Leon Balogun reveals it was Gio who dumped him from Rangers

Leon Balogun reveals it was Gio who dumped him from Rangers
Rangers' Nigerian defender Leon Balogun celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Rangers and Brondby at the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on October 21, 2021. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Leon Balogun has confirmed Giovanni van Bronckhorst is the reason he was released from Rangers, and Ross Wilson was the one who tried to keep him.

The big Nigerian spoke to the Beautiful Game Podcast prior to Michael Beale’s QPR departure, and revealed, contrary to what many Rangers fan believed, ourselves at Ibrox Noise included, that Giovanni was the one who decided he didn’t want to keep the defender and Ross Wilson was the one who was fighting with Gio to keep the former Werder man.

He said:

“So it was just like they’re gonna have a meeting and after that there’s gonna be made an imminent decision and was just dragging on dragging on and they were talking about some modalities of the contract how they think what they think it can look like.

So it was pretty much about agreeing a base or foundation of how we’re gonna carry on from there and to me it felt just like a drag because at the end of the day it was a bit of like…we sent them an offer actually, then I think a few days before the contract ended we didn’t hear back from them and then on the 31st of May, that’s when the contracts in Scotland ended.

I got a call, I was in Germany at the time in Berlin for my age and he said no they’re not going to do it like and it’s from other what I’ve been told has been a bit of that the manager was not too sure about it and that they would or that the sporting director tried to convince him and then they had him on board but then on the other hand it was like a constant back and forth back and forth back and forth so at one point I actually thought okay now it’s gonna go quite quick because they told me yeah we want him we want to keep you.

We’re gonna find a solution and then at the final day actually they then said ‘no we can’t really come to a conclusion and then I think it’s better that if there’s not a 100 decision if it’s not really clear that it’s probably just better just for the work relationship that then we’re just gonna let things end the way they are now’.”

In short terms, Wilson tried to keep him, Gio was at best unconvinced and at worst wanting rid, and his opinion was final.

This is a real eye-opener for fans – the incompetence of Gio laid bare, the reality that Ross Wilson might not be the big baddie at Ibrox we all believe, and that GVB in fact was the sole architect behind Balogun and almost certainly Niko Katic’s exit too.

There’s one thing the board pinning blame on Gio, another when an extremely well-respected former player also reveals the same thing about the ex-manager just like Katic did.

Unfortunately, Gio’s Rangers era was littered with a pile of appalling misjudgements, ego and stubbornness from the manager, who in the end, it seems, was doing a tonne more harm than good and while a Rangers man, we’re not so sure now about the ‘good’ part.

He was out of his depth and cracked under the pressure.

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