hometown of La Ceiba, Honduras.[33] On Christmas Eve Rangers announced that the loan had been repaid to Ashley in full[34] and it was later revealed, on Ne'erday, that Rangers had borrowed £6.5m from King an others in order to do this.[35] On 4 February, it was announced by the Rangers board that they had given Sports Direct formal notice that they wish to end their retail deal for club merchandise.[36] On 18 May, Rangers indicated its intention to end the joint venture with Sports Direct for selling club kits and merchandise, this included the withdrawal of the rights to use club trademarks.[37]

On the football front, Rangers appointed its fourteenth permanent manager on 15 June in the shape of Mark Warburton, who agreed a three-year contract.[38] Warburton was joined at the club by former Rangers centre-back David Weir who became his assistant manager. The start to the season saw Rangers embark on a run of eleven straight victories in all competitions. This helped Warburton overtake former Rangers manager Bill Struth’s record of eight consecutive wins by a manager at the beginning of there Ibrox career.[39] Ultimately, this would could not continue, the series of victories came to an abrupt halt in mid-September as the club suffered a 3-1 defeat to St Johnstone in the League Cup.[40] Despite this, Rangers league form continued to impress with the team continuing a winning steak for the first eleven games of the season which gave the club an eight-point lead, over second place Hibernian, at the top of the table by late October.[41] However, the side was to go through a poor run of form thereafter collecting eight points from a possible eighteen over the next six league games including two defeats to Hibernian[42] and Falkirk[43] respectively. This left Rangers tied with the Edinburgh club on forty-one points ahead of crucial match between the two during the festive period. Rangers played Hibernian on 28 December at Ibrox, beating Alan Stubbs' side 4-2[44] then embarked on an unbeaten run of ten matches, winning nine with only Alloa Athletic managing to get a draw.[45] Alongside this rich vain of form, second placed Hibernian suffered a run of three defeats within a week to see them trail Rangers at the top of the table by fourteen points as the season entered March.[46] The league crown was secured on 5 April at Ibrox[47] and formed the first part of a brace of trophies within a week. The team qualified for its second Challenge Cup final in the space of three years with the match being played at Hampden Park for the first time in the competition's history.[48] The match was played in front of a near sell out as Rangers ran out 4-0 winners over Scottish League One side Peterhead on 10 April.[49] Similarly, in Scottish Cup, the club reached its second semi-final in three seasons, setting up the first Old Firm derby in over a year.[50] A highly anticipated match ended with both sides tied after full and extra time with Rangers winning the penalty shoot-out to progress to the final.[51] The semi-final heroics were ultimately for nothing as Rangers lost the 2016 Scottish Cup Final to Hibernian with the Edinburgh club scoring an injury time winner.[52] However, their victory was marred by a pitch invasion by Hibernian fans at the full-time whistle.[53] The SFA has said it is "appalled" by scenes of disorder[54] and set-up a commission to review operational failings apparent from the day.[55] Police Scotland also undertook investigations into the matter[56] which included several assaults on Rangers players and staff.[57]

The football departments scouting network was overhauled with the appointment of Frank McParland as the Head of Recruitment.[58] On 18 December, Rangers announced a coaching and development partnership with Scottish Lowland League club Gala Fairydean Rovers which effectively saw the Galashiels side act as a feeder to Rangers.[59] On 6 January, Rangers began preparation for life in the Scottish Premiership by signing Accrington Stanley duo Josh Windass and Matt Crooks on pre-contract agreements.[60] However, further success in the transfer market was not automatically forthcoming with bids being rejected in January for Toumani Diagouraga and Michael O'Halloran by Brentford[61] and St. Johnstone[62] respectively, however, a deal for the latter was eventually agreed after prolonged negotiations.[63]

Players[edit]

Squad information[edit]

N
Pos.
Nat.
Name
Age
Since
App
Goals
Ends
Transfer fee
Notes
1 GK Scotland Cammy Bell 29 2013 57 0 2017 Free
2 DF England James Tavernier 24 2015 50 15 2018 £0.2m
3 DF Scotland Darren McGregor 30 2014 53 5 2016 Free left on 24 August
4 DF Republic of Ireland Rob Kiernan 25 2015 45 0 2017 £0.2m
5 DF Scotland Lee Wallace (captain) 28 2011 212 22 2017 £1.5m
6 DF England Dominic Ball 20 2015 30 0 2016 Loan
7 MF England Nicky Law 28 2013 122 26 2016 Free
8 MF United States Gedion Zelalem 19 2015 28 0 2016 Loan
9 FW Scotland Kenny Miller (vc) 36 2014 230 97 2017 Free
10 MF England Nathan Oduwa 19 2015 19 1 2016 Loan left on 17 January
11 MF Scotland David Templeton 27 2012 86 26 2016 £0.7m
14 FW Scotland Nicky Clark 24 2013 107 24 2016 Free
15 MF England Harry Forrester 25 2016 (Winter) 16 5 2019 Free
16 MF Scotland Andy Halliday 24 2015 48 10 2020 Free
17 MF Scotland Billy King 22 2016 (Winter) 13 1 2016 Loan
18 MF Scotland Andy Murdoch 21 2012 23 1 2017 Youth system out on season loan
19 FW Scotland Barrie McKay 21 2011 94 14 2018 Youth system
20 MF Canada Fraser Aird 21 2011 85 12 2018 Youth system out on six month loan
21 MF Scotland Robbie Crawford 23 2010 57 7 2017 Youth system out on season loan
22 FW Northern Ireland Dean Shiels 31 2012 124 31 2016 Free
23 MF Scotland Jason Holt 25 2015 45 11 2020 £0.065m
25 GK England Wes Foderingham 25 2015 50 0 2018 Free
26 DF Lithuania Marius Žaliūkas 31 2014 28 2 2016 Free left on 28 August
27 DF Scotland Danny Wilson (2nd vc) 24 2015 66 2 2018 Free
29 FW Scotland Michael O'Halloran 25 2015 (Winter) 13 3 2020 £0.5m
30 FW Scotland Calum Gallagher 20 2010 7 1 2016 Youth system left on 4 August
30 GK Poland Maciej Gostomski 27 2016 (Winter) 0 0 2016 Free left on 14 March
31 DF Canada Luca Gasparotto 20 2011 4 0 2016 Youth system out on season loan
32 GK Scotland Liam Kelly 21 2012 0 0 2018 Youth system out on six month loan
33 FW England Martyn Waghorn 26 2015 36 28 2018 £0.2m
37 MF Scotland Scott Roberts 20 2014 0 0 2017 Youth system
42 FW Scotland Ryan Hardie 19 2013 10 2 2018 Youth system
45 MF Northern Ireland Jordan Thompson 19 2015 2 0 2016 Free
48 MF Scotland Tom Walsh 19 2012 13 0 2017 Youth system out on six month loan
50 DF Scotland Ross McCrorie 17 2014 0 0 2017 Youth system
51 GK Scotland Robby McCrorie 17 2014 0 0 2017 Youth system
52 DF Scotland Ross Lyon 18 2014 0 0 2017 Youth system
62 MF Scotland Liam Burt 17 2015 2 0 2018 Youth system
  • Last updated: 23 May 2016
  • Source:Players transfer and Wikipedia players' articles
  • Ordered by position on pitch.

Transfers[edit]

In[edit]

First-team[edit]
N
Pos.
Nat.
Name
Age
Moving from
Type
Transfer
window
Ends
Transfer
fee
Source
27 DF Scotland Danny Wilson 23 Heart of Midlothian Transfer Summer 2018 Free [64]
4 DF Republic of Ireland Rob Kiernan 24 Wigan Athletic England Transfer Summer 2017 £0.2m [64][65]
25 GK England Wes Foderingham 24 Swindon Town England Transfer Summer 2018 Free [66]
45 MF Northern Ireland Jordan Thompson 18 Manchester United England Transfer Summer 2017 Free [67]
16 MF Scotland Andy Halliday 23 Bradford City England Transfer Summer 2017 Free [68]
33 FW England Martyn Waghorn 25 Wigan Athletic England Transfer Summer 2018 £0.2m [69]
2 DF England James Tavernier 23 Wigan Athletic England Transfer Summer 2018 £0.2m [69]
23 MF Scotland Jason Holt 23 Heart of Midlothian Transfer Summer 2018 £0.065m [70][71]
10 MF England Nathan Oduwa 19 Tottenham Hotspur England Loan Summer 2016 n/a [72]
6 DF England Dominic Ball 20 Tottenham Hotspur England Loan Summer 2016 n/a [72]
8 MF United States Gedion Zelalem 18 Arsenal England Loan Summer 2016 n/a [73][74]
15 MF England Harry Forrester 24 Doncaster Rovers England Transfer Winter 2016 Free [75]
30 GK Poland Maciej Gostomski 27 Lech Poznań Poland Transfer Winter 2016 Free [76]
17 FW Scotland Billy King 21 Heart of Midlothian Loan Winter 2016 n/a [77]
29 FW Scotland Michael O'Halloran 25 St Johnstone Transfer Winter 2020 £0.5m [63]

Total expenditure: £1.165m

Academy[edit]
N
Pos.
Nat.
Name
Age
Moving from
Type
Transfer
window
Ends
Transfer
fee
Source
55 FW England Jordan Gibson 17 Alvechurch England Transfer Summer 2016 Free [78]
44 DF Scotland Tom Lang 18 Birmingham City England Transfer Summer 2016 Free [78]
MF Scotland Jack Adamson 16 Hibernian Transfer n/a 2016 Free [79]
MF England Mekhi McLeod 19 Wolverhampton Wanderers England Transfer Winter 2016 Free [80]
FW Scotland Rory Currie 17 Celtic Transfer Winter 2016 Free [80]

Total expenditure: £0m

Out[edit]

First-team[edit]
N
Pos.
Nat.
Name
Age
Moving to
Type
Transfer
window
Transfer
fee
Source
15 FW Scotland Kris Boyd 31 Kilmarnock End of contract Summer n/a [81][82]
20 MF Scotland Kyle Hutton 24 Queen of the South End of contract Summer n/a [81][83]
8 MF Scotland Ian Black 30 Shrewsbury Town England End of contract Summer n/a [81][84]
9 FW Republic of Ireland Jon Daly 32 Raith Rovers End of contract Summer n/a [81][85]
31 GK England Steve Simonsen 36 Pune City India End of contract Summer n/a [81][86]
3 DF Tunisia Bilel Mohsni 27 Angers France End of contract Summer n/a [81][87]
23 DF Scotland Richard Foster 29 Ross County End of contract Summer n/a [81][88]
2 DF Scotland Steven Smith 29 Kilmarnock End of contract Summer n/a [81][89]
16 DF France Sébastien Faure 24 Free agent End of contract Summer n/a [81]
25 GK England Lee Robinson 28 Free agent End of contract Summer n/a [81]
6 DF Scotland Lee McCulloch 37 Kilmarnock End of contract Summer n/a [81][90]
10 MF Slovenia Haris Vučkić 22 Newcastle United England Loan Return Summer n/a [81]
28 DF England Remie Streete 20 Newcastle United England Loan Return Summer n/a [81][91]
17 MF England Gaël Bigirimana 21 Newcastle United England Loan Return Summer n/a [81]
27 DF Switzerland Kevin Mbabu 20 Newcastle United England Loan Return Summer n/a [81]
29 FW Northern Ireland Shane Ferguson 23 Newcastle United England Loan Return Summer n/a [81]
30 FW Scotland Calum Gallagher 20 St Mirren Transfer Summer Free [92]
3 DF Scotland Darren McGregor 30 Hibernian Contract terminated Summer Free [93][94]
26 DF Lithuania Marius Žaliūkas 31 Žalgiris Lithuania Contract terminated Summer Free [95]
21 MF Scotland Robbie Crawford 22 Alloa Athletic Loan Summer n/a [96][97]
18 MF Scotland Andy Murdoch 19 Cowdenbeath Loan Summer n/a [98]
32 GK Scotland Liam Kelly 19 East Fife Loan Winter n/a [99]
18 MF Scotland Andy Murdoch 20 Queen of the South Loan Winter n/a [100]
48 MF Scotland Tom Walsh 19 Dumbarton Loan Winter n/a [101]
10 MF England Nathan Oduwa 19 Tottenham Hotspur England Loan Return Winter n/a [102]
20 MF Canada Fraser Aird 20 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Canada Loan Winter n/a [103]
42 FW Scotland Ryan Hardie 18 Raith Rovers Loan n/a n/a [104][105]
45 MF Northern Ireland Jordan Thompson 19 Airdrieonians Loan n/a n/a [106][107]
30 GK Poland Maciej Gostomski 27 Bytovia Bytów Poland Contract terminated n/a Free [108]

Last updated: 17 March 2016
Total income: £0m

Academy[edit]
N
Pos.
Nat.
Name
Age
Moving to
Type
Transfer
window
Transfer
fee
Source
33 MF Northern Ireland Kristian Gibson 20 Glentoran Northern Ireland End of contract Summer n/a [109][110]
36 FW Curaçao Jamie Burrows 20 Yeovil Town England End of contract Summer n/a [109][111]
57 FW Cameroon Junior Ogen 17 Free agent End of contract Summer n/a [109]
51 DF Northern Ireland Scot Whiteside 17 Partick Thistle End of contract Summer n/a [109][112]
56 GK Scotland Lewis McMinn 17 Falkirk End of contract Summer n/a [109][113]
31 DF Canada Luca Gasparotto 19 Greenock Morton Loan Summer n/a [114][97]
34 MF Scotland Darren Ramsay 20 Arbroath Loan Summer n/a [115][97]
40 DF Scotland Greg Pascazio 19 Montrose Contract terminated Summer Free [81][116]
39 DF Scotland Ryan Sinnamon 19 Falkirk Loan Summer n/a [117]
41 FW Scotland Danny Stoney 19 Free agent Contract terminated Summer Free [118]
38 DF Scotland Craig Halkett 20 Berwick Rangers Loan n/a n/a [119]
38 DF Scotland Craig Halkett 20 Livingston Contract terminated Winter Free [120]
50 DF Scotland Ross McCrorie 17 Ayr United Loan n/a n/a [121]

Last updated: 26 February 2016
Total income: £0m

New contracts[edit]

First-team[edit]
N
Pos.
Nat.
Name
Age
Status
Contract length
Expiry date
Source
9 FW Scotland Kenny Miller 35 Signed 1 year May 2017 [122]
16 MF Scotland Andy Halliday 24 Signed 4 years May 2020 [120]
23 MF Scotland Jason Holt 22 Signed 4 years May 2020 [120]
19 MF Scotland Barrie McKay 21 Signed 2 years & 6 months May 2018 [123]
15 MF England Harry Forrester 25 Signed 3 years May 2019 [124]

Last updated: 17 November 2015

Academy[edit]
N
Pos.
Nat.
Name
Age
Status
Contract length
Expiry date
Source
34 MF Scotland Darren Ramsay 19 Signed 1 year May 2016 [125]
39 DF Scotland Ryan Sinnamon 19 Signed 1 year May 2016 [125]
38 DF Scotland Craig Halkett 20 Signed 1 year May 2016 [125]
43 DF Scotland David Brownlie 18 Signed 1 year May 2016 [125]
53 MF Scotland Josh Jeffries 17 Signed 1 year May 2016 [125]
56 DF Scotland Lewis White 17 Signed 1 year May 2016 [125]
36 MF Scotland Dylan Dykes 19 Signed 1 year May 2016 [125]
42 FW Scotland Ryan Hardie 18 Signed 2 years May 2018 [126]
62 MF Scotland Liam Burt 17 Signed 2 years May 2018 [127]
65 MF Scotland Jamie Barjonas 17 Signed 2 years May 2018 [127]
67 GK Scotland Kieran Wright 15 Signed 2 years May 2018 [127]
63 DF Scotland Kyle Bradley 17 Signed 2 years May 2018 [127]
61 DF Scotland Jason Krones 17 Signed 2 years May 2018 [127]
64 DF Scotland Aidan Wilson 17 Signed 2 years May 2018 [127]
60 FW Scotland Grant Nelson 17 Signed 1 year May 2017 [127]

Last updated: 3 March 2016