New deal for Rangers winger Kai Kennedy after 'questionable advice' causes delay
Rangers have secured Kai Kennedy’s future at the club with a two year contract extension.
A temporary move to Inverness ended last week, and the 18-year-old renewed his contract at Ibrox before heading back out for more experience in the SPFL Championship with Raith Rovers.
His signature gives Rangers a satisfactory conclusion to a long-running contract issue which was delayed, according to sporting director Ross Wilson, by some ‘questionable advice’ given to the player and his family.
Wilson was delighted to “reward” the highly-rated youngster with a new deal, and said he and Steven Gerrard had appreciated the player’s “reflection, humility and maturity”.
He told the club website: “I am pleased that we have confirmed Kai’s future. There has been a lot written about Kai, much of it creating an unfair narrative around him.
“I have been really clear that with respect to our young players’ contracts we will reward talent and provide opportunities, but such rewards at Rangers must be earned and achieved. We felt that Kai received questionable advice previously and halted our discussions.
“Kai, with the support of his family, acknowledged he had listened to wrong advice, and Steven and I admired his reflection, humility and maturity.
“Kai consistently stated during all of our conversations that his ultimate ambition is to be a successful Rangers player. We are pleased we have a clear plan that allows him to move towards achieving the ambition he has held since joining our Academy as a young lad.”
After catching the eye in the Highlands with 10 appearances and a goal during the televised Championship win over Queen of the South, Kennedy has returned to the second tier with John McGlynn’s side until the end of the campaign.
Wilson explained the background to the move: “He has progressed beyond our B Team and he needs to develop and influence strongly at first-team level now. We were pleased with his performances at Inverness and thank John Robertson for his work with Kai.
“For personal reasons, Kai wanted to be closer to his family during Covid times and we look forward to monitoring his contribution to Raith Rovers in their pursuit of promotion.”
The Kirkcaldy club has previously taken Ryan Hardie and Jamie Barjonas on loan from Ibrox.