Rangers’ youth system just earned the club a decent initial £350,000 earner on Charlie McCann as the midfielder secured his move to League One’s Forrest Green Rovers.
The purpose of the youth academy is to rear kids who will be good enough to be sold at a profit – a development cost is remunerated and the sweetener on top is the profit, and McCann is definitely the Academy working as it should and developing a player who has earned the club a decent payday.
This is the end-game. While the odd Allan McGregor, Barry Ferguson and Nathan Patterson will appear, generally the bread and butter of the Academy is the Charlie McCanns. A player not good enough to make Rangers’ first team, but good enough for a lower league side and maybe he can develop further there and make the grade to the Championship.
McCann did well enough in his Rangers cameos, but to be a first-team player for this club takes something special. You have to immediately be better than Ryan Jack, John Lundstram – and that takes some going.
Back in the late 90s a special player from the old Rangers youth (before Murray Park was even built) was indeed better than the first teamers, and new manager Dick Advocaat could see it immediately, and made Barry Ferguson captain. He knew a player that man.
But there’s nothing in the Academy these days aside Patterson to come close to that level, and McCann is a classic honest player who will make a decent career in England we hope. Or he’ll sink without trace, but the purpose was to make the club a profit on him.
We wish McCann well, not quite up to the levels needed at Ibrox but hopefully he’ll have a good time in England and surprise a few people. Even better for Rangers, the deal is reported to include addons which may well take the final number into half a million. Which is a very tidy number for an Auchenhowie product.
So end of the day, it’s win win – McCann couldn’t get into Rangers’ first team, and we get into the region of £500,000 for him. Not bad.
EDIT: we would like to add a clarification to this. We’ve had some responses questioning this piece, based on McCann joining a couple of years ago from Man Utd. Yes, he did, but he joined to initially be part of our youth academy, and the vision was for him to join the senior squad in a couple of years. So he was still under our development costs even if only for a couple of years. That didn’t work out, and he was sold. In terms of the fee, the £750,000 fee being repeatedly thrust at us is NOT what Rangers paid – that was ‘rising to’, and McCann did not have anywhere near enough appearances for the fee to go as high as that. While we accept ‘tidy profit’ might been overstating this sale overall, in terms of what we spent on his development costs, it is. Overall, it is closer to breaking even than profit. If we have been mistaken or misleading in any aspect of the initial editorial our apologies, and this addendum hopefully corrects the details.