THE pursuit of title 55 has become more than a sporting ambition for Rangers over the last decade. In many ways, it was akin to a way of life and the number itself carried unique significance for supporters.

This success marks the end of ‘The Journey’ that has taken Ranges from the depths of the Third Division to the top of the Premiership. Rangers are back where they feel they belong and a chapter in the story has been closed.

For so long it was a tale of despair and of controversy as the villains wreaked havoc on the club. Now, the heroes of recent years and of today can be revered as Rangers, proud and triumphant once again, celebrate a success that has been too long in the making.

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It is one that will rightly be savoured, one that will take a unique place in Ibrox history. But the end of one era must be the start of another as Rangers, as a club and a support, move on.

So much time in recent seasons has been spent remembering the past and looking at where Rangers have come from. In the coming weeks, the focus will shift to where they are heading as a line in the sand is drawn at Ibrox.

The periods that define Rangers’ recent history can be split into three-year segments and the same can be said for the one to come as Steven Gerrard – having already secured his place amongst legendary bosses – looks to leave a lasting legacy on a city and a game that has become his home from home.

The years between administration and regime change were the most tortuous for supporters and uncertain for Rangers, while the three that followed brought only false dawns and shattered dreams.

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It took until the third attempt for Gerrard to realise his Ibrox ambitions and turn Rangers from challengers into champions.

Glasgow Times: Steven Gerrard

Over the next three seasons, he must make them the dominant force in Scottish football once again.

The extended contract that Gerrard signed midway through last term runs until the summer of 2024 and time will tell if his stint in Glasgow lasts a full six seasons or not.

If they do, that would seem a natural point at which to return south of the border and any Old Firm manager, even the most successful ones, has a natural shelf life.

Gerrard has spent the last three terms ticking off a list of firsts with an impressive regularity and his fourth allows him the chance to continue that task as he looks to lead Rangers into the Champions League group stages.

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That achievement would be transformative for the club on and off the park and would significantly change the Old Firm power balance as Rangers build on solid foundations and Celtic go back to the drawing board under the guidance of a new manager.

The retail agreement with Castore will celebrate a successful first term come August and the scope there is massive for Rangers as they enter their 150th year with the league flag flying over Ibrox for a 55th time.

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The Edmiston House project will be a valuable source of income as well and the area around the stadium will continue to be improved as supporters see and feel the benefits of investment and ideas in a business sense as well as a sporting one.

Rangers have already enhanced their commercial portfolio in recent months and that can be accelerated on the back of a title win and a crack at the Champions League. Even if Gerrard’s side fall short in that competition, they have already proven themselves to be more than adept in the Europa League and another extended run, with all the financial benefits that would bring, should not be out of the question.

There will be work for Gerrard to do too, of course, and the summer transfer window will define if Rangers are to be one-season wonders or if they can move forward from a position of strength and pull away from Celtic.

Gerrard’s reign has been more evolution than revolution to date and the next phase of that process will see some of his most valuable assets leave Ibrox. That is difficult for fans to stomach, but it is the model by which Rangers must operate to lessen the requirement for external finance from investors.

The long-running saga around Alfredo Morelos will surely come to an end this time around and the Colombian will get his move. A valuation of around £20million will see Rangers do business and a chunk of that can be reinvested to find a replacement striker to compliment Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten next term.

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Others such as Borna Barisic and Glen Kamara will undoubtedly attract heavy interest once they have performed on a bigger stage for Croatia and Finland respectively at the European Championships this summer. Once again, Rangers will make substantial profits on the pair and now would appear to be the time to sell and wish them well.

Given the make-up of the squad that Gerrard has assembled, Rangers could well find themselves having to fend off offers for the likes of James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi this summer but it is important to keep as much of the core together as possible. In that regard, retaining the services of Allan McGregor and Steven Davis beyond the end of the campaign is crucial for Gerrard.

It is one thing having money to spend, but quite another ensuring that every pound parted with is used wisely and the work of Ross Wilson, the Sporting Director, will be hugely important for Rangers over the summer.

Wilson oversees a network and a structure that is now fit for purpose after years of neglect before Gerrard’s arrival and the time has come for Rangers to make the most of that investment in personnel and processes.

The burden of ending a decade of failure has now been lifted at Ibrox and this summer presents a chance to accelerate the progress towards becoming a more modern club at all levels. In Gerrard, Rangers have the perfect man to continue pushing the drive to increase standards and deliver further success.

Rangers are now Going for 56. More importantly, they are entering a new era at Ibrox.