Michael Stewart has told BBC Sportscene that Rangers need to be doing better than second place in the Scottish Premiership following their summer expenditure – and Rangers fans have reacted angrily.
Rangers currently sit in second place – 11 behind Old Firm rivals Celtic with five games to play. But it would take a large swing of results to lose second place, given Kilmarnock and Aberdeen are eight points behind.
Steven Gerrard has gone further than both Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha, given that his side qualified for the Europa League group stages as well as potentially finishing second. Previously, Rangers have finished third.
But controversial pundit Stewart believes that Rangers should have achieved more than second place because of their expenditure in the summer, with Mark Allen bringing in 15 summer signings.
“Second is clearly progress,” Stewart said. “The level of many that has been spent there has resulted in a disconnect between what’s expected and what’s actually happening. When you spend all that money and finish second, the people at the club will have been expecting better.”
Stewart has been quoted as criticising Rangers about their expenditure earlier in the season, asking where they have got the finances to splash out on players such as Connor Goldson who is said to have cost £3.5million.
The Daily Record quoted Stewart last week as saying: “The question has to be asked of them, ‘where does it come from?’ It’s the only thing they can do, trying to finance Steven Gerrard’s wishes, but where does it come from?”
Rangers fans reacted to Stewart’s comments about the spending being enough to win the league, with many supporters left confused by the former Hearts and Hibernian midfielder.
Just catching up with Sportscene. @mstewart_23 been going on all year about lack of money at Rangers now saying 2nd isn’t good enough given how much money has gone in ???
— Generic Cads (@rossco_bear) April 7, 2019
2nd isn't good enough due to the money thats gone in, yet the team at the top of the league has a wage bill more than twice ours?
— Tags (@tagsbo) April 7, 2019
If we make it about money that's exactly where they should be. Pure aff-yer-heid logic ???
— Scott Methven (@ScootMeevo) April 7, 2019
That comment makes absolutely no sense. 2nd biggest spenders with 2nd biggest wage budget. We’re exactly where we should b on paper. Am i missing something?? ?♂️?♂️
— bayernbru (@mclaughlan57) April 7, 2019
Hating Rangers sees him alright in this backwater. A walking contradiction.
— Ian Barrie (@ian_barrie) April 7, 2019
On what metric do they think we should compete with Celtic?
— Chris Scott (@christtocs) April 7, 2019