For the last couple of weeks, Sevco boss Mark Warburton has been busy conducting his transfer business via PR firms and the media.
The strategy is the same as it was with Scott Allan; the club’s PR arm notifies the press of a target and Warburton sits in front of the hacks and claims to be respecting other clubs by remaining silent.
No-one is being fooled, least of all St Johnstone, who have, today, turned down two “six figure bids” for the player.
My information is that both bids fall below £200,000.
This is less than a third of what St Johnstone believes the player is worth, and will harden attitudes within McDiarmid Park about doing business with the Ibrox club at all.
O’Halloran is not a bad player, one who’s at about the right level in his career.
He’s developed into a better footballer than he was when he allowed him to leave Celtic Park, but his limitations are well known to everyone in Parkhead.
Sevco is another matter, and he fits their profile perfectly at this moment in time, a footballer who would be relatively cheap (for us) and who is young enough that you could envision some kind of sell on fee later.
As a consequence of how Sevco have chosen to go about this, the chances of him winding up at Ibrox are, however, remote.
The way this club conducts business right now is appalling.
Rumours continue to persist about directors on hefty expenses, about huge sums being paid out to a Glasgow PR firm and about further legal difficulties mounting up with no end in sight and this on top of the problems which are already in the public domain.
Mark Warburton’s reputation – such as it was – was made in England, and the word from down south is that he is fast running out of friends there with the arrogant way the club has conducted its business in relation to the two Accrington Stanley footballers who are due to sign for the start of next season, as he builds for a distant European campaign.
(Yes, I am laughing too.)
Warburton’s family is yet to move to Scotland, and he’s believed to view the Premier League down south as his ambition, one he appears unlikely to ever reach.
After all, Neil Lennon was the winner of Scottish titles and he advanced our club’s cause in Europe, most particularly on the night he masterminded the historic victory over Barcelona.
No Premiership club was remotely interested in securing his services, and Warburton will find it extremely difficult to rebuild his career from the ashes of Ibrox.
The last incumbents of that particular office have yet to find employment, as we all know, and Ally McCoist hasn’t been seen in a football ground since being sent away on “gardening leave”, a far better occupation as far as he’s concerned.
O’Halloran has also been liked with a move to Celtic of late, and as the Scott Allan transfer saga has revealed when it comes to a straight up fight between Celtic and Sevco for the services of a player there really is only one likely winner.
The player himself has said that his preferred destination would be England, and should St Johnstone decide to accept an offer it’s more than likely that it will be from south of the border.
The reason for the low level of the transfer fee, as well as the apparent urgency at Ibrox to bring in a new forward, is that Martyn Waghorn has been attracting the attention of English Championship clubs, and whilst Sevco would be keen to sell if the price was right they will certainly never get the one they are reputedly touting him for; in excess of £2.5 million.
All this is to say that the club is behaving in a typically insulting, arrogant fashion and one that casts further light on how flimsy are the promises of Dodgy Dave King.
Warburton was promised a war chest.
He’d have been better off with a hope chest.