Rangers have appointed Michael Beale as the club’s new manager, with the Englishman leaving QPR to take up the post at Ibrox.
The former coach has signed a four-year contract with Rangers after agreement was reached with QPR to secure his release. First team coaches Neil Banfield, Damian Matthew and Harry Watling have also left QPR to join Beale in Scotland.
The 42-year-old returns to Rangers just over a year after he left the club, having been one of Steven Gerrard’s assistants during his time in Govan.
He left along with Steven Gerrard and other backroom staff when they joined Aston Villa last year.
Beale told the club website: “It is fantastic to be back and to see everybody this morning, there are some new faces but some people that I know really well so it is great to see everyone.
“I am hugely proud, it is a wonderful, wonderful football club, it is an institution. For everyone that works here it is a huge privilege, but to be the manager of this football club, that is extremely special.
“Some wonderful people have sat in this chair prior to me, and I am hugely proud to be the person sat here now.”
After a short spell at Villa Park, Beale took the opportunity to become a manager in his own right, taking over at QPR following the departure of Mark Warburton.
A strong start to the season saw them climb to the top of the Championship table and marked Beale out as a hot property, with Premier League side Wolves making an approach to make him manager at Molineux.
Beale rejected the offer, saying that he felt a loyalty to QPR but that he did have a long-term ambition to manage in the English top flight.
The London club’s form has turned since, with four defeats and a draw in the last five games, leading to a slip down to seventh in the league.
Rangers chairman Douglas Park said: “I am delighted to welcome Michael as our new manager as we aim to strengthen our on-field performance.
“Michael is a very exciting appointment for us, and his energy and ambition stood out both when he was here previously, and in the discussions we have had prior to him re-joining.
“The board will support both Michael and Ross Wilson to make this appointment a success, and I wish him the very best going forward.”
Beale will now turn his attention to trying to improve Rangers’ fortunes. The Ibrox club trail Celtic by nine points in the title race but have progressed to the semi-finals of the League Cup, where they face Aberdeen in January. The team also has the Scottish Cup to defend, with Rangers entering in the fourth round.
On his departure from Rangers last year, Beale made an emotional post on Instagram, reflecting on his time in Glasgow and saying how he had forged a special relationship with the staff, players and fans.
He wrote: “Thank you – to everyone at Rangers Football Club, the players, staff, board members and most importantly the fans.
“Thank you so much for the support and time you have given me. Representing the club was a huge honour and privilege. The last 3.5yrs has been an incredible experience for me and my family, my daughter was born here in Glasgow and I leave with two sons who are Rangers crazy.
“The time has flown and I have memories that will last a lifetime – The “invincible 55”, the big European nights / performances, the incredible away support at every city and stadium we visit, 193 games including 53 in European competition, the unbeaten run in old firm matches, the current run of 1 defeat in 52 league games, working with this group of players, the people I’ve met and the friendships built both inside and outside of the club – Football is about the players and fans.
“When those two groups of people unite then very special things can be achieved. This club has shown that for 150 years and will continue to go from strength to strength – because the squad of players is fantastic and the fans are like no other I’ve seen in football.”