If Nathan Patterson’s transfer to Everton was rightly considered a fantastic deal for Rangers, then the imminent transfer of Calvin Bassey to Ajax is a sensational one for many reasons. It wasn’t long ago both were considered second choice full backs at the club and in the space of six months they have earned the club a potential £40m.
Rangers have long since spoke about the ‘Player trading model’ as being the final part of the financial recovery and need for the club to stand on it’s own. The last six months has changed that whole outcome for good.
When you include Joe Aribo alongside the aforementioned Patterson and Bassey, Rangers have banked a potential income of £50m for three players who cost the club £550k.
That is outrageous business at any level but for a number of reasons it has now set a precedent that Rangers can point at. If any team comes for our players in the future, we now have a credible track record in negotiations. The board and Ross Wilson deserve an incredible amount of praise and respect for that.
So what does it actually mean financially for the club?
Joe Aribo went to Southampton in a deal worth £10m, of that we received a reported £6m up front and a further £4m in add ons which our club feel is more than achievable and of which some is guaranteed. In that we also have a sell on clause should he move on again, which we hope he will, meaning we would financially benefit further.
We can say confidently, give or take, that this money has covered the clubs financial outlay so far this summer. Our five arrivals come to around £4.5m, if we then include fees and other costs it will amount to the instant money received for Joe Aribo. I think that’s almost a fair assumption.
Calvin Bassey deal is worth €22m Euros with a further €5m euros in add ons and significantly, a sell on clause which Ajax aren’t renowned to agreeing too. In pound Sterling, we are getting just under £19m and a further £4m in add ons, of which those are guaranteed to earn Rangers over £20m all in, with potential for the rest to make up the remainder of the 4m. The sell on, reported to be 10%, could pocket the club millions at a later date.
As I said that’s sensational business.
Financially it brings an immediate stability to the club. If we focus on Stewart Robertson’s comments late last year, when he said the club were heading towards breaking even in the financial year, then this move should allow the club to forward plan for future years.
There is a need to replace Calvin Bassey however and the imminent arrival of Ben Davies is a welcomed addition. The manager has already told press, after our friendly victory on Saturday, that he will look to buy a left back so after Davies there may still be more to arrive.
So in speculation, what would be a fair outlay?
I don’t think any supporter expects us to go out and spend £15m on one player, that’s not realistically how our model works. In an ideal world the club will identify a replacement with the right potential to do a ‘Bassey’ all over again, a budget of around £5m for a replacement or perhaps two £3-4m players depending on the managers wishes. If we consider Ben Davies deal is worth £4m, with an immediate outlay of just under £3m then that prediction looks entirely fair.
We don’t necessarily have to spend, money guarantees nothing after all, as long as the club get the quality right and perhaps there is a bosman gem still available.
I think that’s completely achievable and would allow the club to bank around £10m. That’s the model we now operate in and exactly where the club is.
So back to the original point from Stewart Robertson, that £10m should provide working capital for the next few years with the club approaching financial parity by his own admission.
That’s before we consider those comments came before Nathan Patterson’s exit and our extended European journey.
Now it’s worth saying, I’m not a financial expert so I had previously said I had hoped for a decent profit from last year, but I think it’s reasonable to at least say the club are now on a financial solid footing and can strategically plan for the next few years to come.
With that all said, even I realise In some ways, it’s boring chat, what we really want is rumours and signings! So what’s next?
Ben Davies is on his way. A deal agreed with Liverpool subject to medical and final stages, that appears to be almost imminent. As above, we will pay just under £3m with potentially another £1m in future add ons, similar to how we structure our deals. It remains to be seen how many more come after him as the squad is big.
Malick Tillman and Rabbi Matondo had offers from England and Europe but chose Rangers. They are exactly our desired market with both having plenty of potential to grow and turn into fantastic players, first of all, but big assets there after.
Then when you factor in the arrival of Souttar, Colak and Lawrence, it’s very clever and astute business. All five should improve the squad and contribute, Matondo already looks an exciting prospect from his small cameo on Saturday.
If the club can be equally as astute with the Calvin Bassey budget then we might have a few surprises. Names linked so far like Israel youngster Doron Leidner seem very decent standard and would again seem to fall onto our transfer strategy as buy with promise to progress further.
What I would hope is any potential deal is far down the line so that squad disruption is as minimal as possible, in fairness that’s exactly what has happened with Ben Davies and credit to Ross Wilson again for that.
There has been criticism on this platform for Ross Wilson. In context I think it’s right to question our previous transfer windows and player contract situations. But fairly and with content, that’s important. What he does next and how this summer progresses will have a huge bearing on his time at the club. There is no doubts he has been integral to the selling model of the club and deserves enormous credit.
However there is work to do with a squad that is far too big and a wage bill at it’s highest for several years. He must begin to chop away at the squad and remove those that are not needed as well as those not available or adding value. I’ve said previously that we could lose 6-8 players and not feel it from the first team, I still believe that to be true.
So there is lots more action to come and transfer wise we may only be beginning to warm up. Ben Davies and potentially another left back in to replace Calvin, a bonus attacker or attacking midfielder would be wonderful if I’m being really greedy, and players moved on then this window will have shaped up nicely.
As the friendlies step up now in quality and the league beginning a week Saturday there is still a lot to do and excitement to come. It’s never easy to lose a big player or have to discuss what financial sales mean for the club, it would be easier to gossip and be more of a fan. After all, we aren’t accountants and our job is to support what’s happening on the field.
We will judge the business by the results on the pitch, naturally, but it’s fair to say arrivals have been sensible so far. The squad needed freshness, well that has happened and maybe the experienced renewals are beginning to make more sense.
Also worth contemplating something before I go, we’ve sold a player to Ajax and bought a player from Bayern Munich and potentially Liverpool. Rangers are back in exciting markets and (young) players now see Rangers as an attractive proposition. That European run didn’t end in the ultimate glory but the potential benefits are already now in play.
It’s exciting times and I believe things are shaping up just nicely, it’s a good time to be a Ranger.
Good luck to the team and management this week as we return to Ibrox in friendly action.