As Rangers crashed out of the Champions League, all the club’s fans have heard since is that it’s financially imperative that the Gers sell their biggest assets.
But as the transfer window closed this week fans were delighted to see the club’s top assets still on the books after no-one seriously tempted the Glasgow club with an offer.
It’s been met with a subdued reaction from Rangers’ detractors however, the notion the club had to sell helping to prop up the suggestion – more inferred than explicit – that financial ruin is otherwise imminent.
The fact Rangers’ squad is still bursting with assets such as Glen Kamara, Borna Barisic, Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent has also presented a quandary for some in the media.
Rangers remain strong, Celtic have clearly downsized, but it’s the Parkhead club earning the plaudits.
But player trading doesn’t paint the full picture, even if Stewart Robertson, the Ibrox club’s managing director, has previously intimated that this must be kicked into action before long.
In December 2020, speaking at the club’s AGM, Robertson said:
“We have to really focus on that over the next 12 months.
“We know for the business model of the club we need to start moving one or two players a year.
“It won’t be a big turnover in the squad but that is something we need to do and something we’re really focused on for the summer.”
Confusion, therefore, is certainly merited.
But also take into consideration the comments of Dave King, who claimed there is no “desperate need” to sell Alfredo Morelos, and by proxy any of the club’s other assets.
Speaking to the Rangers Connection Podcast prior to Rangers’ Champions League exit to Malmo, ex-chairman King explained:
“I don’t think there is any desperate need to sell Morelos.
“It will purely be a footballing decision. Steven can decide whether keeping Morelos is more beneficial than accepting a certain offer and recycling that money into strengthening the team.
“That’s where Rangers are right now which makes it so exciting.”
So it’s clear that whilst that player trading model is advantageous, it’s certainly not imminently essential.
Nothing highlights this more than the current Rangers board knocking back £8m for Nathan Patterson from Premier League Everton [Daily Mail].
If Rangers are so cash-strapped, then this appears a juicy and not inconsiderable offer for a player who is currently their back-up right-back.
In rejecting this offer not only does it prove Rangers are robust enough financially to proceed as they are, but it also highlights the imperative need for a player trading model to be realistic.
Talk of an Ibrox fire sale is remarkably premature, so much so that some had Rangers selling their top assets at knockdown prices.
Rejecting the bid for Patterson highlights that this will not be the case; if teams want to pluck from the Champions then they can expect to pay their market value.
Having a Sporting Director like Ross Wilson on board – someone with Premier League experience – means Rangers’ valuations will, give or take, reflect the market they’re in.
On top of this, by retaining the club’s top talent – and simultaneously seeing Celtic flog their own – it emboldens the charge for 56.
Why sell one of our assets for £15m when they can help shoot us to the £30m+ land of automatic group stage qualification for the Champions League?
Whilst sales will come at some point, for now the lack of a major outgoing speaks volumes more about the club’s ambitions, than it does about our finances.
Meanwhile, Rangers fans have been in stitches all day at a Celtic transfer window story that seeks to spin the last few months in the Parkhead club’s favour.