Academy Release & Retention Policy Update

RANGERS Academy have communicated with all Academy players and parents to inform them of the clubs policy on release and retention as our school age players reach the end of their registration.

All registered players from U11 to U15 will be retained by the club in a change of policy as a result of the pandemic and the impact on the young players development programmes.

Head of Academy, Craig Mulholland explained: “This topic is one we have spoken about at length within the Academy Management Team and in the end, it was an easy decision that Ross Wilson and I have agreed in discussion with our staff.

"All of these young players signed a calendar year registration with Rangers and as a consequence of the Covid situation have struggled to play or often train for any consistent periods of time, indeed potentially losing up to 8 months of normal contact time.

"When Rangers make a commitment we stick to it and it is important in keeping with our values and how we treat our players and staff that we allow all of these youngsters the space and time to impress the staff next year, develop and recover from what has been the most challenging time that any of us have experienced.

"By taking any worry away from the players and their families on their futures, it allows them to enjoy Christmas, most importantly be kids and focus on a gradual recovery, with the full support of the club, back to normal times.

"No one at Rangers will be judging them during this period and our role, as has been expertly delivered by our player care team and all of the staff, is to support these youngsters in whatever unique needs they may have at this time.”

The U16 group, who move to professional contract status, will be provided with training and game facilities through to the summer, as a consequence of the pandemic.

We will inform these players whether or not they will be offered a professional contract at Rangers in due course and, if that is not at Rangers, we will ensure we pass an honest respectful message as soon as a decision is taken, so that they are given sufficient time to seek full-time football elsewhere.

Craig Mulholland confirmed: “The 16’s group are slightly different as they are so close to professional contracts and employment, we feel it is right that they be informed of their outcomes as honestly and transparently as possible as soon as decision is taken, to allow those who won’t be at Rangers to move on with a plan for the next steps of their career.

"There is so much to consider at this age – exams, staying on at school, career choices – that we believe the respectful thing to do is to be honest as early as possible. Importantly however and in keeping with the overall ethos of this decision every U16 player, even if they don’t have a long-term future at the club will have full access to training and games all the way until the summer and will be supported by our staff. Again, it’s about putting the player and the young person first in everything we do, especially at this difficult time.”