Michael Beale declares he’s ‘lost a good ally’ after Ross Wilson’s exit - but claims Rangers summer recruitment ‘finalised’

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The Ibrox boss has sent a farewell message to his former colleague after moving to Nottingham Forest.

Rangers boss Michael Beale feels he has “lost a good ally” in Ross Wilson after the Ibrox sporting director left his role to take up a similar position at Nottingham Forest earlier this week.

The 39-year-old Scot was announced as the English Premier League side’s new chief football officer on Wednesday and his departure was met with an overwhelming sense of relief amid supporters unrest over the club’s recruitment policy in the last 18 months.

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During his three-and-a-half year tenure at Ibrox, Wilson oversaw a period of on-field progress as the club lifted Scottish Premiership title under Steven Gerrard, clinched Scottish Cup success a memorable run to the Europa League Final last season and a return to the Champions League group stage after a 12-year absence under Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Rangers manager Michael Beale (right) says he has lost a 'great ally' with the departure of sporting director Ross Wilson. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Rangers manager Michael Beale (right) says he has lost a 'great ally' with the departure of sporting director Ross Wilson. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Rangers manager Michael Beale (right) says he has lost a 'great ally' with the departure of sporting director Ross Wilson. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

However, Wilson came in for scathing criticism from a section of the club’s fanbase over Rangers activity in recent transfer windows, with managing director Stewart Robertson also at the centre of protests staged at matches this season.

The Light Blues are currently 12 points behind Glasgow rivals Celtic in the title race and also lost the Viaplay Cup final against the Hoops to leave Beale’s side facing a must-win Scottish Cup semi-final against Ange Postecoglou’s men in order to avoid a trophy-less campaign.

Beale admits he was disappointed to see Wilson move on, but insists it’s time for the club to “move forward strongly”.

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Speaking to RangersTV, he said: “Firstly, you’re disappointed to lose a good person, someone I’ve worked with over the last three-and-a-half years in two spells at the club. Ross was hugely positive in his day-to-day work here at the club and he brought a lot of the departments together.

“His job was to oversee first-team football operations, recruitment, medical, the academy, the women’s teams and bring all of that in line. We’ve seen good success in the time that he was here. He was influential in me coming back in and he’s a person that I probably spoke to the most out of anybody at Rangers and was between me and the board. So I feel like I’ve lost a good ally.

“One thing I would say that is a big strength of Ross is that he never micromanaged anybody. He allowed people to grow in their role and do it to the fullest. In the short-term there will be a void in terms of Ross leaving but the heads of departments are ready to step into the role.

“We’ve got an extensive recruitment team and analysis start that collect the data. Meetings have already been had and recruitment and pre-season has very much been finalised. Now, it’s just ticking one or two boxes on some areas. Maybe some players see their futures elsewhere.

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“The main part of the recruitment process in terms of identifying players has already happened. Now it’s about executing those deals. I’ve been away for the last couple of weeks. I’m disappointed for Rangers that Ross has moved on, but on a personal level I’m happy for him and his family that he feels this is a challenge he’d like to take.

“Having known Ross for as long as I have, I know this isn’t the first opportunity to have come his way. So, if he feels this is the right thing for him then we wish him well, we feel that he did a good job here but now it’s time to move forward strongly.”

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