So yesterday all the news that was unfit to print was focussed on Ibrox and Sevco’s latest publicity stunt; the signing of Hagi, for a greatly reduced fee. He was supposed to cost them around £4 million in cold hard cash. The Belgians have accepted £3 million, paid over three years.
They will be lucky to even see a fraction of that money.
There is so much wrong with this – and so much that is hilarious – that it’s difficult to know where to start.
We’re to believe that Hagi is on the brink of being the next global superstar, but Genk seem to view him as a drain on the wage bill.
What’s more, they have used the first tranche of what Sevco owes them in part to purchase Eboue, who could charitably have been described as one of our reserves.
You could not make this stuff up, you really couldn’t.
Sevco is a permanent comedy act.
Hagi has not exactly set the heather on fire up here, has he? When Sevco signed him as the “game changer” they couldn’t have known how dramatically the game would change. They started dropping points left right and centre.
They flopped spectacularly in the Scottish Cup. Only in Europe did they look like an organised team, at least until they faced half decent opposition in the shape of the Germans.
Hagi was the star at Ibrox the round previous to that … but really, a lot of players can do it in little flashes. Not all can put together sustained form.
Put it this way, I saw nothing that would scare me. Apart from a famous name, what else does this guy have? Oh the hype machine is rolling on his behalf, but is he worth it? I see no sign of that at all. There was nothing about him which stood out.
There is nothing in his history either which points to a footballer the cream of Europe would be falling over themselves for. Rumours of interest in England, Germany and Italy were exactly that; internet speculation for the most part, and absolute rot.
The Belgians gave Sevco first dibs. No-one else was in a position to purchase him. That Genk were so keen on doing the deal that they knocked £1 million off the price and let Sevco pay it in instalments as if they were buying a second hand car is equally telling.
Some fools in the Ibrox fan-base believe that this is a masterstroke, and one where the club can actually turn a quick profit; one of the more fanciful stories is of how they can make a few bucks by selling him immediately to one of the clubs who was allegedly sniffing around. I read that and think someone’s certainly been sniffing something anyway.
For their believing nonsense like that we need look no further than The Daily Record, which ran the ludicrous story that the player might one day be worth £100,000,000 … yes that’s nine figures, the total annual turnover of Celtic in a Champions League year.
There are no words for this sort of lunacy, no words for the financial insanity of what Sevco is doing in adding a footballer to their ranks at a time when they are furloughing staff and deferring salaries to those they already have on their books.
This is a PR stunt; it really isn’t much more than that.
The player is a sop to their fans, something to convince them that all is well at Ibrox, and it’s a public slap at the likes of Michael Stewart, who was questioning the fiscal sense of the club spending £4 million on this guy … he will be pilloried for this, as will those of us who insist that Sevco is in dire financial trouble. That’s part of why they’ve done it.
To those who would question us for saying they are in the shit, I would remind you only that when Sevco entered administration in 2012 that they immediately tried to sign their former striker Daniel Cousin, a deal the SFA struck down but which otherwise they would have tried to complete.
Do not look for patterns or sense or logic over there, not ever.
Cuts are coming at Ibrox, major ones. They still believe they can get through the summer if they sell a top player; who in their right mind is going to offer an eight figure sum for their dreck, at a time when the world knows they are desperate and skint?
Season ticket money will have tanked. Games will be played in front of no fans.
Where’s the cash coming from to even get them until January?
That club is facing hard times, and as per usual is trying to deny that reality for as long as possible.
But it can only be put off for so long. This signing makes no sense whatsoever, but you have to remind yourself constantly at a time like this that we’re not the target audience for this little farce, this little charade, this little game of bluff and bullshit.
Whatever Sevco’s options are, they will be far narrower if they don’t have their gullible fans to fall back on and that’s what this is all about. They have a hand in the pockets of their supporters, and they intend to squeeze hard.
Wait and see. Have the jelly and ice cream ready.
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