Hilarity is already ensuing over Sevco’s quest to unload a team full of garbage to the clubs of the English lower leagues.
The problem was all too predictable beforehand, all too easy to see coming, but in their haste to put together the list of available players they forgot something; these clubs can actually do the basic stuff like scouting, reading match reports, watching videos … and they listen to what the manager has to say about his own players.
The PFA down in England actually has its own well-maintained list of football players who’s clubs have made them available. No joke. It’s in a closed-off section of the website, and a player can actually submit his own name to it, to let others know he’s available.
One would imagine that list to be fairly broad, and extensive.
It’s a free service, and it has recently been updated so that clubs and players from outside the top four tiers in England – such as those in Spain, Germany, France and, yes, even Scotland – can get on there, and clubs can check them out.
There are a lot of reasons why a club might transfer list a player. There are settling in issues; some players can’t adapt to a new club. There are managers who take over teams and just don’t fancy certain footballers. There are personal reasons why a player might want to leave and why a club might want to let him go; dressing room squabbles, family worries, clashes of personality. There are contractual issues; perhaps a guy is coming up for his final year. Perhaps he’s already announced that he wants a fresh challenge and won’t sign a new contract. Other times a player has just reached the end of the line at one level and a club doesn’t want to stand in his way of bettering his career.
All those players are on that list, along with the category in which Sevco’s players fall; those who just aren’t very good. Many of them find clubs anyway, because they are cheap and they can play at a certain level. A small number, though, aren’t available cheap and their salaries are more or less those of players who actually do have some skills. Call it a consequence of crap scouting or just somebody’s big mistake … this stuff happens.
The thing is, nobody wants to buy those guys. Their wages are too high, their skills just not enough to justify it. Add to that the crazy notion that Sevco actually wants transfer fees for these people and you get a toxic combination. Clubs can do better.
One of the things that will define whether or not a team wants a player is how his previous manager views his professionalism and potential. As I said, that’s an area where Sevco are going to have some problems. Caixinha started out by saying he had the best squad in the league. Then he watched them play, and suddenly he wanted a clear out.
He has, at intervals, described his players as lacking heart, of not being men, and of course of not having the quality the squad requires. None of that is exactly going to endear these footballers to sides who have ambitions to fight for promotion or stay in the league. Mid-table sides might take a punt, but they’d know they were buying mediocrity.
You can usually tell too about a player based on the reaction of the fans at his club.
No-one is any doubt how Sevco fans feel about dross like Waghorn … it’s all over social media, on the forums and on Twitter. Combine that with the managers own scathing views and you wonder why any club would bother to take a punt on players so useless.
Yesterday a Notts Forest site wrote a scathing article on the Sevco players who have been linked with the club. Their fans want nothing to do with cast-off footballers who failed in the SPL. The media narrative of this league as a backwater has played right into Sevco’s nightmare here; their own fans have unwittingly added fuel to the fire with their constant assertion that Celtic only went through the campaign unbeaten because they “had no competition”.
Add to that the valuation they’ve put on their best player, £2 million for Barrie McKay. If that’s the club’s gold plated star, and he’s only worth that, what hope is there of getting £1.2 million for Tavernier or £500,000 for Garner? A team that’s offering its prize asset for such a low figure – can you imagine if Celtic actually put Moussa up for sale? – is desperate, or the overall standard is dire. At Sevco it’s both, and clubs will know it.
Garner will go, if he does, for nearer to £200,000. If they get cash for Waghorn and others they will consider any fee a bonus … and everyone knows this.
The Sevco sites are orgasmic today as they “close in” on unknown footballers from Mexico and Portugal, but all of it hinges on them getting rid of the dross first.
That’s not getting off to a great start.