Beale, who was a coach at Rangers for three years between 2018 and 2020 under Steven Gerrard, becomes the 18th manager of Rangers, a week on from the sacking of his predecessor Giovanni van Bronckhorst. The 42-year-old Englishman has signed a contract until the summer of 2026 and brings his backroom team of Neil Banfield, Damian Matthew and Harry Watling from Queens Park Rangers north with him. Beale turned down the opportunity to manage Wolves six weeks ago but said “it was the right moment” to come back to Ibrox.
“Whenever you get an opportunity to come is the right time,” Beale said. “If you have an opportunity to come back to Rangers, or to work for Rangers, it’s always the right moment. I’m leaving a fantastic football club and owners who were very good for me. There was a tinge of sadness in terms of leaving that journey but huge excitement for me and my family to come back to Glasgow and this football club. I don’t think there’s ever a moment that I wouldn’t have come back – it’s a matter of being asked. I’m absolutely delighted to be here.”
Beale was the early frontrunner to replace Van Bronckhorst and was pictured last month at Ibrox taking in Rangers’ 4-1 win over Aberdeen. “I’ve followed the club closely every game,” he said. “I still speak to some of the players and support them because we’ve been on a big journey together and a big experience together. The team has had some unbelievable highs in the last few months and I’ve rode that wave with them from the outside. The last few days in terms of knowing there was an opportunity to come back and reconnecting with the board and Ross [Wilson, sporting director] to talk about it. It was a long drive from the West Midlands but it seemed like no time whatsoever because there was so much on my mind.”
Beale’s first match in charge of Rangers will be on Thursday, December 15 when Hibs visit Ibrox on the resumption of cinch Premiership following a pause during the World Cup. He inherits a team currently second in the league, nine points behind leaders and fierce city rivals Celtic, but is confident that a “well-balanced squad” will get results under him.
“I’m looking forward to getting on the training pitch and working with the players again,” Beale continued. “There are a lot of new players I’m excited to work with, who I feel have huge potential for this club. There are players who were here previously under me who will have an idea of how I want to work. But the ideas have changed a little bit, they’ve grown. There is more variety and there are different ideas I have which makes me excited to work with the players here.
“The squad is very well-balanced, it’s a strong squad, and they’re all the things that excited me about coming back. It’s going to be like a mini-preseason in terms of ideas and identity. And I want us to be on the front-foot. I want us to take the handbrake off and I want us to go for it every single week.”