Amid the Old Firm fog of war, it must be hard for Rangers' decision-makers to make out a clear path forward. Every decision feels critical and thus spiked with danger and emotion. Every bad result ratchets the tension, not least defeats to plucky, under-resourced Cypriots. It's an environment that has swallowed up impressive, composed, capable men - in football and in business.

A managerial vacancy is always liable to turn up the heat and further induce the haze. Not least by unleashing a tidal wave of wearisome links as agents look to add gravitas to their clients. It's clear even a tenuous connection with such a historic club still has currency. 'Maybe, just maybe,' they wonder - could Rangers lose control of their faculties and appoint someone as left-field and unpopular as Steve Bruce or Billy Davies? It's all knockabout stuff of course and not to be taken seriously but amid the distraction of such flights of fancy you wonder if the key question around Rangers is being forgotten.

For all they need a manager, shouldn't a sporting director come first?

The adoption of the role, once alien, is now common in almost every elite football club in Europe. As the game has modernised, a traditional British manager who runs every aspect of the football department from top to bottom seems incompatible with today's elite demands. After all, keeping on top of the myriad football staff, tactics, training, media and man management is a daunting enough workload. Factor in the academy, women's teams, medical departments, recruitment and B Teams and you see stark problems with the old model.

Former Scotland Performance Director Mark Wotte, who performed the role at Feyenoord, memorably described it as being "the spider in the web", the most important figure in the football department. Some might bristle at such a description, thinking it should only be uttered about the man who picks the team but in such a volatile role, we've seen the waste and chaos giving a manager carte blanche can cause.

The temptation in an industry that provokes such wild emotion is to swing wildly in the opposite direction; the youthful coaching nous of Michael Beale didn't work - so what Rangers need is a good, old-fashioned British autocrat. It sounds so good. So different from what went before. So obvious and easy as a solution. But is it smart to put the various players signed from Italy and Holland and America under the care of a manager who will likely not fancy the cut of their jib? Isn't it better to try and protect your investment with a coach whose style fits those in the building first and foremost?

Having a good operator in the background who can cut through the nonsense and keep everyone aligned is handy. And of course, if a beloved manager like Steven Gerrard is poached to the Premier League, a plan is already in place to go and secure a number one choice for the job sharpish as was the case with Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.

It seems strange that there's been a reluctance to make the role a priority. You wonder if Beale felt, through inexperience, overconfidence or perhaps a combination that he could pull such off a challenging dual remit. You'd have to reflect he should have been saved from himself and taking on too much. Being overburdened may have been a key factor in the disintegration of his Ibrox career, after all, most would look back on last season and say he did about as well as he could have with the challenging squad situation he inherited.

It's not as if this current situation is alien to the Ibrox club. It all feels very 2017. Back then Rangers bought into the swarthy charisma of Portuguese coach Pedro Caixinha in March before appointing Mark Allen above him a few months later in July. Crucially, the Welshman arrived after the big money had been spent, including nearly ยฃ3m on Carlos Pena who, by Caixinha's own admission, arrived with serious alcohol and fitness issues. It appeared to everyone that the appointments had been made in the wrong order. In failing to replace Ross Wilson who left for Premier League Nottingham Forest in April, did Rangers allow history to repeat itself, with millions wasted by a manager who never had to justify his recruitment calls?

Time will answer that question in a more rounded way than a hot take based on a small sample size, but you'd have to question if too many serious sporting directors would have backed the decision to splash out a ยฃ4.5m fortune on a striker like Cyriel Dessers. The frontman has had a nomadic playing career and crucially, has severely diminished resale value at 28 years of age.

The manager must always have the final say on transfers, but the top clubs aren't afraid of the wisdom of crowds. Nobody is infallible when it comes to player judgement, as evidenced by Champions League winner Jurgen Klopp's admission he didn't want Mohamed Salah at Liverpool but was ultimately, and thankfully for him, outvoted.

In the meantime, the Rangers board have put in place a team of coaches to assist interim manager Steven Davis so they should be under less time pressure to secure an immediate hire. There is no obvious candidate that ticks all the boxes as there was when van Bronckhorst was available last time around.

As such, this might just be the one point in his tenure where new CEO James Bisgrove has time for some considered analysis of the football department. He should take it and plan for the long term. The pain has been felt, the plaster has been ripped off and Beale has fallen. There is no need for haste. The previous manager wasn't his pick but this one is an appointment that will define the perception of Bisgrove's own performance. Rangers can make a million strides forward off the pitch, but until they begin to win trophies and look a threat to win another title, it will count for little in the eyes of a support that's ravenous for success.

Rushing into a make-or-break call without a sporting director advising in the background seems a huge gamble but in the murky haze of leading Rangers, it's hard to see the woods for the trees.