When Ibrox fans look back on this season, it will not be with great affection.
Today the worst kept secret in Scottish football was all but confirmed; none of the “big players” that their manager had been so confident of getting to sign new deals will do so.
Kent and Morelos, who have played almost every week for this guy, will be doing walking away after all.
This guy has contradicted himself at every turn during the so-called “negotiations” over these two. Others might accuse him of deliberately misleading the media and the Ibrox fans over their futures. Even now, with their departure near certain, he still won’t say a word that might have some impact on season ticket sales, but it’s obvious both are done.
There’s also a growing question over Tillman. The Mooch definitely wants him, but it’s no coincidence that he’s back in Germany with an injury which rules him out for the rest of the campaign in the same week that Chris Jack is openly asking whether or not he’s worth the outlay that it would take to keep him at the club.
Most of us twigged to this a long time ago; if you’ve only got a limited budget, does it make much sense to spend the bulk of it on a single player? We never would have, not in a million years. It would have been remarkable and stupid.
The trouble for Beale is that he’s publicly made signing this guy a priority and he hadn’t given up on that today. He’s talked about things going on behind the scenes, but it’s clear that he still wants, and expects, to have the player when the new campaign starts.
That’s going to be a problem for him if the club decides not to do it.
Jack has suggested that the investment might be justified on the grounds that they could develop him and sell him for “five times that sum” – yes, you’ve read that right; Jack thinks he’s the latest £25 million player – but that sounds fanciful if we’re being generous.
For all that, he’s slanted the piece against the idea anyway, on the grounds it’s too big a risk. Taking the punt on the off-chance of that sort of payoff would be more than just risky, it would be lunacy, but The Mooch is still holding out hope.
Whether he is aware of what it means that people with links to the board are openly briefing against the signing remains to be seen … it would be poetic justice if he was caught cold by the directors telling him that they just can’t endorse doing the deal when the reek of panic over it has been in the air for months, even as he was talking the idea up.
That was a bad, bad press conference for him.
As recently as February, he was talking about how he thought talk with the two players were progressing well and Kent in particular was someone he really thought he could convince to stay.
How often has he mentioned the great relationship he has with the player, and how much trust they have in each other?
Well, he still hasn’t come right out and said it but when he’s talking about all the parties having come to the same conclusions about the future you know that it’s over.
That it’s a barefaced lie at the same time – one of a number he’s told here – hardly needs pointing out. If he wanted the player to stay and the player wants to go there’s no agreement at all and nothing mutual about the parting of the ways.
As much as he’s tried to mask his disappointment, that was a presser from a guy admitting defeat.
Again. He should be used to it now.