Everton signed Nathan Patterson today.
For a fee which neither club wanted to disclose.
Assumptions are being made that it was a record busting figure; I daresay that it was.
The NewCo’s previous record transfer deal was in the region of £2.5 million.
Comparisons with what Rangers got for Alan Hutton are much harder to take seriously. That £12 million fee will not be what they got here. Everton are not buying an established international and Champions League player, as Spurs were then.
Everton are a shell-shocked, relegation threatened club in the top flight of England who spent less than £2 million in the summer, now trying to get themselves out of a deep, dark hole.
They aren’t spending that kind of money on a project, because this is the very worst time to be signing projects.
Comparisons with the left back they just signed from the Ukraine do not hold water.
He has over 130 games for Dynamo Kiev, including over 30 in Europe.
Patterson had 26 games in total at Ibrox.
It is a pitifully small number of games to justify a major fee.
The media is being steered towards a number of big-money figures.
They defend them by saying that Ibrox turned down a bid for Patterson last year.
Everton’s initial offer was reputedly £4 million or thereabouts; a more believable figure by far.
It is feasible that they doubled that, and that they knew it would play because Ibrox just posted massive losses.
Anything beyond that is pie in the sky.
Which isn’t to say Ibrox hasn’t got a decent sum of money for one of its academy players.
But speculation that the fee was more than £12 million rising to £16 million is unlikely at best, based only on what the club itself is telling its lackeys in the media.
Everton, too, who are smarting from the allegation – by their own supporters – that they didn’t do enough in the summer, have a vested interest in letting this talk play out.
The truth is, we’ll never know.
The one way we might is if every penny was reinvested in the Ibrox squad.
How likely do you think that is?
The sale has gone through to close down some of the debts.
Listen to what Ross Wilson said today; the deal has been in negotiations for a number of weeks.
How many weeks?
Enough weeks that we can suggest that this is the means by which Ibrox has found the money to get through the campaign.
Remember them boasting about that at the AGM?
That they had a guarantee of the funds?
Of course they did.
The deal with Everton has been long done.
They lied to their fans about where those funds were coming from, and furthermore about the need to sell.
And they are still lying, but this time about how much they got.
There’s just one problem with that; it raises the expectations of the supporters that big bucks are going to be spent in this window. They can probably afford a couple of players, but not high value players, not the sort their drooling supporters evidently expect.
Don’t rule out further sales either; they have told the media tonight that they’ve rejected a £2 million offer for Barisic.
But they have helpfully made sure that any interested club knows that he can be had for £5 million … an odd figure for a full Croatian international, and especially when you consider that Patterson has allegedly gone for more than twice that.
If that doesn’t appear to make a whole lot of sense to you then you’re not alone.
If it appears to be a nonsense, then I’d say you’re on the money.
Their problem is that they raise the expectations of their fans time and time again.
The problem their fans have is that they accept that, and swallow anything.
Ibrox is having a good window, in the sense that they have the money now to keep on the lights through the end of the campaign.
But they’ve lost one of their most promising young footballers, and it’s not really clear that they can replace him.
They still face a summer in which nine players, including six from their first team, are out of contract and others move into their final year; win the title and get Champions League money and that might ease their situation, but as I’ll explain later in the week it is not really as simple as the press would have you believe.
In the meantime, I leave you with the words of Ross Wilson.
This was “the right deal at the right time for the right number.”
That’s definitely right.
Everton are desperate to appease their fans with signings. Ibrox badly needed the money.
Without it they’d be pretty scared right now.
There was a ground in which those two clubs were willing, and able, to meet and that’s the truth of it.
All the rest is hype and speculation which suits all concerned.
But if you think Everton gave a skint and desperate Ibrox club £16 million for a guy with 20 odd games in Scotland behind him, to bail them out of a big bad relegation hole, I’ve a bridge here I want shot of.
Line up, Sevco season ticket holders, and buy your ticket for the raffle.