“I Felt Disrespected”: Fashion Sakala Opens Up on Rangers Exit

Former Rangers forward Fashion Sakala shared his perspective on his departure from the club, shedding light on his feelings of disrespect by then-manager Michael Beale during his final weeks with the Scottish side.

Sakala, who recently made a lucrative move to Saudi Arabian team Al-Fayha after two years with Rangers, expressed disappointment in the way his time at the club came to an end. According to Sakala, his aspirations of becoming a key player in Beale’s revamped squad were shattered when he was allegedly banished from training.

“I went back to pre-season in Germany, and it was a big surprise because my pictures were not taken,” Sakala recounted in an interview with the Herald. “I was scoring beautiful goals, and my goals were not published. I could see my friends celebrating goals. When we had a team meeting, my answers were not allowed to be published.”

The Zambian striker revealed that questions arose about his presence during pre-season, despite him being with the team from start to finish. He expressed frustration at the lack of acknowledgment, stating, “It was a hard one to take for me. Even if there was a club that wanted to buy me, I could have at least been respected a little bit and leave the club in a good way. Rangers was a club that I felt was like my home, and receiving that treatment was so hard for me.”

Sakala’s account diverges significantly from Beale’s, who publicly asserted that his relationship with the 26-year-old was “maybe even stronger than with anyone else in the group.” Despite Beale’s claims of a close bond, Sakala’s experience paints a different picture.

“That was the hard one. When I was coming back for the new season, I thought the coach would trust me and want me there for the new season. He didn’t talk to me about anything or any transfers,” Sakala revealed. “He clearly showed me that I wasn’t part of his plans without telling me anything. The time I received a call from Mick Beale was when he told me not to come to the training ground anymore.”

The striker expressed the difficulty of the situation, noting, “Players leave clubs, but they are not told not to go to the training ground, not told not to be part of the team. I stayed without training with the club for almost two weeks.”

In August, Sakala made a move to Saudi Arabia, enjoying a new chapter in his career. Just two months later, Beale was sacked following a disastrous start to the season. Looking back on his time at Ibrox, Sakala may feel a sense of ‘what if?’ regarding his departure. However, one thing is clear – the manner in which he left the club left a lasting impact.

“I think I deserved much better; I deserved to be respected at least. I understand you want to sell me to get money to buy new players, that is fine. But let me just be part of the team, let me say goodbye nicely to my teammates,” Sakala expressed. “When I received a call that I shouldn’t go to the training ground anymore, I didn’t see any of my teammates anymore. It was hard to say goodbye in such a bad way to people who looked after me so well – Tavernier, Goldson – I had to talk to them on phones when it was time to leave. It was hard for them to believe that I wasn’t allowed to go to the training ground anymore.”