Rangers appoint Mark Allen as Director of Football

Rangers have finished the search for a Director of Football with the appointment of Mark Allen from Premier League side Manchester City.

Allen will be leaving his role as academy director at the Etihad Stadium to take up the much talked about position at Ibrox, as the progression on and off the pitch at the club continues at pace.

He was responsible for the entire operation at City’s academy as they enjoyed unprecedented success at every age group in the 2015/16 season – with national titles and cups aplenty from under-10s to under-18s.

Over his eight years in Manchester, Allen has been credited with revolutionising the club’s academy. He has overseen significant progress and improvement of their academy, which has resulted in City acquiring elite talent both domestically and from abroad.

In an interview with the Telegraph in October last year, Allen described the City academy’s approach to finding new players to fit their entire operation, their shared ethos, from top-to-bottom at the club. He said:

We have a very clear profiling system. We have a very distinct style of play which goes throughout the academy. Every single team will play in the same way with the same philosophy, so when we’re looking for players, we know what we’re looking for in a No 2, a No 7, etc. As you plot that you can almost see the axis as you go through the club.

Allen had a rather unconventional route into the football business having worked in the media for around 20 years. After ending his playing career by leaving Swindon Town in the early 1980s, he moved across the pond to the United States, being awarded a scholarship to study business and accountancy at the University of San Diego.

He then worked for former Welsh broadcaster HTV while playing for clubs including Cwmbran and Port Talbot on a semi-professional basis.

Music network MTV was his next calling, where he became managing director of the broadcasting division for 12 years. A switch to Deluxe Digital in London in 2007 as managing director followed before he made his first move into football in a non-playing capacity, joining City in 2009.