Michael Beale’s admission that he and Ross Wilson are the main two presences in training was an eye-opening confession, admittedly once again another sign the manager probably says too much about Rangers’ inner workings, but nevertheless a telling insight into the influence Wilson actually has.
Wilson, of course, is chief of football operations, but while he doesn’t ‘take’ training, he oversees it as much as Beale does. Why?
Wilson is responsible for the end product. While he is never getting the sack (board members resign, they’re never fired) it is his head on the chopping board if the manager isn’t getting the right players and the results aren’t living up to expectations.
Indeed, we get the distinct sense from the recent AGM and this confession that Wilson’s influence at Ibrox has substantially grown, and that from being a suit who negotiates player recruitment, he has now become as significant with boots on the ground as Beale.
He’s like the ‘company CEO’ who goes into a brand and all employees are on their best behaviour that day, as they feel watched and monitored by the top brass.
That’s basically Wilson – he’s going into Rangers’ operations, his boots on the ground, and he’s studying what Beale is doing, while himself having a bit of input into training operations.
Now, this isn’t into interference territory, at least, we hope it isn’t. If Wilson is at Auchenhowie’s training facilities a lot, he needs to let Michael Beale deal with the work without having someone over his shoulder.
We’re sure, and we hope, Wilson isn’t poking his nose in where it’s not wanted, which is a definite risk when it comes to managers with sporting directors above them.
We’ve never been overly fond indeed of the sporting director position, which was initially pushed through by Dave King, who was insistent on one above the coach.
It’s here to stay, and if Beale’s admission is to go by, Ross Wilson has a big influence at training and is part of ‘controlling the atmosphere’, whatever that means.
Right or wrong really just depends on the club’s all-round results…