Gerrard: Rangers must ‘spend big’ to compete in Europe

Steven Gerrard claims Rangers will have to spend “big money” to compete in European football.

The Light Blues lost 1-0 to Sparta Prague in their Europa League clash in the Czech Republic which, after an opening game defeat at home to French side Lyon, left them bottom of Group A with no points from their first two fixtures.

While Rangers are top of the cinch Premiership ahead of their home game against second-placed Hibernian on Sunday, the Ibrox board will note the plea from their manager with regards to Europe, notwithstanding the fact the Scottish champions reached the last 16 of the Europa League in the previous two seasons.

Gerrard said: “You’re well within your rights to read into whatever we do tactically here or my selection.

“We as a staff and me as a manager are trying to find the perfect solution. We are trying to find this settled team that will play with this spark or little bit of life that we have been missing, if you like, but what I would say is we are not concerned or worried here. We know where we are.

“We have been short in the two Europa League games but at this level, which is improving year in, year out, if we want to keep growing and go to the extra level we need to spend big money in the transfer windows, it is as simple as that.

“To compete with the teams we are playing against, we have to spend big money. In the last two windows we haven’t spent a penny.

Rangers won the Scottish Premiership for the first time in 10 years last season

Fashion Sakala, John Lundstram, Nnamdi Ofoborh and Juninho Bacuna joined Rangers in the summer as free transfers

“So there has to be some realism there as well. To compete with these teams and beat these teams on their own patch, when transfer windows are open we have to spend money to compete at this level, not to win, just to compete.

“There has to be some common sense when you are judging us from the outside.

“This spark and this little bit of life you guys have been talking about, it will come, trust me, because we have really good players here and we will keep improving and keep working hard.

“That spark will come but it will certainly come quicker if we can find a settled team and if we can keep our main players fit and available, and if the players who are fit and available get themselves in better form.”