Rangers prepare for game without manager after bizarre departure
Rangers will prepare for their William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round tie against Morton tomorrow without manager Mark Warburton as the fall-out of his reported resignation continues.
The Scottish giants insisted Warburton left of his own accord on Friday night amid claims he was surprised by the club announcing his exit.
The club said they had granted the English manager his wish to leave Ibrox, following negotiations with his representatives.
Yet it was reported that Warburton was taken aback by the news, indicating he had received no warning of the 9pm statement detailing the end of his reign.
But Rangers stood by the announcement, meaning Warburton's tenure is over.
In the lengthy statement, Rangers said they had been advised earlier this week, at a meeting with the management team's representative, that Warburton, his assistant
David Weir and the club's head of recruitment Frank McParland "wished to resign their positions and leave the club on condition that Rangers agreed to waive its rights to substantial compensation".
Rangers said their agreement to waive the compensation would "assist the management team to join another club".
Warburton's position had been under scrutiny due to poor results and the massive deficit to Premiership leaders Celtic, which now stands at 27 points.
He had been linked with a move to Nottingham Forest, but the Sky Bet Championship club on Thursday night handed caretaker Gary Brazil the reins until the end of the season.
Rangers said they had agreed to release the trio because it was "important that Rangers has a football management team that wants to be at the club".
Under-20s coach Graeme Murty - a former Reading player and Scotland international - will take interim charge of the first team, starting with their cup game tomorrow.
The saga continues a troubled season for the Ibrox club on their return to the Scottish Premiership.
Results have been patchy while there was more controversy earlier in the campaign following Joey Barton's sacking after a reported bust-up with Warburton.
Former Gers captain Terry Butcher said the situation was "messy".
He told Sky Sports News: "There seems to be a lot of secrecy from both sides and until that comes out it doesn't make a lot of sense.
"It's now how the board on one side and Mark Warburton, David Weir and Frank McParland on the other side come to a conclusion where everything is done and dusted.
"There is the issue of compensation and the issue of games coming up as well and I think Rangers Football Club is obviously much bigger than any one person.
"But it is messy and it was a shock to me, not that the board had a difficult relationship with Mark Warburton but the manner in which it was done.
"Rangers like to do things in a very precise and clear-cut way and this wasn't."
Former Brentford boss Warburton was appointed Rangers manager in June 2015 on a three-year contract.
He led the club to promotion back to the Premiership in his first season at the helm, as well as triumphing in the Challenge Cup.
But Rangers have struggled to keep pace with their Old Firm rivals this term and currently sit third in the top-flight standings, having played a game more than second-placed Aberdeen.