Rangers sack Giovanni van Bronckhorst after lacklustre start to season | Rangers

Rangers have sacked Giovanni van Bronckhorst after a disappointing start to the season which has left them a distant second to Celtic in the Scottish Premiership and embarrassed in the Champions League.

The Ibrox club made unwanted history in Europe with six defeats from six in the group stage, finishing rock bottom of Group A with a goal difference of -20. That represented a new low for a Champions League side, beating Dinamo Zagreb’s winless 2011-12 campaign which ended in six losses and a goal difference of -19.

Rangers have also struggled on the domestic front, with a recent defeat to St Johnstone and draws against St Mirren and Livingston leaving them nine points behind rivals Celtic at the top of the table. They lost 4-0 at Celtic Park in September, compounding their misery.

A statement announcing Van Bronckhorst’s departure read: “Rangers Football Club confirms today it has parted company with manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst. The board would like to put on record sincere thanks to Gio for all his efforts since his appointment as manager.

“Arriving at the club just over a year ago, Gio led the club to a fifth European final and won the Scottish Cup last May. He also led the team to the club’s first Champions League qualification in 12 years.

“Unfortunately, results and performances over recent months haven’t met expectations and the decision was made today by the board to terminate the contract of the manager. The search for the new manager is now underway.”

Douglas Park, Rangers’ chairman, added: “I want to thank Gio for the hard work he has put in over the last 12 months and, especially, the achievements of taking the club to the Europa League final and winning the Scottish Cup last season.

“Unfortunately, recent results have not met our nor Gio’s expectations, and we have taken this difficult decision today. Everyone at Rangers wishes Gio every success in the future.”

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