Over 750 Rangers appearances could walk out the door for nothing as Philippe Clement eviscerates the contract record of Ross Wilson.
When the Rangers released their most recent financial statements, club chairman John Bennett made it quite evident that enhancing player trading would be the main objective of the team’s economic plan.
This comes after years of incompetence on the part of the Ibrox recruitment power brokers, who have consistently failed to maximize our earning potential and elevate the club’s ranks with outstanding candidates.
The main focus of the whole issue is the track record of former Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson, who currently leads Nottingham Forest. Manager Philippe Clement has a distinctly different opinion on contracts than Wilson does.
Philippe Clement calls out Rangers contract record
Speaking ahead of the Scottish Cup clash with Dumbarton, Rangers manager Clement lamented the fact five experienced and high-earning first-team options are into the final six months of their contracts.
Interestingly, we actually count it six with the comments probably a nod to third-choice goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin’s Ibrox future.
Rangers might lose a total of 773 appearances (as of this writing) off their roster in the summer for no reason at all, a scenario that Clement has called “crazy.”
The new Ibrox manager will have also dealt Ross Wilson a serious blow to his ego by asserting that the current state of affairs is not indicative of a “well-leaded club”.
The following players are free to discuss terms and depart in the summer: Borna Barisic (224 appearances), Ryan Jack (204), John Lundstram (130), Kemar Roofe (93), Leon Balogun (77), and Jon McLaughlin (46).
Theoretically, Rangers would then need to make purchases to replace them, which is a harsh critique of the team’s insane hiring practices in previous years.
Not only is it a host of big names leaving Rangers, but it’s some sizeable transfer fees too with the first four players mentioned certainly capable of recouping fees at one stage or another of their Ibrox tenures.
Ross Wilson at centre of transfer criticism
Contrast the comments of Philippe Clement with that of Ross Wilson speaking back during his time at Rangers in 2021.
Claiming that Rangers were “really, really relaxed about where we are with our player contracts” on reflection these are misjudged comments.
Going on to discuss a “clear contract model” and “clear wage structure”, Wilson told that year’s AGM that Rangers were “really, really comfortable with where we’re at with all our player contracts”.
Rangers have sleepwalked into something of a disaster in the transfer front in recent seasons with Ross Wilson’s recent signing record genuinely abysmal.
The team was unable to build on its 55-acre plot, and Wilson’s career came to an end in the January window of 2022 when several protests forced the former Southampton director back to the Premier League. A dismal summer followed.
Rangers let go of three players this summer: Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos, and Filip Helander. These players cost the team a total of £11 million and had the potential to earn money while they were at Ibrox.
The players held all the power by the time Wilson jumped ship to the City Ground.
Although Steven Gerrard desired to retain his team after 55 games, the club’s inability to locate worthy replacements and move these players out is a reflection on their recruitment process.
When players won’t sign extensions whilst value remains on their contracts or – in the opinion of the recruitment team – have reached their maximum potential at the club, they must be sold and a portion of the funds reinvested.
Though not quite as many as there should have been, there were some notable successes, including Joe Aribo of Southampton, Calvin Bassey of Ajax, and Nathan Patterson of Everton.
Philippe Clement has experience working in the Champions League, Ligue 1, and Belgian Pro League, so he has a solid understanding of how things function at the highest levels of European football.
The Belgian hasn’t held back since joining Rangers, criticizing our scouting and recruitment team as well as our medical departments’ failings.
During his tenure as head of this department from October 2019 to April 2023, Ross Wilson bears the most of the guilt for the contract violations.