Was this the biggest mistake at Ibrox?


With Rangers’ defensive howlers of late, and the evident realisation among just about all fans that Russell Martin has been a pretty poor signing, it really just highlights what a disaster letting Danny Wilson go was, and how poor a decision it was on Rangers’ part.

Wilson, for his part, claims it was Mark Allen who told him he would not be offered a new deal. Now, instant reaction would imply Mark Allen made that decision, and manager Graeme Murty did indeed say if it had been up to him, he would have offered his captain a new deal. Implying that it was not up to him.

But Allen cryptically disputes that, in an interview he gave last December:

“I oversee the scouting system, but I don’t run it on a daily basis, that’s [chief scout] Andy Scoulding. The next element is liaising with the first-team manager. I have made that position abundantly clear, the decision on players is the manager’s. It always will be. Who plays and what system you play, what style, what tactics, what players you sign are all the manager’s decision. My job in that is to link scouting with the manager and say these are the types of players we’ve been looking at, we’ve identified for the squad moving forward. Do these players fit that category? Yes or no. It’s the manager who decides that.”

The stuff in bold is crucial. In short, the footballing decisions are made by Graeme Murty, not Mark Allen – so for Rangers’ boss to say he’d have offered Wilson a new deal if he could, suggests he doesn’t have that power – and going by the DoF’s testimony, he does. Murty is told who is on the table, and says yes or no. Wilson was certainly on the table, and if Allen didn’t tell a porkie, Murty rejected him. One of them certainly hasn’t told the whole truth.

Indeed, all the praise Mark Allen has received for January’s transfer window is actually apparently misguided. Allen sounded the players out, yes, but it was Murty who made the final call. He was the one who chose to take up Russell Martin and it appears ditch Danny Wilson. If Allen’s role is to be understood.

Of course the flip side is Murty said yes to Sean Goss, Greg Docherty, Jason Cummings and Jamie Murphy, but depending on whose account you believe, may have made a costly error with regards Danny Wilson.

Wilson stated that Allen confirmed no deal – after previously saying one would be ready. It is very much ‘he said she said’ but one thing is for sure, whoever made the decision that Russell Martin was a better prospect than Rangers’ best defender (no high praise, true) since 2012 other than possibly Clint Hill made a truly heinous mistake.


  1. I don't believe this sudden nostalgia for Danny Wilson. He was often being slaughtered on these sites for a lack of strength and pace.
    It seems you have to leave Ibrox to gain any credit from some fans.

    • Hi Harry, you may be speaking on behalf of some of our readers and supporters in general, but definitely not on behalf of this site. We were on record time and time again as big supporters of the lad, occasional criticisms not withstanding.

  2. Can's see the board giving someone as inexperienced as Murty the responsibility of choosing who comes in or is allowed to go (although in saying that they did appoint Pedro). Murty was given a chance to prove he could do the job but they couldn't have let him make decisions that would have such a big effect on the club long term.
    I think Allen was making the decisions both good and bad. Cleary letting Wilson leave and replacing him with Martin was a bad mistake but overall the January window greatly improved the quality of the team and if Allen can continue to bring in players like Docherty, Murphy, Cummings and Goss then I think we should forgive him for his defensive blunder.
    Mind you if we had been able to field a central defensive pairing of Wilson and McCrorie since the start of the year I think the title race might still be on.

  3. There is another factor. Murky and Martin are old mates. In December it was not impossible to imagine Alves , Wilson, Bates and McCrorie vying for 2 Spots. No doubt Wilson was hustling for new contract. Replacing Wilson with Martin , which could be seen as a like for like situation, replaced a contract decision until summer giving us the chance to assess the youngsters and perhaps make decisions on summer signings easier. And probably saved some money too. Initially we were happy with Martin.No one could foresee all injury problems. So in retrospect it was not a bad move. Wilson was never Rangers class and an extended contract would have been throwing good money after bad a la Breadmaker and Pedro.

  4. Wilson is and always was a mercenary! He is average at best, as is Martin whom I am very disappointed at. We have lacked leadership for years.
    You are very much deluded if you think the Wilson and McRorie pairing would have saved us, thats a joke! I Like McRorie, but not as a CH! Even Kris Boyd turned Wilson inside out twice, and that in itself is laughable!
    We have needed two, tall, strong, skilful centre halves who can play the offside rule for years. It's a department that has been constantly neglected year in, year out. The next manager really should concentrate on our defence first when he comes in.
    But missing "geez yer cash" Wilson? I don't think so!

    • Your talking pish Jimbo!!!
      I know Danny personally and he wanted to stay with us in the same money as current contact. Get your facts right before coming on a spouting you rubbish. He left first time around to join LIVERPOOL,yes Liverpool. Who would have knocked that back. Wake up man.

    • I'm glad to see you didn't disagree that Danny Wilson is an average player, never Rangers class.
      I will believe my club before I would listen to any player, even if I did know them personally!
      As for Liverpool? 2 games in 3 years. He just wasn't good enough! There after loan after loan! So I wouldn't shout that from the roof tops!
      Rangers are on record in (stupidly) offering him a contract. Danny refused it! Why would the club lie?
      Appears it's not only me that "spouting rubbish" on this matter!

    • Who in scottish football would get a game for Liverpool GersJumbo?Your being a wee bit silly now.” I would believe my club over any player”and”Why would my club lie?”wake up Jumbo!!Do you think we have never been lied to by King &Co?Danny was the Hearts captain and player of the year when he took them back up and finished ABOVE us in the championship!

    • Championship Bigjim?,, If you said the English Championship, I'd accept that. But applauding player of the year for such a poor third rate league, is laughable. Hearts won that league because we had the worst manager and board in the history of our club!
      As for King, no, where has he lied?
      I get it, Bigjim, Danny is a friend of yours, but sometimes we need to be a bit more realistic as opposed to being biased!

    • Did King not say he was going to invest £20 million of his OWN money?Did you answer who plays in Scotland that would get a game for Liverpool?Didnt think so!If a top team like that come calling Jimbo you have to go. No?

    • I don't have David Kings accounts, nor Rangers FC accounts to fully answer that question Bigjim. But, I would urge all supporters to refrain from listening to the media or other fake news claiming to know about the finances of our club.
      Game for Liverpool? Yes, shellics Kieran Tierney, I believe could get a game for Liverpool!
      I have never criticised Danny for leaving Rangers to go to liverpool. But he was only there because of his potential to become a great player. A potential that never surfaced! He just turned out average!

  5. If the decision was to choose between Martin and Wilson, I don't think it was a terrible choice to choose Martin back in January.

    Considering the issues with defence and abundant supply of defensive minded midfielders, I'd like to see McCrorie move back there once he's fit.

    If we can get Martin on a decent deal, I'd take him for next season and hope he settles after a pre-season then another mid-age experienced CD to compete for a place. Wilson could have filled this role, don't believe we'll get any better for the price.

    Apart from the potential sell on fee, not too worried if Bates doesnt get a contract. I think it's between him and McCrorie for a place and I'd choose McCrorie. Saying that I'd like to sign Bates then loan him out to a rival, maybe Motherwell or Kilmarnock for season.

  6. we could have stopped 3 in a row if not for that crackpot pedro and the fellow crackpots who bought the bullshit. we have created our own downfall not septic.

    • You are right Scooby. We had two opportunities to appoint the right manager but these incompetents to whom we give our money appointed Warburton (unlike most I thought he was the wrong choice from day one) and Caixinha. The trouble is, they'll probably still not get it right when they hopefully get rid of the current rabbit in the headlights.

    • How do you work that out? Keep aff the pipe Scooby..Pedro wasn’t in charge a full season nevermind another 2 yr.. It all started with Warburton and giving him the extension that the support wanted..

    • its aboot this season, nutin tae dae wae warburton billy.hink the board were on the pipe wae pedro when they handed or 10m,tae a look @ the mexican league table!

  7. No!the board need to get smart and use our contacts like laudraup albertz amoruso ect, and use them as overseas scouts with bonuses for transfers.gattso and van bronkhorst could lend a hand with potential loans. c'mon gers think smart and f**k dealing with the small minded haters.

  8. Wilson. Alves. Martin. Cordoso. Bates.
    Honestly good riddance don't let the door hit UR ass on the way oot!!!!

    McCorie holding role with Docherty to protect the teabag defence with Dorrans in the #10 role till the summer!!

  9. He is a good player but not a great player,but we can only work with the tools we have at hand.

  10. Agree with most comments Wilson never a Rangers player Martin even less so Alves a disappointment…Need a new think ..intetesting how the Rotten Mob stole young Hendry ..mind u he's of that persuasion so he wouldn't have played for us anyway…We need to look further afield ..Romania France Holland to try and get 2 or 3 decent young players maybe De Boer will have someone in mind !@

  11. Wilson wanted to go. It shows how bad we must be if people are pining for Danny Wilson! He's not Richard Gough! Martin isn't as bad as you all make out. He can't do it himself, he needs help from our lightweight midfield, his partner and the non existent full backs! We badly NEED Walter to sort this farce out!

  12. So Murty says he would've offered a new contract if he could and Allen says it isn't up to him to make the decision. Neither may be telling a lie in this case, because there's a third option; Wilson had already made his mind up that he was leaving. And this, I'm pretty sure, is the case as was reported at the time.

  13. If we're wringing our hands over the loss of Danny Wilson then we truly are in a bad way. He had half a decent season after 2 years of looking like the 2nd rate defender that he is. He is not good enough for Rangers and Murty or whoever made the correct decision in letting him go. Martin has been disappointing but at his best he is a better player than Wilson. If he doesn't shape up then he needs to go as well. McCrorie is not the answer there either – he should be DM, freeing Docherty up to get forward.

  14. 1 point from 9 say!s it all,someone needed with genuine experience to take the helm ,if not it's catch up again

  15. Yet if Martin hadn't signed our current CB partnership would be Alves and Cardoso!! Martin isn't a bad defender but a partnership is only as strong as its weakest member. When it was Bates and Martin it was decent and Martin was voted the better loan signing on other outlets and Rangers pages. We have had 3 poor results since Bates got injured, before that we had 6 wins and everyone was happy. It's about time we as fans backed our players instead of throwing them to the wolves as soon as things get bad!!!!

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