Celtic’s Fan Sites Knew Calvin Bassey Was A Waste Of Money. Why Didn’t Ajax?

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So last night, Ajax crashed out of Europe.

Out of the Europa League.

A side which casually swatted aside the one from Ibrox, they lost to Union Berlin and Juranovic scored one of the goals. He set up another one. Ajax gave away a penalty during the match, and guess who the culprit was?

It was, indeed, our old friend Calvin Bassey.

Everyone, I’m certain, will remember the utter incredulity on this site and others when we read that Ajax were willing to spend £20 million or thereabouts on this player, and although I suspect the fee was nearer to £15 million, it’s still a huge chunk of change.

The point I kept making over and over again was that the only people who could possibly have believed he would justify that price-tag were those who hadn’t watched him.

And so it proves, with even Ajax insiders now asking who the hell scouted the player and what exactly is his actual worth?

Who told them that this guy was worth it?

Did they simply take the “advice” of the Dutchmen at Ibrox on this one, or did they actually do some any due diligence?

If they had, frankly, they would never have bothered to pay.

This is what Rafael Van Der Vaart had to say;

“How is someone who played for Glasgow Rangers like Calvin Bassey going to be able to lead the defence at Ajax? Where was the Ajax youth system? Was there no one there better than him? Because if there isn’t then you have a major problem. Sometimes it’s better if you don’t have any money because then you don’t do crazy things. Then you wait for the right moment and occasionally take a chance. Instead they spent 23 million Euros on Bassey. Alfred Schreuder made too many big mistakes.”

Former Danish international Kenneth Perez, who played for Ajax, said this.

“I really have the feeling that every time that round thing rolls towards him he thinks: ‘oh f***, what am I going to do with that thing again’ I do agree with what Schreuder said: ‘It will never be a Frank de Boer, but maybe a Davinson Sánchez’ … He has power and speed, but on the ball it’s really just abysmal. It doesn’t get any better, of course, because he will also get a bit of the fact that he is the joke … I think you can only benefit from him in the centre of the back, but 26 million euros is a lot of money. The only thing is: he can’t help it that he has cost so much. He can’t help it that someone said ‘You know what, it seems like a nice amount to pay for him’.”

Former Ajax manager Aad de Mos said;

“Calvin Bassey has no insight, no speed of thought and he gets turned far too easily. He isn’t good enough to compete at this level.”

Dutch pundits Wim Kieft and Freek Jansen both destroyed him earlier in the season.

Kieft witheringly said;

“Calvin Bassey playing football hurts my eyes. Apart from his lack of quality on the ball, he is above all very rash. Physically, he is fine, but Ajax cannot play the dominant game they like with him in the team.”

Jansen’s comments were no better.

“With Bassey, you can already conclude that Ajax has paid far too much for him. Given his current qualities, it would have made more sense to pay five to ten million Euros for the transfer. He still has a long way to go when it comes to football, but maybe that will still happen.”

Unusually, Edwin Van Der Sar, who is Ajax’s Technical Director, has already had to defend the club from the suggestion that Bassey wasn’t scouted before he was bought, commenting on stories to that effect which have already appeared in the Dutch media. He said;

“Without scouting reports, no players are bought here. You shouldn’t believe everything you read in the newspaper.”

Except … it all fits together rather well.

On 16 July of last year, I ended an article on Bassey – which basically called Ibrox valuation a confidence trick no-one should fall for – with these words;

“That is the kind of signing that gets people sacked later on … Whoever gets this player, if they do pay crazy money for him … they’re going to have one Hell of a case of buyer’s remorse.”

Shortly before it, I did a piece on him following Holland’s game with Ecuador in which a Nigerian sportswriter had written a report on him which suggested that he made too many “positional mistakes.” I thought that was fairly significant, although The Daily Record and other outlets incredibly decided to leave that paragraph out of their reports.

“It’s not hard to see why the reports wanted to leave that particular observation out, is it?” I wrote. “I’ll tell you what though; watching scouts will not have missed it. They will see those ‘positional mistakes’ as critical factors in deciding whether to recommend him to clubs.”

And yet, apparently not.

Not those and not the others I had drawn together from various games in which he played for the Ibrox club before that.

After he made his debut, in which his team were tied at 2-2 in the Dutch Cup until he went on, after which they promptly conceded two goals and he was sent off in the space of a dizzying 15 minutes, I said this;

“Honestly, the hysteria that surrounded this guy all summer long … I could not believe that any club was going to fall for it, and then along came Ajax with their chequebook.”

By November, when the Dutch media were lashing the Ajax coach for the signing I was writing this;

“When that deal was being mooted, every single Celtic site was incredulous at that figure. None of us could believe that it was real … No matter what he says, I cannot believe that the Ajax boss had a clear idea of what he was buying before he sanctioned a £20 million fee for this guy. Neither can those who watch him play in the Dutch league every week.”

We knew this. All of us.

We could all run through the list of horrendous Calvin Bassey errors, and so we were aware of what his actual valuation was and it was nowhere near what they paid.

Jansen, the Dutch commentator, was right. At most you’d have paid half that. His accurate valuation, based only on his potential, was probably in the £5-8 million region.

Watching him is a wretched experience for Ajax fans and those who love the club.

I think those inside it probably listened too much to the former Dutch players at Ibrox and perhaps even to the media.

This is what I said in the confidence trick article.

“This is like what’s known as the Black Money Scam … 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 paper 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 … 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.”

And Ajax fell for it, and now hard questions are being asked about how it happened.

Had they listened to the warnings being blared from Scotland, where people actually had watched this guy, people with no skin in the game and no profit to be made, they would never have made this mistake.

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  • Scud Missile says:

    I will tell you who said big Shirley was worth it, L’Oréal.
    Giving away that penalty his excuse would be, I did that every week in the the last league I played in as did my other team mates without it being a penalty or even any punishment for it.
    And then the klan have the CHEEK to ask why so many penalties are given against them in European football.

  • Paul says:

    Leagues all over Europe are full of players like him. Fitness above all else, run all day long but not an ounce of skill or tactical nouse bit like some players from the side he left, whilst I’m at it does diving and the feigning of injury not get to you.l for one am getting sick and tired of it,Match of day highlights now becoming a turn off and it’s getting worse up here too. Kid on football players.

  • SSMPM says:

    Somebody seriously needs sacking off but the really sad thing is Ajax’s foolishness and cash has helped to keep them alive and strengthened the lodge club’s resolve and belief that they are special. This weekend could be the major turning point, we have to smash that belief at Hampden, keep our feet on their throats and strangle the life out of them

  • Johnny Green says:

    The huns did well getting shot of him for such a large fee, not their fault, but definitely their gain. It’s history now and best forgotten, I’m sure Ajax have learned their lesson, they won’t do that again.

  • Michael Clark says:

    Strutting your stuff in Scotland then heading of to pastures new isn’t always greener. For a club like Ajax to fork out millions for Calvin Bassey was always going to be a risk. In all honesty just because you look the part in Scotland doesn’t mean you’ll cut it elsewhere. Dutch writer Wim Kieft said of the man. Calvin Bassey lacks quality on the ball and is very rash. Ajax can’t play the dominant game safely with him in the team. We have a defender at Celtic and I’m not going to mention his name who I think gives Celtic the same issue. We can get away with it a domestic level but he’s a weak link and going to cost Celtic dearly where one mistake in the Champions league will cost us the game. The only saving grace is he didn’t cost us that type of money.

    • Peter Cassidy says:

      Bassey had a decent season before going to Ajax but that’s how some players in football go for mad sums.They just play one season then they are world class and worth millions same with new players signed having a good season then wanting big wage increases the following season don’t blame the players it’s the clubs who either pay the fees or big wages that’s football 2023.

  • Mark b says:

    This massive fee will appear in the next IbRox accounts. It was a terrific piece of business by the selling club. More than Edouard Dembele Ajer Juranovic Van Dyk. Nearly as much as Tierney. It truly was astonishing the size of the fee. Financially huge as we shall see on the accounts. He was an excellent player for that last season at Ibrox but when the fee was announced I expected like 10m max. Astonishing.

  • JTT says:

    It smells like Boumsong again. Any sevconians working for Ajax?

  • John S says:

    Has anyone ever seen the Ibrox Accounts Ledger, even from a distance ?


      EUFA are asking for a very, very close look just now. No SFA cover notes applicable.

  • Martin.H says:

    That transfer always stank, was like Boumsung to Newcastle under Souness, it was a hand out, outside of the ibrox club, somebody in the background made a lot of money, this guys next move should have been at the best, Hearts.

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