Is Aaron Ramsey the most expensive loan signing in history?
No, but he is up there with the costliest, which isn’t the same thing.
The £2 million in initial fees was a mad sum to spend on a pampered pro more used to the subs bench than the centre circle, and more used to the treatment room than the subs bench.
It was mad. Still, hysteria followed it.
Watching him the other night, I could not help but think of a glowering Christopher Ecclestone in Shallow Grave, demanding to know how much of a dead man’s money his flat-mates had spent on a camcorder and some champagne in pursuit of kicks.
“You paid £500 for this?” he demands.
To which Julia replies, “Well that’s what it cost David.”
It is his retort which the Ibrox board must have had ringing in their ears.
“No, that’s what you paid for it. 500 pounds is what you paid for it. We don’t know how much it cost us yet. For you two to have a good time, we don’t know the cost of that yet.”
On transfer deadline day, they got to swan about like men who’d just pulled off a heist.
They got their headlines and the acclaim of the fans … £2 million is what they paid for it.
But the possibility of a greater cost was always there with this guy.
Well we can sort of put a figure on the cost of it now, can’t we?
Before you even count the Champions League cash from next season, which would have been guaranteed and served on a silver plate, £10 million vanished in a puff of smoke from prize money from winning the Europa League and their guaranteed share of the pot for contesting the European Super Cup Final next season.
Believe it or not, there’s more than £5 million available for the simple act of showing up for that fixture … and it’s gone.
You realise, of course, that there would have been a marketing bonanza from the win.
The DVD’s could – and would – have been priced at box-set level and they would have sold by the wagonload. Castore would have released a whole slew of separate kits in commemoration. The sales of souvenir tat would have raked in even more.
That is a machine built to print money, and it would have been in over-drive from the second the final whistle blew.
They would have been bleeding their fans the second they stepped off the planes at Glasgow Airport.
You can’t even put an estimated sum on how much they have lost in terms of an operation like that; millions, certainly, and over the years certainly even more than that. Think of the anniversaries for a start; five years, ten years … they could have milked this tit for decades and they would have. That’s even more millions.
Champions League cash would, of course, have been substantial.
It would have been twice as lucrative as a run in the Europa League Groups, which I reckon is where Ibrox’s best bet of landing next season is. That would cost them many, many millions more.
They would have been able to hold out for the fees they wanted for their top players; the certainty of a cash bonanza worth perhaps £70 million would have negated any need to sell at all, even those footballers going into the last year of their deals.
That option is now off the table, and they are back to where they were a few months ago.
Fantasies abound in the media about monstrous sums being raked in for these players; Ryan Kent may – hilariously – have made the UEFA Team of the Tournament but nobody on the continent will be fooled by that nonsense any more than seeing Tavernier in that team will have lulled them. These guys are not worth the tens of millions Ibrox’s board would have the press believe; the kind of people who will make that judgement call don’t read the Record.
Morelos has a paltry return of goals in the SPL … nobody is spending major sums of money on a guy who in five seasons has never scored 20 goals in Scotland’s top flight … look that up, I assure you that it’s a fact.
He scored 18 in 2018-19 and his record in the other campaigns is 14, 12, 12 and this season a mere 11. The media can hype this guy until the cows come home, but European clubs will not pay over the odds for a player with a record like that.
Remember; Ibrox has been trying to get maximum value for its players for years, and they have consistently failed to do so.
Even the Patterson deal isn’t anywhere near what the press hyped it to be, as can be evidenced in the scathing open letter Club 1872 penned earlier in the year, and in the paltry number of games Everton gave him in the team.
Furthermore, although it hasn’t been in the papers – for reasons which are obvious – the fact is that the club and Mike Ashley settled their court case last month, in a deal which is under a confidentiality seal.
Remember, Ibrox had lost that battle and only the damages were to be decided. Rather than wait for a judge, one side approached the other and they came to an agreement which, according to Phil, who’s been in front of this story from the off, leaves the Sports Direct supremo feeling pretty satisfied with the outcome.
If you want to know where Ibrox’s European run cash went to, it’s more than likely that a large percentage of it went into getting the big guy off their case.
Ramsey’s penalty miss hit that club like a sledgehammer.
The cash for a comprehensive rebuild was snatched away in an instant, leaving them depending on selling their three major assets – Kent, Morelos and Aribo – whose deals have one year to go.
These are depreciating assets, assets whose valuations will not have significantly improved on their European run no matter what the fantasists at The Daily Record would have you believe.
This is why they’re currently touting Bassey as “the next big thing”.
Did you see the state of him for the Frankfurt equaliser? Dear oh dear, the things they believe …
And so once again, fear grips the Ibrox boardroom.
As I said after the Leipzig result, Van Bronckhorst and his team stood on the brink of digging them out of a very big hole, because these guys had no clue how they were going to face this summer … and now that the hole has again swallowed them up, their lack of a Plan B will very soon become evident.
The loathing is reserved for Celtic, and for big Ange Postecoglou in particular.
He was supposed to be the joke figure who virtually guaranteed a title and a free shot at the Champions League gold.
He upset those plans to say the very least, and Scotland’s manager of the year now has the strongest squad and a whole summer of rest to look forward to.
The costs of that Ramsey penalty miss just keep on going up and up and up and up …