It’s certainly changed days alright at Rangers financially which is something that the Ibrox faithful has learned perhaps to appreciate rather than accept fully...
Summertime used to be a busy affair in years gone by at Edminston Drive, sadly the days of box office signings including the likes of Butcher, Gazza, Laudrup, De Boer Twins, Numan’s et al are long gone. Indeed a signing of any kind is rare a sight at Ibrox these past two and a half years or so.
So far it’s been a mighty exodus with one or three key individuals who made up the spine of a title winning side these past few seasons leaving for pastures new. Away is goal machine Kris Boyd for starters, his move away was always going to be a pro-longed goodbye as he was free to talk to other clubs from January onwards as his contract came to an end this summer with Rangers.
Many mumblings across the Scottish Press about offers from Turkey to Teesside as well a ‘substantial’ wage offer from Rangers to keep the prolific number 9 at Ibrox however really depends on how one defines ‘substantial’ as the offer wasn’t quite enough in the end up. Boyd joined ex Celtic Manager Gordon Strachan’s Scots Revolution at Middleburgh and the club saw fit to sell midfield engine room Kevin Thomson to the Teesside club deciding to cash in a £2mil chip as rather than face the risk of losing him for nothing like Boyd.
Kevin Thomson joined Rangers from Hibernian in January 2007.
Good business sense, lack of ambition or desperate times that Rangers cant offer two of Scotland’s best footballers a healthy contract to stay this side of the border? It’s a tough environment when the Championship is outbidding you never mind the Premiership.
Alongside the Kevin Thomson deal swelling up the Ibrox coffers tin is the deal that saw young defender Danny Wilson sign a three-year deal with Liverpool for a fee that could eventually reach £5 million.
Many will still argue that Wilson should have stayed put at Ibrox for a few season yet, gained more top team and Champions League experience before heading for the Premiership however can you blame the lad for taking a stab at the big-time along with wages to match?
Danny Wilson off to Liverpool.
Others to follow suit this summer include Nacho Novo (who will be sadly missed – goals, passion and a man that played for the Jersey if there is such a thing these days in professional football these days), Steven Smith (decent enough squad player but wont be missed) and American all star DaMarcus Beasley (great player when he did turn it on which was hardly ever in the light blue so again no great loss).
The only one signing has been that of Walter Smith himself for another year in the Ibrox hot seat before Ally McCoist takes charge. Smith’s final hurrah in management I’m sure won’t out on a whimper due to a lack of transfer activity even though he has become a master wheeler dealer and ran his Rangers team on a shoe-string budget since he took charge again for a second time.
I reckon he’s struck a wee deal with the money men at Ibrox and Smith will strike before the transfer window slams shut at the end of August with a few signings to bolster the Ibrox first team as necessity dictates it – Rangers have only 13 recognised first team players, two or three injuries…and it’s a major step up for many of the inexperienced kids at Ibrox to fill the void completely.
Rangers are already through to the Champions League group stages so perhaps Smith can afford to hang fire rather than ‘go go go’’ like is counterpart Neil Lennon in the transfer market but he best get a move on as the Rangers fans are getting a tad impatient.
Good news is that Walter Smith has confirmed he will assess Honduras striker Georgie Welcome during a trial period at Rangers' Murray Park training ground this week and the club have been linked with Rapid Striker Nickica Jelavic. Georgie would be a welcome addition to the squad if he can reproduce his form for the Arsenal (based in Roatan, Honduras 18 gls in 22 apps) and Deportivo Motagua (23 gls in 64 apps).
Hopefully the ‘Welcome’ matt at Ibrox will be worn thin by the end of August.
Patience until then…
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