Warburton Says McKay Won’t Go Cheap. Shame That’s Not His Call To Make.

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If the media was doing its job they would have called Mark Warburton out today when he made his grand announcement on Barrie McKay.

In some ways he said all the right things, in particular about how Scottish football has tended to undersell its top talents, but he got a few things wrong when he talked about how Barrie McKay won’t go on the cheap.

First, before McKay can go anywhere there has to be interest in him.

Confirmed interest, as opposed to media inspired speculation.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, Keith Jackson at The Record should take a bow for his “exclusive” story on Barrie McKay being wanted by RB Leipzig. The Germans denied it within hours of it going up – the story was a piece of sheer nonsense – but it was nonsense picked up by the rest of the media and run with as if it were fact.

See this is where Jackson’s real talents lie, not in journalism but in knowing how the beast works. He writes a piece of total fiction, and he knows, as Jonathon Swift once said that “Falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after it.”

Every outlet, from the other papers to Sky Sports News, have discussed this as if it had veracity.

Politicians are often blamed for the fact we’re living in what we call a “post truth era” but actually the post-truth era was started by the media. And if they can’t be trusted to tell the truth themselves why should they expect politicians or anyone else to do it?

If we’re ever going to sort out the toilet bowl level of discourse in this country the media is where it has to start. I don’t care if it’s laziness or corruption with these people any longer; before Jackson’s story went viral in the MSM the rest of the hacks had a duty to find out if it was true.

Do you remember the days when their rivals at The Sun would have hammer punched them  over garbage like this?

Now they run the same stuff. It’s unconscionable.

So let’s deal first in facts; no club has expressed an interest in McKay. That’s been confirmed by Sevco themselves. Quite why people there are discussing it as if offers were on the table I could not tell you except in the circumstance that they are hoping for one.

Say interest existed though. Warburton would not be the guy making the call on what offer was accepted or rejected. This is a club badly in need of cash, right now before the window shuts. They are skint, a club absolutely on the bones of its arse.

Any offer of seven figures and McKay will be gone before they can pack his boots into a Tesco bag.

This is not speculation; it’s cold, hard, financial reality. The difference between Celtic and Sevco comes down to one thing; we can afford to turn down any offer or wait for the one we can’t possibly realistically, rationally refuse. They can’t. They can’t hold out. The guy has 18 months left on his deal. If he doesn’t go in this window they’re facing a summer where the value will drop with every day that passes. If they get to this time next year without selling him or tying up a new deal for him then they’ll get pennies if they don’t want him leaving for free.

Now, I’ve pointed out that the only upper ceiling on a player’s value is his talent and potential and that it doesn’t matter where he plays his football. But that has to be judged somehow, on a bigger stage than the SPL. The reason we can talk about Dembele being worth fortunes is because he has proved it on that bigger stage; his five goals against Sevco this season were seen around the world, and the media’s hyping of the game has helped us in this regard, but the real boost in his value and his reputation came in the Champions League.

McKay played in the BetFair Cup version.

Aside from three games against Celtic – and he only really showed up in one of them – the world would barely know he exists.

This isn’t me being cheeky; I’m simply telling the truth.

Sevco’s “buy them cheap and sell them on” strategy has failed, utterly. None of their English imports is going to command any sort of transfer fee. That leaves only their home grown players and for all the hype that surrounded Andy Halliday he’s a mediocre SPL standard footballer and nothing more.

I saw other Sevco players – including Lewis McLeod and Fraser Aird,– get similar hype. McLeod is at Brentford where he’s played just over a dozen games in two years. Aird is at Falkirk, where he hasn’t played yet, after Sevco terminated his contract.

There are others.

No-one from the Ibrox conveyer belt has gone on to play for a top club or for a high fee since Sevco was formed in 2012. There is simply no precedent on which to estimate the value of Barrie McKay in the mid seven figures, and the same cannot be said for Celtic which is another reason Dembele and others will fetch mammoth fees; we have several former players who have gone on to command other big money moves. Clubs trust us.

Warburton  was being typically bullish today, but he knows – and the watching media does too – that if the day comes when McKay is transferred out of Ibrox it will not be for £6 million. They will be lucky to get one quarter of that, and they’ll accept it gladly.

That isn’t selling the player short, or “letting him go for a pittance.”

It’s what he’s worth.

It’s what the market will pay for an SPL player, untested in Europe.

Media hype simply will not get this done.

Warburton won’t get to dictate this. Sevco is not in any position to play harball, and they won’t.

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