Ross Wilson’s Arrival at Nottingham Forest: What It Means for the Club’s Future

Nottingham Forest confirm the appointment of Ross Wilson as chief football officer with the official leaving Rangers after criticism of the club’s record in the transfer market

Ross Wilson departed Rangers on Wednesday after being confirmed as the new chief football officer at English Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest.

The under-fire Ibrox sporting director — along with managing director Stewart Robertson — had come in for fierce criticism from supporters unhappy with the club’s record in the transfer market.

Wilson succeeds Filippo Giraldi, who was sacked as the City Ground sporting director this week after six months in the post. The 39-year-old Scot is expected to have a more wide-ranging remit than his predecessor at the club that sits 18th in the English top flight.

Wilson, who has previously worked at Falkirk, Huddersfield, Watford and Southampton, departs with a mixed record from his time at Ibrox.

Under Steven Gerrard, the team won the Scottish title in 2021, stopping Celtic securing an historic ten-in-a-row, while the following year under Giovanni van Bronckhorst they reached the Europa League final and won the Scottish Cup. However, with Michael Beale’s side continuing to languish behind Celtic in the league, Wilson and Robertson have been in the firing line.

Ross Wilson, right, has joined Nottingham Forest as the club's chief football officer
Wilson and Rangers board have faced protests from fans with the club trailing behind Celtic
Wilson's arrival follows Forest dismissing sporting director Filippo Giraldi earlier this week

Under Wilson, there was a club-record player sale of £16million from Everton for right-back Nathan Patterson in January 2022 — which was eclipsed by Ajax signing Calvin Bassey for £20m last summer.

But fingers have been pointed this season over what turned out to be a number of poor signings, as well as key players being allowed to run down their contracts.

Previously the subject of interest from Lille and Leeds respectively, striker Alfredo Morelos and winger Ryan Kent are now poised to leave this summer for no fee.

However, in a club statement praising Wilson for giving Rangers a ‘fully operational player trading model’, chairman John Bennett said: ‘I would like sincerely to thank Ross for his enormous contribution to the development of Rangers both on and off the pitch.

‘While we have enjoyed silverware and excellent European progress during his time, his legacy will be the development of the Rangers Training Centre into a top-class environment, and the integration and success of our women’s programme.’

In the same statement, Wilson paid tribute to those he leaves behind at Rangers. He said: ‘I would like to thank the players, led superbly by captain James Tavernier, and the manager Michael Beale, as well as all those who have come before them in the three-and-a-half years I have spent at Rangers.

‘I would like to thank Douglas Park, Stewart Robertson and the board for their support. I wish John Bennett — a true Rangers man — a successful chairmanship.

‘This is a great club, and there are so many reasons for Rangers to face the decades ahead with optimism and pride.’

However, Wilson leaves with Celtic aiming to add a domestic treble to the Parkhead trophy cabinet after winning a League Cup and Premiership double last term under Ange Postecoglou.

Rangers’ only hope of silverware depends on beating their Old Firm rivals in the Scottish Cup semi-finals this month to set up a Hampden final with Falkirk or Inverness Caley Thistle.

Rangers won the Scottish title and made the Europa League final during Wilson's tenure
Rangers sold Calvin Bassey for a club record £20million while Wilson was sporting director

And, speaking on Wednesday before an agreement was reached between Rangers and Forest, former Ibrox star Kris Boyd described Wilson’s imminent departure as best for all parties.

Critical of Rangers’ recruitment, Boyd told Sky Sports: ‘When that’s your role at the football club, you’re always going to be judged on it. There’s no doubt the recruitment over the last few years hasn’t been good enough.

‘Fans have had enough and you’ve seen them turn on Stewart Robertson and Ross Wilson.

‘You don’t like to see it, but the fans are the ones paying the money and they want better. Once the fans start to voice their opinion at the level they have recently, it’s only going to end one way.’

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