Philippe Clement Reveals Disagreement with Rangers Directors Regarding European Ambitions

Philippe Clement disclosed that directors from the club had once recommended prioritizing domestic football over European aspirations. As the Ibrox squad arrived in Lisbon for the first leg of their last-16 tie on Thursday, Clement shed light on the board’s suggestions and reaffirmed his commitment to success on both fronts.

Clement, who assumed the managerial role in October, faced a challenging fixture schedule, including a crucial Europa League group game against Real Betis in Spain and the Viaplay Cup final against Aberdeen at Hampden Park. Despite initial discussions favoring domestic success, Rangers managed to secure a 3-2 victory against Real Betis, earning qualification for the Europa League knockout stages, and followed it up with a 1-0 triumph over Aberdeen, clinching the first trophy of the season.

Currently leading the cinch Premiership by two points over Celtic, Rangers are set for a Scottish Cup quarter-final tie against Hibernian on Sunday. However, Clement asserted that European football remains a top priority and is not viewed as a distraction.

In response to the board’s advice, Clement stated, “I said that in December when there were some people on the board before our European game that it was maybe more important to win the League Cup. No (surprise) because it was with good intentions. The hunger to win a trophy again was so big in the club that everybody wanted to put emphasis on that.”

Highlighting the importance of maintaining a winning culture, Clement added, “I never work that way. I want players hungry for every occasion who want to win every occasion. It doesn’t work that way. It’s not like a menu in a restaurant that you pick up. Like that, you don’t create a winning culture.”

Acknowledging the busy schedule, Clement emphasized the team’s dedication, stating, “It’s about us working really hard with the players and the staff to get the players ready and also the players themselves showing that they are ready for that kind of competition. We are going to full for this game, full at the weekend, and go full until the end of the season.”