The importance of the position and the person go hand in hand at Ibrox. The structure will be ineffective without the right individual, but the prime candidate will never succeed without the support of those around him.

The title given to Nils Koppen reflects a change in structure and stance for the Rangers board. Koppen, the Director of Football Recruitment, is the latest man to oversee an area of the club has not functioned effectively enough for too long now and to say there is room for improvement is something of an understatement. He follows Frank McParland (Director of Recruitment), Mark Allen (Director of Football) and Ross Wilson (Sporting Director) in taking up a position since regime change nine years ago and his arrival from PSV Eindhoven marks a redefinition of how Rangers will operate in the transfer market.

The remits that Allen and Wilson operated with were wide-ranging and all-encompassing at Ibrox and Auchenhowie. The portfolio that Koppen has been handed focuses solely on player identification and recruitment. He will not need to concern himself with the running of the academy or the Women’s setup or get involved in the minutiae of sports science or food provision. His KPIs will be specific to player identification. His background, his strengths and his remit is to sign players to make Rangers successful and make Rangers money.

"I am delighted to be joining such a prestigious club like Rangers in what is a crucial role for the club’s forward strategy," Koppen said. “The Chairman and CEO have both been clear in recent times our player trading model has to function better and on a more regular basis. I look forward to working with the scouting team already here at the club to ensure we reach our goals in the coming years.”

The load has been spread at Ibrox. The football board – headed by chairman John Bennett – meets every four to six weeks and reports directly to the PLC directors. It is a daily operation, though, as each individual specialises in their own department and feeds into the newly completed hierarchy. James Bisgrove, the Chief Executive Officer, is joined by Philippe Clement, Creag Robertson, Dr Mark Waller, Zeb Jacobs and Koppen on the board that deals with the big-ticket items such as recruitment and contracts and Rangers believe a more collaborative approach, with knowledge and responsibility shared, will pay dividends on and off the park.

Koppen is central to it all. Bennett and Bisgrove set about modernising Rangers during their first months as the new powerbrokers at Ibrox and it was not just in the dressing room where it was a case of out with the old and in with the new. Stewart Robertson, Andrew Dickson, Craig Mulholland and James Blair followed Wilson through the exit door as fresh faces injected a new impetus alongside those who were promoted through the ranks.

Koppen should have been the signing of the summer but the goalposts shifted when Michael Beale was sacked in October and the confirmation of Clement came at the end of an intensive search. It is so far, so good in terms of the Belgian’s reign to date.

The process that resulted in Koppen arriving from PSV was broader and more strategic. It was not as time-sensitive but it was more time-consuming and the Rangers Review understands that up to ten potential candidates, some via Zoom calls and others during meetings in London, were spoken to during that period. A recruitment firm were brought on board to assess the market as contenders were put to Rangers. Others came to the fore through the club’s network within the game and some approached the board directly to make their pitch for the position.

Rangers Review: Rangers manager Philippe Clement

Bennett and Bisgrove were always cognisant of the structure and the skillset throughout the interview stages. A proven track record of uncovering and nurturing players was non-negotiable, as was the use of data and video. Unlike many of those who will be recruited, the preferred candidate had to already be operating at the top of their game. Some were spoken to on several occasions and Clement and Robertson, the Director of Football Operations, became involved later in the process once Koppen had emerged as an impressive front-runner for Rangers. He was confirmed on December 1 and officially started at Ibrox on January 2.

Koppen caught the eye from the outset. His track record in the Eredivisie spoke for itself and his drive and dynamism, his obsession with football and with winning, became evident throughout his multiple conversations with those he now deals with on a daily basis. Those personality traits shone through during Clement’s interviews and there is an alignment on a personal level as well as a professional one between the key influencers at Ibrox.

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This was no jobs for the boys hire. Links between Clement and Koppen were there on paper given their respective histories with Genk but the pair were working in first-team and academy roles respectively before Koppen left for PSV. Rangers had undertaken their own due diligence in the weeks previously and conversations with sporting directors, agents and players reaffirmed their belief that Koppen was the right man.

"I had been talking with all the candidates together with the members of the board," Clement said. "The first time I talked with Nils we said it was a pity that we missed each other in Genk. We were there six months when I was working with the first team and he was working in the academy. He left after six months and went to PSV and that year we won the championship and he missed the big party! So I didn’t know him before we first talked but of course, I took some information from people who worked with him in PSV and Genk. Everybody was really positive.

"It’s a very important position. I don’t want to look too much to the past in the last couple of months. I want to look to the future. He’s somebody who knows a lot of players, he has a lot of information and works data-wise really well. He has a lot of experience around that. He’s someone we need in the club to guide our recruitment and to find in this pool the best fish. But we have to really early with that as there are a lot of people in the same pool. We all think in the club that Nils can help with that.”

Koppen's position as scouting coordinator at PSV, where he oversaw around a dozen members of staff, was his fourth in just five years. As his experiences and his influences grew, so did his reputation. Koppen had led the identification and development of some players and contributed to the process with others and the list of names – including the likes of Johan Bakayoko, Ismael Saibari, both free agents who now have eight-figure values, Xavi Simons and Ibrahim Sangare – clearly resonates and carries significant weight.

Rangers are realistic about their place in the football food chain and the same can be said for PSV. The markets that Koppen was shopping in for the Dutch giants will fit his budget at Ibrox and he can point to the rising values of Olivier Boscagli and Walter Benetiz, who both signed having come through the academy at Nice, as notable moves. In the case of Joey Veerman, PSV invested in his potential and have seen his stock increase while he has played his part in domestic cup wins and European campaigns, including the victory over Rangers that secured Champions League football this term.

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The board that Bennett now chairs cannot be accused of failing to back their manager in the summer. A spend of more than £20million represented a significant outlay and it is one that Beale never looked like repaying. Clement has somehow guided this squad to a League Cup win and into the last 16 of the Europa League, as well as keeping them in Premiership title contention, but it is a group that doesn’t represent value for money. That is where Koppen comes in.

Bennett made it clear in his chairman’s report when the accounts for RIFC plc were released in November that the odd success story here and there was not sustainable and the point was reinforced at the Annual General Meeting a few weeks later. 'Sporadic wins' had to be replaced by 'systematic success' in an 'area of priority'.

“I think what’s really important is the statement the club made on Friday was not just about the very important appointment of Nils Koppen," Bennett said during the AGM at New Edmiston House. "It was very deliberately couched in terms of the football board and I want all of our fans to know that it is a process. It’s no longer about backing ‘an individual’. It’s about backing a club process.

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“That’s why you have a football board. That football board, newly formed this year, is about backing a club process. But rest assured that last summer’s spend will have no bearing on where we all - Philippe and everyone at this club - want to take it and need to take it."

Bennett has previously defined player trading as the ‘fourth pillar’ of Rangers and the sales of Nathan Patterson and Calvin Bassey must become the rule rather than the exception. That does not mean that every signing has to be a project player but Rangers need to see more bang for their buck and every pound spent should have a return in football or financial terms.

Koppen’s way of working fits with the blueprint that Rangers are trying to implement as they seek to improve their strike rate in the transfer market. John Park left the club in the weeks after Beale’s sacking, while nine-in-a-row legend John Brown is no longer part of the scouting structure as Rangers move towards a more data-driven approach, one that is spearheaded by video analysis. Koppen’s extensive network of contacts and bank of data sets, clips and reports has been overlapped with those compiled by Fraser Murray and Mervyn Day at Auchenhowie and the 38-year-old has been at the forefront of the planning for the January window.

Clement identified priority positions that needed to be addressed in the weeks after he inherited the squad. Centre-forward and the right side of the attack are the most pressing, while the left-back berth may also require attention depending on how the window unfolds. Rangers completed their first deal before the bells had chimed and Koppen was integral to the loan acquisition of Fabio Silva, once a £35million signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers. The possibility of adding the Portuguese was flagged up to the football board before Christmas and Rangers were then able to move swiftly to see off competition from the continent, and from across the city.

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Conversations regarding further additions are dynamic at present. Rangers will do more business, but only when the profile and price align with the metrics that have been determined. Like the process to appoint Koppen, it is about doing the right deal rather than doing any deal and risking making a costly mistake. There have, after all, been enough of them recently at Ibrox.

The three stages of the methodology – from the initial search and video scouting to data analysis and then discussions over contract numbers – will be followed for each recruit. Several targets have been identified for each of the profiles that Clement has intimated and Koppen’s knowledge of the global game will prove advantageous as Rangers seek to move into previously untapped markets as well as ensuring they are in a position to recruit the best of British. Mainland Europe and South America remain priority areas for consideration, while work will be done in America, Scandinavia and the Far East.

Koppen is very much up and running at Ibrox. He does not carry the profile or influence of Clement or come with the financial burden of a player but his wins and his losses will shape Rangers in a profound way over the coming years.

It is a team game at Ibrox in more ways than one. The silverware in the Trophy Room and the black and white on the balance sheet will shape legacies and determine futures for one and for all.