James Bisgrove has spoken to the media at Philippe Clement's first press conference. Here is everything he had to say.

How prepared are the board to be patient and give Philippe time?

JB: I think we recognise that continuity and stability are going to be absolutely key to this football club. This is the 19th manager we have had in 151 years and we went through a process that was multi-layered, that took on a lot of due diligence and took a lot of time with the board to get this appointment right. We had a very clear vision in terms of the characteristics we wanted the next Rangers manager to have and the board were unanimous that Philippe was the outstanding candidate in that process. Absolutely, this is a long term appointment but Rangers is about winning. There is a lot of football to be played this season. I know that Philippe and the squad will be giving it everything they have got to make this a successful season. We are looking forward to working with Philippe in the short, medium and long term.

Have you decided on a sporting director?

JB: That is a conversation that Philippe and I have had, it is one Philippe has had with the board and I will come back to the question directly. To provide some context on that, both the chairman and I recognise that the leadership, the governance of the football department is absolutely fundamental to our short, medium and long term success. In that regard, we have a football board with a number of leaders across the football department. We have our chief scout, John Park, who sits on that, we have Creag Robertson, our director of football operations, the chairman and myself, the manager, Dr Mark Waller, our director of medical and performance, and our academy director. We feel we have got a really strong group of leaders that will implement the football strategy and take key decisions, whether that is player contracts, player acquisitions. All of that said, we do believe a director of football, a technical director, is something that will add additional value. It is a live conversation that we are having at the moment to compliment and complete that leadership structure.

What lessons were learned in the manager recruitment?

JB: I think when we had the conversation after the Aberdeen game, the board took the difficult decision to part company with Michael and his staff. We felt it was the right decision in the best interests of the club and we then discussed what the criteria would be for the next Rangers manager. We placed a strong emphasis on leadership, character, man-management, and we aligned that with the football criteria that you would expect, the football methodology, the football identity. We wanted a manager that had a strong track record as a winner and experience in the game that can handle everything that comes with being the manager of this football club. That was the criteria that we entered into the process of the two weeks, the first round of interviews, the second round, the final stages, and as we progressed the process and had more detailed conversations. We spent a lot of hours together in London and Brussels and then Philippe got a chance to talk to our investors in the US and Asia and it became more apparent for us and the board that Philippe was the standout candidate in terms of the criteria that we felt was really important.

James, why was Philippe the outstanding candidate?

JB: It goes back to the criteria that we set out. With the panel, we set out different questions and had a very open two-way conversation with all the candidates to understand if they’d be suitable to that criteria and we found very quickly that from the data accumulated, we understood Philippe’s track record as a manager, winning the title with Genk, Brugge and the initial impact at Monaco. His experience at the Champions League group stage and Europa League knock-out. That pedigree was clear and it became even more apparent in terms of the personal characteristics and the synergy and chemistry we felt for us and the board that Philippe was the standout over the two weeks of conversations we had.

How involved was Graeme Souness?

JB: He was a great help. He added a lot of value and I thank him again. He joined us in London when we met Philippe for the first time and because some of the criteria that we set out were so aligned with his own characteristics when we talked about leadership, understanding the club and dealing with the pressures, Graeme was able to ask those questions from a real place of experience. He and Philippe had really good conversations. He added a lot of value and the board really thank him for that.

What scope is there to change things in January?

JB: Philippe will make an assessment on the squad to identify how we increase performance and improve results and Philippe will give an assessment to the board where he sees the strengths and weaknesses. I believe the board and investors will be receptive to his feedback in terms of the improvements required. Clearly, there has been investments this summer, but the standard and the bar here is very high. We want to win silverware. Philippe is here for that, that’s why he’s picked Rangers over possibly other options. 

Can you put a timescale on a Director of Football?

JB: In the next few weeks if not months, we’re having live conversations at the moment. There are variables depending on the individuals the board believe has the best fit. I believe it will be imminent.

How important is it that this does work long term?

JB: Really important, it goes back to my point on stability and continuity. This club does not have a habit of changing managers frequently - we’ve had 19 permanent managers. The success that we’ve had as a football club has been built on that stability and that’s why Philippe is here and has picked Rangers and the common ground in our conversations. We believe there’s a lot to play for this season we’re in all four competitions, we believe there will be short, medium and long-term objectives and hope very much to have success with Philippe as our manager.

How difficult was it to part ways with Michael Beale after the backing he was given in the summer?

JB: It is a difficult decision whenever a club parts ways with a manager. The reality is there is a standard and expectation at Rangers about winning and the standards fell short of that. The board felt after the Aberdeen game that it was the right decision for the football club. We would like to than Michael and his staff, Neil, Harry, Damien and Jack for what they did for the club. They gave it everything they had, they are brilliant people, and we wish them well for whatever they go on to do next in their careers, but the club felt that was the right decision.

How important was it to get a candidate like Philippe?

 JB: I think the international break was fortunate in terms of the window that gave us. Steven and Alex led the team through the two fixtures that took us into the break. We felt we had to get the decision right so we would take as long as it took to take that decision but I think we always had it in our minds that the first full week of training was important so Philippe could work with the team. The run of games is relentless here, so I feel as though we got the balance right in terms of us taking our time and having detailed conversations with several high-calibre candidates, but we are delighted that Philippe is here and started work ahead of Saturday’s game.

Will the manager have a say in the appointment of a director football?

JB: That will be a club board appointment, but Philippe will absolutely be a part of that process and we will make sure he meets whoever that is before we make that decision, and that person will add additional value and expertise and leadership to the recruitment function. We currently have Jon Park at the top of that division. We have made some chances to the scouting function recently; we have modernised some of the processes in terms of data and video analysis and I think we have been more strategic on how we have set that up and Philippe will have a say on that as well. It is a decision the board will take on a long-term football strategy to make sure we have really robust processes around decisions we make right across the football department.