The FIFA World Club Cup. This is the latest thing that has Ibrox and its fans going mental. They think that this thing – if they qualify – will be worth tens of millions of pounds to them. As per usual they aren’t ready the small print. They think this will be the launchpad to unparalleled riches. As per usual they aren’t thinking that through at all.
First, there is no guaranteed pathway which gets them there. There is an entire season of European football to be played before that’s in the bag and so if I were them I wouldn’t be counting my chickens. Secondly, they appear not to realise that £25 million is part of the prize pot for the teams which get to the latter stages of this tournament.
I’m not saying they won’t make good money out of it. Compared to pissing away £4 million from pulling out of the Australian tour, I’m sure they’ll do very well. But they won’t be walking away with an eight figure sum no matter what delusions they cling to.
Thirdly, the idea that this will raise their profile to the point where the sky’s the limit is risible, so much so that I can’t fathom how even they can believe it.
They will get there, if they do, on the back of a Europa League final place.
But they didn’t win it, and most neutrals – who will expect the cream of Europe to be in a competition like that – will be scratching their heads and wondering who they are. All that looking further will serve to do is demonstrate how ridiculous it all is when it’s another club from Scotland who has dominated in the last decade.
I sad repeatedly on this blog that every mad notion they had about what that Europa League final would mean would be disproved utterly. They thought Europe would tremble at the mention of their name, that their squad would value would shoot through the roof, that it was the moment they established themselves as a continental force.
But nobody trembled. Only one of their players went on to command a huge transfer fee and that was part of the reason the Ajax manager was sacked. Their club, far from re-establishing itself in the Champions League went on to post the worst performance of any club in that competition’s history. None of their fantasies came true.
They might end up playing in this tournament. But their chances of appearing in it again, even if it doesn’t get transformed into another competition for the elite, is vanishingly small. They might derive some financial benefit from it, but if we’re playing in the revamped Champions League and they aren’t it won’t even come close to closing the finance gap.
I get why this is a big deal for them.
They look to the season ahead – free transfers, one signing with cash and now loans for God’s sake? To challenge a title winning side run by Brendan “seven out of seven” Rodgers – and they need something to look forward to.
But if I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t get my hopes up far less let my mind run away with me.