Manchester City Academy boss joins Rangers

Allen had been at City since 2009

Allen had been at City since 2009

MANCHESTER CITY Academy director Mark Allen has been named as the new Director of Football at Glasgow Rangers.

The Welshman had been with City since 2009 and was appointed Academy Director a year later. He will take up his new role on July 7th.

City Director of Football Txiki Begiristain said: “Mark has made a significant impact at Manchester City over the years and he leaves us with our best wishes for the future."

The 54-year-old, who holds the Uefa A Licence, added: “The time was right for me to look for a fresh challenge and I am joining one of the world's truly great football clubs, steeped in history and tradition. I am honoured to join Rangers."

Allen, a former Swindon Town player, undoubtedly helped to develop several high-quality players at City, including Kelechi Iheanacho - but the striker was one of precious few to be given the opportunity of first-team football.

Manager Pep Guardiola said fielding young homegrown players was one of the priorities when he took the City job, only to backtrack at the end of the season.

"The quality is there, but maybe not in the next year," he said, blaming the standard of competition the Academy teams take part in. City finished second behind Everton in Premier League 2, the new competition for Under-23s.

Interestingly, Rangers have pulled out of the SPFL Development League next season, instead preferring to play friendlies against some of the biggest sides in Europe.

In May, City were banned from signing Academy players for two years after being found guilty of tapping-up two schoolboys. The club's owners were reported to be unhappy about the ban, although insiders insist this was not a reason for Allen leaving.

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