Have you heard it?
The sound of a penny dropping.
The Clumpany isn’t sure whose penny it was, but is pretty convinced that it wasn’t a penny from the Sevco war chest dropping into the transfer market. Which brings me neatly to the subject of today’s blog (in an utterly contrived manner!).
Day by day there is increasing evidence of Sevconian anxiety about the big-spending transfer extravaganza which isn’t yet happening. In fact the anxiety is so tangible that you can actually read it on the Daily Record/ Sunday Mail website.
It really isn’t supposed to be like this, is it? A man of Warbo’s exquisite genius can certainly be expected to shop shrewdly in the transfer market. But you would have thought he’d go to market with more than a cow to trade in the hope of picking up some magic beans.
Especially if you had previously heard Dave King speaking about ‘over-investment’, ‘doing whatever it takes’ and building to challenge in the Premiership.
But that is the position in which The Warbmeister currently finds himself, leading to the following (previously unthinkable) quotes appearing in this somewhat anguished piece:
“RANGERS boss Mark Warburton has seen his transfer plans take a hit and Scott believes Dave King needs to step up”.
“Warburton was convinced he was on the verge of securing his two top January targets.
After all, O’Halloran had been left out of Saints’ squad for their game against Hamilton and 24 hours earlier Diagouraga had waved goodbye to Bees’ fans. But, incredibly, we’re eight days on and everything has been turned on its head.”
“Make no mistake, O’Halloran and Diagouraga believed their Gers deals were going through a week ago. In fact, O’Halloran had told family and friends that he was Ibrox-bound.
So you have to feel for Warburton. Not only has he cherry-picked the players he wants for the club, he also chose cheap ones who should have been affordable to Dave King and Co upstairs.”
“Warburton asked for £1million to effectively clinch Rangers the automatic promotion King demanded. But so far in this transfer window he’s been let down.
If the money is not there, be open about it. If it is, why is it taking so long to tie up players the boss is keen on?”
“He’ll be furious if O’Halloran – along with a Diagouraga back-up – aren’t his players by the end of the month. Their nearest challengers Hibs have signed a better player than O’Halloran in Anthony Stokes to try and win them the title. Even Falkirk have strengthened.”
Even Falkirk have strengthened! Now that really is withering stuff!
But it wasn’t even close to being the killer line in the piece. That honour goes to:
“Rangers have been beaten to Diagouraga by a basket-case of a club in Leeds.”
I assume Mr McDermott wrote those particular words to win a bet. Because surely no one could ever seriously imply Sevconian superiority over another ‘club’ on the basis of it being a basket case, could they?
It would be so far beyond parody that it would actually make the ‘same club’ myth sound sensible.
Hibs mocking another club for not having won the Scottish Cup in a while?
Jim White criticising others for fawning over interviewees?
Derek McInnes telling clubs below Aberdeen in the league to stop greeting over having fewer resources to compete with the Dons?
The English Premier League getting uppity about other competitions being overhyped?
Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster issuing a statement condemning people for being negative about the future of Scottish football?
Hugh Keevins tearing a strip off everyone at Clyde SBB for being too hard on Ronny Deila?
I guess that stranger things have happened…
These are certainly interesting times. The Transfer Window clock is ticking down, and the awful possibility of Dave King’s largesse not actually translating into players seems to be troubling more than a few Sevconians and outside observers.
Andrew Smith of the Scotsman echoed Mr McDermott’s concerns, but didn’t pull his punches:
“LOSING out to Leeds United for Toumani Diagouraga is evidence that Rangers do not have the means to shop for half-million-pound players. With a yearly deficit running to many times that figure, they shouldn’t be in that market if intent on acting fiscally responsibly – as the previous incarnation of the club spectacularly failed to do”
Previous incarnation, eh?!
Overall, you would still fancy Sevco to win the Championship given their lead and players, but any kind of blip in form will pile on the pressure and raise the nightmare possibility (for fans and parts of the media) of Sevco remaining in the second tier for a third season.
Given that King described promotion as “non-negotiable” you’d think that he and his board would want to inject a little more certainty into proceedings. What’s ‘the guts of a million pounds’ when destiny, and world conquest is at stake?
Over to you Dave. Again.