IT was a case of right place but wrong time when Paul Murray identified Ross Wilson as the man to lay the foundations for a brighter future for Rangers four years ago.

Now the former Ibrox director is confident Wilson will have the blueprint for sustained success as Steven Gerrard bids to build upon title 55 and reinforce Rangers' position as the premier club in Scotland once again.

Wilson was approached about assuming the role of Director of Football back in 2017 as Rangers sought to modernise their off-field structure and speed up their progress following regime change two seasons previously.

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The offer was declined on that occasion as Wilson chose to remain with Southampton but a second conversation saw Rangers land their man as he replaced Mark Allen in October 2019.

Murray had helped save Rangers alongside Dave King and John Gilligan and wanted Wilson to play his part in the recovery and resurgence but it has taken until this season for the Sporting Director to savour silverware success.

Rangers have done the hard yards over the last decade. Under the guidance of Gerrard and Wilson, they are striving forward as sights are set on further glories this season and in years to come.

"I think the days of the manager being the one person that does everything are gone," Murray told Herald and Times Sport.

"It is just impossible now with the size of football clubs and all the media aspects, the relentless number of matches and the professional level you have got to get to in sports science and all the support functions.

"The first team always has to be the focus because what happens on the pitch with the first team drives the whole football club and the success then drives the commercial aspect.

"You have to focus on the first team but put all these support mechanisms in place. If you can keep the manager focused on doing that, Ross in his position as Sporting Director manages all those other areas.

"For example, in player recruitment if Steven and his staff want a left-back with certain attributes, Ross is keeping all of that information logged, through the scouting network, as to the kind of players that might be available.

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"He might say there are five players available, lay out their characteristics and then it is up to the manager and the staff to narrow that down.

"There is so much work that is done behind the scenes now and it is keeping information updated and refreshed so that you are taking decisions with the best possible knowledge.

"That is absolutely a full-time job and that is why you need someone like Ross in that position to support the manager."

It was Allen that would help put Rangers on the right track as processes and plans were implemented and the appointment of Gerrard as manager has been transformational on and off the park.

Wilson has picked up where Allen left off and Rangers now have a football philosophy and structure that befits their status and their ambitions at home and abroad.

Murray has watched the Gerrard Revolution from afar after stepping down from the board three years ago and isn't surprised to see Wilson leading the way as Rangers strive for improvement in every area.

Murray said: "I knew Ross from around the Scottish football scene when he was at Falkirk and people had spoken very highly of him.

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"One of his big mentors was Alex Smith and he was a real fan of Ross. I was always aware of Ross and then he went to Southampton and when we appointed Mark Warburton I took a reference from Ross on Mark.

"He knew him well from the English game and he was very helpful to me in terms of the reference when we appointed Mark.

"I knew of him and was aware of the work that he did at Southampton and the very fact he was working at that level spoke volumes for him.

"They had success there in terms of bringing players through and their recruitment model and it was clearly a very good system in terms of player trading.

"That is a very important part of any football club model these days, you can’t just rely on wealthy benefactors and it is healthy to have a robust player trading model. I think Ross is going to be key on that.

"The other good thing about Ross is that he operates quite quietly. He is not in the Press talking about things, he just does his work quietly behind the scenes and he is very professional. I think he is going to be a big asset to the club."

The remit that Wilson has at Ibrox and Auchenhowie is wide-ranging and significant but most of the public focus will come from his wheeling and dealing in the transfer market.

As Gerrard prepares for his first title defence and a crack at the Champions League next season, the business that Rangers do in terms of their incomings will be crucial once again.

It could well be a summer of change as the Ibrox squad evolves, though, and there are assets within Gerrard's squad that can be sold off if required to fund the next phase of his tenure.

Murray said: "When I was on the board the first time and Alastair Johnston took over as chairman after David Murray stepped down, we operated the club in the last two years of my first stint, which was 2009 to 2011, we ran the club on a break even model.

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"You have got your domestic matches that you can guarantee and your cup games and you run your operation on those foreseeable and guaranteed revenues and then we always saw the European runs as being an investment fund to put into the infrastructure or to buy players.

"I think that model is the model, I have always said that, and from what I gather that is what the board are moving towards.

"Obviously Europe will be a big part of that and if you then have a player trading model, that can compliment those funds as well.

"We shouldn’t be ashamed of trading players, we shouldn’t say ‘well, Rangers don’t sell players’.

"We should be proud if we bring a player through the processes and then sell them on because that is showing that you are doing something right.

"We have made real assets out of most of the squad and developed them into players who can play at a really high level."