IT would be the silver lining in a season of dark clouds. In the fickle world of football, it would be a success that ensures failures are, for now, forgotten and forgiven at Ibrox.

There is a certain juxtaposition in the fortunes of Rangers at present. On and off the park, recent months have been controversial at times and shambolic at others and the spotlight has rightly shone on directors, staff and players as their shortcomings have been exposed and analysed.

The Premiership title has been surrendered with a meek fight as the invincible champions have been reduced to forlorn challengers. The League Cup was almost sacrificed as Giovanni van Bronckhorst watched a Hampden humbling by Hibernian from the stands.

Yet the coming days offer opportunities like never before. A first Scottish Cup win in more than a decade is just 90 minutes away and Van Bronckhorst’s side stand on the brink of glory and of history in the Europa League.

This has not been a classic season for Rangers overall but it is one that has produced moments that will live on in the mind for a lifetime. If two more can be added to the list, a campaign that promised much and then threatened to deliver little will go down in Ibrox annuls as one of the finest ever seen.

Ending the season with only the Scottish Cup in the Trophy Room has to be considered a failure. As much as supporters would hail the achievement, a sole success is rarely good enough for Rangers and – given their strength and superiority at the start of the term – it would be an anti-climax if that was the only piece of silverware collected.

This is where the Europa League comes in. If it is won, then many will almost dismiss the fact that the Premiership was given up after just one season and that Rangers’ domestic tally would continue to make for unacceptable reading.

A European win would trump all. In the 50th anniversary year of the Barca Bears, it would arguably become the finest feat ever accomplished by a Rangers side.

The heroes of 55 would become legends. For all their collective failures, one success has the potential to reshape opinions and rewrite the history books at Ibrox and Van Bronckhorst’s side are just two games away from joining the finest names in Rangers’ illustrious story.

If it was to be won in this season of all seasons, it would be fitting of the rollercoaster existence that supporters have lived for so long. A campaign that has been endured rather than enjoyed could end on the ultimate high.

This is the term of an abject Champions League exit and Steven Gerrard’s controversial departure, one of a questionable signing policy and wretched record in the transfer market. As well as that embarrassing showing against Hibernian, this season has seen Rangers humiliated at Parkhead and produce woeful showings home and away as a Premiership lead was squandered at an alarming rate.

There have been concerns raised over the mentality of a squad who were hailed as ruthless and relentless last term, while the abilities of Van Bronckhorst were doubted as performances and results threatened to lead to a premature parting of ways at Ibrox.

Off the park, Rangers as a club have come under fire from supporters as the competency of key executive personnel was put under intense scrutiny. The opinions and insights of Dave King carried huge weight and significance, while Club 1872 were scathing in their condemnation of how Rangers are being run from the boardroom down.

Edmiston House remains a shell and work has stalled, while the Champions Wall has yet to be started. The deal with Sportemon Go wasn’t worth the paper – or whatever these crypto currencies use – that it was formed on and the launch of a new partnership – at what seemed like at fortnightly intervals – became a source of derision rather than admiration.

Fights have been picked with the SPFL over the cinch sponsorship deal, relations with sections of the Press have plumbed to an all-time low and complaints over the ticket office, MyGers scheme and communication with supporters have been regular themes throughout the season. Oh, and there was the small matter of a trip to Sydney and a bit of a fall-out from that self-made shambles.

At that stage, it looked like the campaign could snowball out of control for Rangers and doomsday scenarios of what the coming weeks and months could look like made for worrying thinking. It was bad, but it could have got a whole lot worse.

Yet, here we are. Van Bronckhorst has won over many of his doubters, his players are lauded once again and the decision making of the football, commercial and communication departments, plus many others, have been overlooked.

It just shows you what a couple of results can do for the mood of a support. The season review for so many should not be brushed aside because of what could be achieved on the pitch but the recriminations and ramifications should be left for the summer.

In the here and now, all the focus is rightly on the football. Occasions like the one against RB Leipzig should be savoured as Ibrox hosts its biggest match in half a century and it could be a night to cherish for a crowd that are daring to dream.

Nobody could have foreseen Rangers reaching this stage. If they can go all the way, what an incredible, emotional achievement it will be and the praise and platitudes that will have been hard-earned will be long-lasting at Ibrox.

The quest for silverware at home and abroad will ultimately define how this season – and those protagonists at the heart of it – will be judged. Legacies are on the line as well as trophies.

Time will tell just how this campaign will be remembered. It could yet be for all the right reasons at Ibrox.