I knew the second I read Gordon Waddell’s headline today about how SPL clubs are right to suddenly want big money for their players who the article was actually going to be about. I knew too who it wasn’t going to be about. It was a pro-Sevco piece that barely mentioned their name.
It was a dig at Celtic, where the inference was pretty clear.
The two players he was specifically writing about – and who are mentioned in the headline – have one thing in common; they are both allegedly targets for our club. One is John McGinn, in the last year of his contract, who Hibs’ chairman has absurdly told us they value at £4 million.
The press is trying to spark an auction. I said yesterday – and BBC Scotland confirmed it some hours later – that if the auction does take place it’ll happen without us. Our last offer is final as long as the English window is open … and if there’s a next one Hibs will be in a tough spot and under real pressure to accept it.
The other player in the piece is Scot McKenna of Aberdeen, on who’s head McInnes has slapped a price tag so absurd that you actually can’t help laugh out loud reading it. £20 million? He knows he’s not going to get anywhere near that. At £3 million his own chairman would be biting the hand off the club that offered them the money.
I don’t know if Celtic really are interested in him or not – I personally don’t think he’s better than what’s at Parkhead right now and that ought to be the criteria for Brendan’s next couple of signings, excluding the kid from City, as first team ready players are what he has said he wants.
Neither McGinn nor McKenna comes even close to being the sort who would instantly command a place.
But what makes this a pro-Sevco article is the player who’s name is deliberately not in the piece; there are three footballers playing for SPL clubs who have been the talk of the all the transfer rumour mills this past week and McKenna and McGinn are two of them. The other is Kyle Lafferty at Hearts, who the same press has been telling us is only worth the paltry £300,000 that Sevco was said to be prepared to offer them.
Nowhere in the article is there any suggestion that Hearts are also right to hold out for the fee they think they can get. Because that transfer doesn’t count. Because it involves Ibrox. Because in that case the media has no problem with a club in the SPL getting the shaft and having another team unsettle one of their players in a very public manner so they can then scoop him up for a nominal fee. Why wasn’t Lafferty mentioned?
Because that would spoil The Record’s argument, which essentially boils down to this; in any case where Celtic is the club trying to buy a Scottish player, that club should hold out for a ridiculous fee as long as possible, start a scramble for his signature and sell him somewhere else. The article even says outright that if Celtic don’t pay the £4 million for McGinn that someone else will, a fanciful claim which takes no account of what the player actually wants.
Nice try, Waddell, but your article gives itself away by leaving Lafferty out and focussing on two Celtic targets.
If you thought we’d miss that, well you’re stupider than we thought.