Date: 2nd February 2018 at 10:52am
Written by:

Last night, on Twitter, Sevconia was almost united in its anger about my article on the BBC and their humiliating climb-down over the Morelos story. As per usual, they missed the point entirely. Morelos was the subject, but he was not the issue.

The ins and outs of the stories and the nonsense that now surrounds him was not what I was writing about.

Let’s be clear on this; the BBC’s stunning reversal did Sevco not one bit of good.

It did not help them one iota. It kept alive a story which the club seriously wishes would die. The transfer window in China does not close for another few weeks, but I do not believe we will hear anything about further bids. Because the story was only intended to get Sevco through the January window; as ever they decided either that there would be no consequences to spreading such a ridiculous lie, or they would deal with them as they arose.

They are already dealing with them. Morelos’ agent has demanded a meeting with the club and a massive wage rise.

This was so predictable. Indeed, I did predict it and before the China story had even surfaced. I called it when Murty said he was worth £10 million, a statement which prompted the player to run to the Colombian media, saying he wanted away.

Something else too; this transparent effort to drive interest in Morelos for the summer, at a high price, will not succeed any more than previous campaigns worked to sell the likes of Windass and Barrie Mackay. Because clubs in England are smarter than that, smarter than Sevco gives them credit for which speaks volumes about the idiots running Ibrox.

English clubs will not sanction multi-million pound bids based on nothing but hype, and I’ve watched Morelos and he offers no more than Joe Garner did before him. I have not the slightest doubt that any halfway decent scout who watched him would quickly conclude that there was nothing to see, and therefore Sevco’s valuation should not be entertained.

They still believe we got lucky on Van Dijk and Wanyama and that we are responsible for overstating the talent of Moussa Dembele. They still believe this is all based on how crazy the English market is, and that clubs down there will spend big money on just about anyone. But English clubs want a certain type, a certain template, and we’ve become very skilled at identifying it and tutoring our players to fit it. They are miles from where we are.

All of which gets us off the point, but not by much. Morelos is Sevco’s player now. Chinese interest was zero and it remains zero. Their window is open for weeks to come; why do I suspect this is the last time we’ll hear of a bid from that quarter?

And Sevco will be glad for that. Because they know they have inadvertently unsettled their own player to nobody’s benefit. They know that he will leave in the summer – their behaviour has made that a stonewall certainty – and for a sum far less than the one they’ve just allegedly turned down.

There is no sense in them keeping this farce going.

Yet they did yesterday. Instead of allowing the story to simply die away, they gave it another shot in the arm when a call from Ibrox forced Kheredine Idessane into his humiliating retreat. You wonder what the logic to that was, but it doesn’t take long to realise that in fact the club was less concerned about the story itself than they were about a BBC journalist calling time on their bullshit. Because the one thing Sevco cannot have is that.

This wasn’t about Morelos. This was about power.

This was about the rawest struggle there is, the one for control. And in forcing the national broadcaster into such a staggering climb-down when they had their facts absolutely on the nose Sevco has shown exactly who holds that power.

Look, even if you believe that Idessane blew this, there was enough in his story to stand firm. All he did was present the story that was presented to him. I asked someone last night what the apology was for; “calling the club liars” is what I was told. Except Idessane didn’t do that. At no point did he accuse anyone at Ibrox of such a thing. The people he spoke to in China may have done that, but he didn’t. All he did was present what he had been told.

I have never heard of a journalist issuing a groveling apology for what a source told him, especially when said source had basic facts right.

And what club would contact the national broadcaster and demand that they apologise for casting doubt on an offer they received anyway? It happens every single day. Celtic were alleged to have sold Moussa Dembele to Brighton on Christmas Day; did either club demand an apology from Sky? Even when Sky was forced to pull the story from their own website, as if it had never been there in the first place, like it was a figment of our imagination, they didn’t grovel, scrape and bow over it.

I’ve already predicted that all involved will now try to move on from the Morelos farce as quickly as possible.

Don’t expect further “bids from China” although you can tell from the player’s reaction that he and Sevco are ripe for exactly the sort of campaign of relationship destabilisation that the Ibrox club itself excels at … if I was at a Chinese club with signing him in mind I would ramp the pressure up instead of down, but of course they won’t because, and I’ll say this over and over and over again, there is no interest from China to speak of.

Having predicted that, here’s another, and we’ll see whether I’m right or wrong; the BBC will be back at Ibrox before the season is out.

The boycott will be at an end.

“Peace” has broken out.

And you know when that usually happens in a standoff like this?

When one side has been thoroughly comprehensively whipped by the other.

You may even see McLaughlin back in his soft seat in the press area.

But don’t be fooled by that at all.

Because it’s clear who won.

The power dynamic has now been established, and we know exactly who’s licking who’s balls.

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