Rangers fans have taken aim at a journalist’s tweet which encapsulates coverage regarding Celtic selling their best players whilst Rangers retain their top talents.
Ewan Murray of the Guardian was tweeting after Celtic sold striker Odsonne Edouard on deadline day for a reported £15m to Premier League Crystal Palace.
Celtic from a “weak” position have sold three players for £30-40m in two windows (and I’m aware of Edouard sell on %). Rangers haven’t sold a single player for meaningful money since Steven Gerrard or Ross Wilson arrived. Quite the contrast, however you interpret it.
— Ewan Murray (@mrewanmurray) August 31, 2021
“Celtic from a “weak” position have sold three players for £30-40m in two windows (and I’m aware of Edouard sell on %),” tweeted Murray.
“Rangers haven’t sold a single player for meaningful money since Steven Gerrard or Ross Wilson arrived. Quite the contrast, however you interpret it.”
These comments come after Celtic also sold influential first-teamer Kris Ajer to Brentford for a reported £13.5m earlier in the window, despite both players being in the final year of their contract.
The other transfer referred to by Murray is that of Jeremie Frimpong, who was sold to Bayer Leverkusen for a reported £11.5m in January.
Rangers in contrast held on to the likes of Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent, Borna Barisic and Glen Kamara, with no clubs seemingly willing to meet Rangers’ asking price for the players.
As the Gers look to move into a player trading model – something the club has been repeatedly clear must happen to make Rangers sustainable – it’s important to set the right precedent.
Rangers Managing Director has previously asserted that the club “need to start moving one or two players a year”.
Celtic’s player trading in recent seasons – whilst to be commended – has also saw them downsize significantly and that is no clearer than in the window just gone.
Alongside Edouard and Ajer, captain Scott Brown has left whilst influential first teamer Ryan Christie joined Bournemouth on deadline day.
This follows the high profile exits of Kieran Tierney, Moussa Dembele and Stewart Armstrong, players whom Celtic have struggled to replace.
There’s no doubt that Celtic’s approach has left them considerably weaker and allowed Rangers to assert their dominance on the nation’s game.
Part of that dominance has gained Scotland an automatic place in the Champions League next season and by retaining the club’s top players Rangers embolden their chances of securing the £30m-£40m jackpot that comes with it.
Beyond that, by refusing to sell players under their market value Rangers are sending a warning to clubs that they will no longer do business at cut-price fees.
This is best exemplified by the rejecting of an £8m bid from Everton for back-up full-back Nathan Patterson, who remains one of the biggest talents in the Scottish game.
And that’s before we mention a stagnant market brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s certainly a complex situation but it is not quite as black and white as Murray’s tweet would suggest and Rangers fans let the journalist know:
Something will give eventually.
The risk will reap further reward and likely Champions League riches next Summer or a fire sale beckons.
Pandemic effect on market also a big factor on no player trading from Ibrox.
— Graeme Hanna (@graeme818) August 31, 2021
When Gerrard arrived Celtic had a title winning squad miles ahead of us, since then Rangers have spent just over £30 million in fee’s compared to Celtic spending over £70 million in the same period, Rangers are champions and I don’t think anyone would argue their squad is better.
— Tags (@tagsbo) September 1, 2021
Yet we’re Champions of Scotland and just rattled them on Sunday without getting out of 2nd gear and with a COVID ravaged team having done a 5000 mile round trip in 35 deg heat
Quote the contrast, however you interpret it 😭😭
— RyanClarkKent 1872 💎 (@1872Rck) August 31, 2021
True but equally don’t think we’re yet in a position where any of our sellable assets are in the final year of their contract or have downed tools.
— Andy McKellar (@AMcKellar89) August 31, 2021
I’m devastated- would swap the sweet victory on Sunday for selling our best players any day..
— CambsTruBlue (@camtrublue) August 31, 2021
What exactly is your point?
Rangers won the title and have a settled squad, Celtic are rebuilding. Quite the contrast, however you interpret it.
— Tel-Aviv True Blues RSC 🇮🇱🇬🇧 (@telavivrangers) August 31, 2021
I interpret it that we have kept our best players. Only in Scottish football can you have a situation where the team selling it’s star players is considered to be doing better than the one keeping hold of their’s. The Scottish media is a cesspit, it really is…
— Juninho Bacuna Loyal (@Fish1872) August 31, 2021
Its called consolidating a winning team. Celtic are in diffs only getting fractions of the amounts their fans have quoted they’re worth. Rangers haven’t sold anybody meaningful in years either because the clubs going in the right direction
— Big G 🇬🇧 (@RFCGW) August 31, 2021
It's the 'weak' position' you should really be questioning. Given an unchallenged run at the Champions League for 9 years, with all the riches that brings and they made a complete and utter mess of it. They should be miles ahead, instead of which they're currently in a rebuild.
— Paul (@HamptonCaught) August 31, 2021
There is another way you could word this and it would be much more pertinent.
16 players have left and they brought in £25m for all of them, then had to rebuild a squad with some of it…..https://t.co/CRND62D4U1
— ninj. (@kenny47110) September 1, 2021
He’s right how dare Rangers keep a hold of their best players, shocking business from us https://t.co/BYG29nc2ax
— ES🇬🇧 (@Euas04) September 1, 2021
Sold these guys for all that money yet the positions are actually worse off even despite the fact these guys downed tools.
Meanwhile Rangers have players who love playing for Gerrard and have had interest from clubs for Morelos, Patterson, Kent etc.
I know what I’d prefer. https://t.co/66nwrol2xJ
— Baldy Bassey 🇬🇧 (@BaldyBassey3) August 31, 2021
Nothing worse than keeping your best players, beating your rivals and then watching them sell their best players https://t.co/gSIHqcBDkK
— The Rambling Ger Blog (@GerRambling) September 1, 2021
Are they genuinely trying to make not selling your best players sound like a bad thing😂😂😂 https://t.co/Ut4hV8FqcK
— Kurt (@_kjs1874) August 31, 2021
In business terms it’s called downsizing.
— Intrepidus (@Intrepidus4) August 31, 2021
Rangers might not have let anyone of any real first team significance leave on deadline day but Nikola Katic and Cedric Itten did leave for Hadjuk Split and Greuther Fürth respectively.
According to one journalist, that may not be the last of the exits either after he claimed he’s “been told” another outgoing may be imminent.