This Whole Bassey Business Is Like A Confidence Trick. Has Someone Really Fallen For It?

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Let’s deal with it, with the ridiculous stories doing the rounds that Ibrox has found not just one mug but two willing to pay big money for a guy who’s had six good months in the game.

If this deal goes through and the numbers are in eight figures, then football really has gone mad.

That is the kind of signing that gets people sacked later on.

It’s hard to know what to make of all this noise over the talks.

Do I believe any club is going to pay Ibrox’s whopping transfer fee? Absolutely not.

Do I believe they’ll get close to it? What does close mean? You still see papers talking about how Aribo has gone for £10 million, but the fee is six plus add-ons which might never be realised.

The thing here is not to ignore the media’s penchant for hype, or the possibility that one or both of the clubs involved will walk away from the table because Ibrox’s demands are too ridiculous.

But I don’t think that’ll happen if the bid is more than £12 million … because that’s funny money for a guy like this and that’s Christmas for their board of directors.

As long as they don’t lose their minds and hold out for a sum they’re never going to get, they should turn a tidy little profit and they should get the guy off the books.

The more I think about this, the more I have to take my hat off to them, in much the same way as I’d drink a toast to those scam artists you see flogging their wares in cities up and down the country.

The trick is to bamboozle the mark, blind him to what he’s actually buying, get his money in your pocket and be off with it before he realises what he’s bought.

This is like what’s known as the Black Money Scam.

You’ll have seen that, or a variation of it, if you’ve hung around enough market stalls.

It’s the one where the con-artist sells people worthless black paper and a “roller kit” and some “solution” on the proviso that the “black money” is real cash, stained by the government because the notes are being taken out of circulation.

All you have to do is buy the “kit” and a box of “black money” and profits can be yours.

I’ve not only seen this on TV, but I’ve seen it up close, for real, and I never cease to be amazed that there are people who will “take a chance” and hand these people actual cash for what amounts to nothing at all.

The trick is all about finding the right people in the audience; desperate, pliable, gullible … people who want to believe.

It also helps to have a few undercover “civilians” in the crowd, willing to back your story up.

Our media plays that role here. It has helped flog this guy. They are in on this scam.

Never forget that.

I have never seen such a hype machine devoted to the sale of a football player.

It is quite incredible.

Ignore every single story about how Ibrox is determined to hang onto him; they will have him on the plane before his bags are packed if they can get their “acceptable offer”.

I’ve always said that clubs do not buy players on the basis of hype.

Most clubs don’t.

Just as most people would never buy a roller and a box of black paper on the expectation that they will make their fortune.

But there are always a handful who fall for it, and as any professional scam artist will tell you – and to go over some ground I’ve already covered, as anyone selling crypto or NFT’s will tell you – one of the things that drives a good sale is called Fear Of Missing Out.

That’s one of the reasons why shops will put “On Sale For Just Seven Days!” signs in the windows! People worry that next week the goods will be more expensive, and they want to get in there, right away, and snap up the bargains.

Even if there are no bargains.

Is that what this is? Are these two clubs simply the ones who want to jump first before this “superstar of the future” gets away?

Remember, it’s the nature of any good con; you only need one … one mark, one person daft enough to fall for it.

Now let’s bear in mind that none of this has actually happened yet.

We have no way of knowing whether this is serious interest or Ibrox playing its usual game of trying to drum some up and using discreet inquiries by clubs to do it.

But let’s do a little imagining for a moment. Let’s imagine that these stories are real. Let’s further imagine that the offer they end up getting is is on the crazier side of £15 million.

Doesn’t Brendan Rodgers have some serious questions to answer for allowing the sale of a major asset for a pittance?

Isn’t the Leicester City board entitled to wonder just what in God’s name happened here?

Do we recall Rodgers giving youth a chance at Celtic?

He was good at making players better – we’ve seen that for ourselves – but he let this guy slip away?

He’s not the only one; no club south of the border took the punt at the time.

So unless the Ibrox scouting team are the smartest guys in the room, a whole lot of people missed the boat here, and it’s only now that a handful of clubs are catching up.

But only at Ajax and Brighton.

What seems likely to you?

That these guys are also smarter than everyone else around them … or have they simply fallen for a good confidence trick?

Either way, the Ibrox board will be laughing if they pull off this case of daylight robbery.

Whoever gets this player, if they do pay crazy money for him – and anything over seven figures is crazy for a guy with six good months under his belt, and only then if you exclude some major errors, – they’re going to have one Hell of a case of buyer’s remorse.

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  • Tino says:

    Doesn’t this completely ignore scouting and data analysis done by clubs. Obviously he is not worth even close to what the tabloids are banding about but you seem to be saying that two clubs have been potentially blinded by smoke and mirrors, that’s an awfully big stretch

    • Seppington says:

      I have to agree. Plus, given the resources of the linked clubs, I find it hard to believe they haven’t looked at that data and saw, thanks to their superior-to-Sevco-in-every-way scouting operations, that there are comparably talented players available elsewhere for a fraction of what the filth are dreaming of.

      Sorry James, but a stretch indeed. I do hope that it is all just desperation games by Sevco in an attempt to make one of two possible buyers bite they bullet as neither is appearing peckish, If the interest is real and they get good money for them that will help their finances far too much for my taste. I like my Sevco continuously teetering on the edge of the abyss, thank you very much….

  • Benjamin says:

    I listened to a podcast yesterday with a North American journalist that covers a different sport, but what he said is 100% universally applicable in professional sports. He said in one day (the first day of free agency) he got multiple text messages from agents linking players to certain clubs. This reporter has been around the block a few times and knew enough not to blindly trust the information. When he tried to double check the information with club based sources, the claims were met with flat denials. Unsurprisingly the agents were trying to create – in the media- a perception that there was a bidding war for his clients and drive the price up. This sort of stuff happens EVERYWHERE in sports, and unfortunately there is a compliant press in Scotland who is only too happy to do its part to help out certain players or clubs.

    Personally I can believe a club like Brighton is interested in Bassey. They obviously can’t afford the fee being thrown around, but one club who likely can afford it is Ajax. What’s less clear is why Ajax as a Champions League club is even interested given their current squad. This doesn’t make any sense at all.

    Although I suppose the upside for Celtic fans is that Rangers will be left with Barisic as their best option at LB.

  • Martin says:

    I expect one of two things:

    1 it all falls apart because nobody was remotely interested in paying those prices.

    2. He goes for considerably less, but has add ons that would get them 20 million if he were to single handedly win the CL within 6 months oflr something ridiculous, and it gets reported as a 20 million fee.

  • Tom McWilliams says:

    Can the Scottish media be on commission,
    Even on Clyde Mark Wilson mentioned up to 10m and 10 minutes later the Skintco media partner had pulled him. He then started with the 20m patter.

  • john clarke says:

    Right from the start of the alleged sting; the loudest spruiker for buying Calvin Bassey was Steven Garrard. You would expect this. When you buy property, do background checks
    and go in with your eyes wide-open. I want him sold, because it will weaken Rangers.
    Steven is doing his duty as an IBROX man. He has acted as the Orangeman before…taunting Celtic fans for laughs. Player Agents do this all the time. Unfortunately, Bassey is going nowhere.

  • john clarke says:

    SOLD TO AJAX AMSTERDAM; Romano says. The Media follow the lead. Celtic Fans say
    NO BARGAIN. If true, Steven Garrard is laughing and saying “it’s all fun and games”.

  • john clarke says:

    Spelling Correction: Gerrard.
    My story including S Gerrard is TOTAL nonsense. I don’t like being offensive.
    Steven did say that he regretted taunting Celtic fans. That episode is finished. A few days ago he said complimentary words about Ange as a Manager. If my story offends Steven, I apologise to him. I only know who he is.

  • Charles says:

    If this deal happens and I am still not a 100% sure it will
    Then football has gone crazy. I dont consider myself an expert in the ins and outs of football but I would like to think I know a great player when I see them and for me bassey is a good player not great. If he is that good a player where are the the Manchester clubs , Chelsea
    Etc. Brighton and ajax the only two clubs to bid and one is an orange brother in arms. Mmmmmmmm.

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