One of the least surprising things I’ve read today was a story about how sources at Bayern Munich do not expect the Ibrox club to come up with the money to sign Malik Tillman at the end of the season. The fee that they are asking for is reputed to be more than £6 million, and they simply don’t think that the Ibrox club has that kind of money available.
I think they probably do, or that they could raise it if they had to. But I don’t think they either have that kind of cash to spend on one player or should spent it on one player when they are looking at a full-scale rebuild, which they almost certainly will be.
People in the media seem almost grimly determined not to look too far or too deep into the situation at their club, and the desperate need for reinforcements this summer. They stand to lose as many as half a dozen key players- players who have been critical to their club these past few years – and without the corresponding sale of a key player, or players, where is the money to replace them coming from?
It will cost upwards of £10 million to do that job right, and only if you’re shopping with precision guiding focus like Celtic has shown recently and get Hatate’s and Maeda’s and O’Riley’s at embarrassingly lost cost, and it’s not easy to do.
This time two years ago, looking at the long summer I knew was in front of us, and still not having a manager in the hot-seat I was seriously concerned. I knew that Edouard and Ajer and Christie weren’t the only players we were losing. I knew that Brown was going, that too many others were simply not good enough to be the backbone of a side which had to pull itself up from the shattering campaign we were even then still enduring.
The one thing that I did know, and which I believed would be crucial, was that we could sell Edouard and Ajer to fund the rebuild, and we would have to get good prices for them both. That way we could give the manager a proper kitty to go and get the job done; even then, not qualifying for the Champions League was a blow.
I don’t see where an equivalent sale is at Ibrox. Hagi? That’s almost funny. Kamara? They’ve been trying to flog that carthorse for about three years and they have no chance. Where else is the value? Sakala? The might get a few million, nowhere near enough.
Celtic was able to give Ange £6 million twice over the summer, in no small part because we built a title winning team and still had plenty left over from the previous year. Getting automatic qualification to the Champions League helped as well of course, something we’ll be putting in the bank again if we win this title … whilst Ibrox has to navigate tough qualifiers even as they are still trying to put together the basis of their side.
No wonder there is talk now of them not being able to afford that fee, and whilst I think the manager will get the player if he stamps his feet and forces the hand of the board, it’s a big ticket item for which there will be no repeat and the worst thing, of course, from their point of view – as it was with us last season – is that he’s simply keeping a player who is already at the club and so the squad is no stronger for spending the money.
I’m not going to knock him for that because some players are worth that outlay. Whether he’s one of them is subject to debate. But we were maintaining the strength of a title winning squad in buying Jota and Carter Vickers. This guy is keeping, at great cost, one member of a failed team … and that’s money he doesn’t have for spending elsewhere.
It’s a desperate situation … one the press is in no mood to highlight.