Hamilton plays Motherwell this weekend in the Scottish Cup.
That is a big game for the club, and there’s money to be made if they can get through it.
In spite of that, the club is in a bad place going into the game.
They have bowed to pressure from Ibrox and the media and shot themselves in the foot. Just a day after their manager told the media to butt out and that Greg Docherty would be going nowhere until the club received an acceptable offer, he’s been forced to leave him out of this weekend’s game.
Indeed, the player wasn’t even available for training today.
Sevco has, apparently, succeeded in applying the pressure to the point where Hamilton is having to risk their place in the cup. It should be pointed out that at the moment of writing this, the club had received one offer for the player which they deemed offensive. There has been no second bid. There is just talk about one, pushed by an unscrupulous press which does not care what damage it inflicts on other clubs as long as Sevco gets what it wants.
All the hacks are united in saying a bid is “expected”, doubtless briefed from inside Ibrox itself. But as yet no second bid has actually been made. In leaving the player out of the game, Hamilton is telegraphing to everyone that they will have difficulty in turning down that bid, whatever it happens to be. If you’re at Sevco now what do you do next?
Easy. You double down. You submit a slightly increased bid, but far below the value at which Hamilton judges the player’s worth. That’s what I’d do if I were in their unscrupulous shoes. I would take advantage of what’s an obvious sign of weakness.
How much is a good Scottish Cup run worth to a team like Hamilton? I’ll bet it is worth more than whatever paltry concessions they manage to squeeze out of Ibrox as sweetener. The cash offer itself was too low to be entertained, but what was even worse was the payment structure that was being proposed for it. Hamilton are being royally grafted and they know it. They also know that no-one is going to do a damned thing to help them.
Sevco and its media acolytes have played this one beautifully.
They are shameless and ruthless, and my sympathy for Hamilton is tempered by the fact we said this all along and told other clubs that this was the level of the Ibrox operation … and they’ve allowed it by their silence and their connivance and their wish for an easy life.
They wanted a return to “normality.” This is what they meant by it; a club based at Ibrox walking all over them and using their pet hacks to stir up trouble and create chaos. Apparently, Hamilton and the other clubs like it this way.
If they didn’t they would do something about it, starting with passing Financial Fair Play.
Because Sevco can’t even afford to buy their player, but look set to do it anyway.