I wondered what it would be, because it had to be something. They just don’t take losing well across the city, and they were always going to try and pull a rabbit out of the hat in order to change the story and try to recapture the back pages.
But this? No, I never, not ever, honestly expected this.
The wonderful Warren Zevon wrote some of the finest songs of any generation, and in one of them his narrator voice tells it as true as it could be; “I was in the house when the house burned down,” he admits almost cheerfully.
“I had the money till the money got spent,” he mourns, but not in the way certain other people are going to when they realise what they did today.
You just know that this news blindsided some of their own directors; there would have been at least one shouting expletives down the phone to another when this news broke. “We’re doing what? And who the f@ck is paying for that then?”
Somewhere, I hear Zevon singing another classic of his; “For my next trick I’ll need a volunteer … step right up.”
As he says in the same song, “I can saw a woman in two … but you won’t want to look in the box when I’m through.”
Whatever it is, you can’t call it magic.
I honestly cannot even imagine how unspooled King and his board have to be to approve this act of rank lunacy, for that is what this is.
This is the most expensive purchase anyone has made at Ibrox since the signing of Tore Andre Flo, and between the infrastructure of an entire club changed hands for less. It is the dumbest act since General Custer said “Yeah, you know what? I think we can take them.”
It would be stupid enough if Kent really was the world beater the media and some of their fans seem to think, but he isn’t. He’s a £2 million player whose value is massively inflated because he’s at Anfield and their youth academy is highly rated. This is not just the spending of money they don’t have; this is pissing it up against the wall.
Liverpool were said to be stalling on the insertion of a sell-on clause: why bother?
They are probably howling with laughter at getting the offer, and no player I can recall has left Ibrox making the club a profit.
If Liverpool are lucky they’ll get an extra £50,000.
The consequences of this act of supreme folly are difficult to quantify; their club is spending money like a coked out footballer’s wife loose in a high end fashion shop with his credit card.
Wait until she finds out about the career ending injury he suffered in training.
Wait until his bankers do.
Wait until the mortgage company starts phoning round the clock.
When I wrote last week about how they needed European qualification to get through the season, I based it on an understanding of the hard numbers involved. I had no way of knowing that they would go through and then squander that financial bonanza on one player … and especially not one they had last season when they won exactly nothing.
This isn’t a game changer, and to spend that kind of money a signing really needs to be a game changer. It is a PR stunt with all the trimmings, a mental act in response to a single result. It is the ultimate panic buy, an expensive spitting out of the dummy.
Some of my mates emailed and said “what a gamble.” It’s not a gamble. It’s a leap into the darkness without a parachute on. The media has called it a “statement of intent.” Yeah? An intent to go bust maybe. It is suicide by spending.
They ought to recognise it, and King especially. Because a club at Ibrox has behaved like this before.
I wonder what happened to them?
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