In a rare article trying to be totally grounded on Michael Beale and Rangers’ transfer window, we have to try to be realistic as far as the summer work goes.
Ibrox Noise’s Ross postulated some weeks ago that he reckoned the budget this summer would be about £10M, give or take.
We’re not sure how accurate that number is, but the reality is that even Steven Gerrard and Giovanni van Bronckhorst never got much more than about £11M every summer transfer window. Give or take, the lower region of between £10M-£15M was the summer budget to invest in new players.
We cannot say for sure if that included wages, but on the face of it, that was just the transfer fees.
So despite the staggering revenue from November 21 to November 22, somehow we still don’t have a big coffer from which to overhaul the team – clearly Michael Beale was counting on some decent sales, and sadly, none of them have happened yet. Indeed, we’ve shipped out two asset players having secured no sales revenue for them whatsoever, losing them for free. That hasn’t helped.
So the upshot is the budget IS limited this summer. There are reports ‘that lot’ will be spending around £30M this window – these are numbers Rangers cannot compete with in a month of Sundays, and no one would suggest otherwise. They might also be adding around £16M to that via selling Kyogo. That’s financially impossible to compete with.
This means, ultimately, if Beale has that fabled £10M at his disposal this summer, he has to juice every inch out of it. We will sit on the fence until much later this year before making any judgement on his use of £2.5M of it in the form of Sam Lammers, but that does mean he’s down to around £7M or so left.
This is why relying on Bosmans is absolutely critical. This is why getting someone like Jose Cifuentes, who literally has a market value around the £15M mark, for close to buttons, is the kind of shrewd work we need to do if the window is to work for us.
Beale has to p*ss with the c*ck he has – the entire squad needed a drastic overhaul, but that’s not possible with just £10M budget at best. You need sales in there too, and that’s a real problem because we’ve sold no one, and only Glen Kamara seems likely to actually go anywhere. But even he remains a Rangers player – by this point last summer Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey were deep into their exits from Rangers. Kamara has a few loose links but nothing more yet.
So Beale, whatever you think of his style, is absolutely hamstrung for now. He is limited to trying to stretch the purse strings and make that £10M go for miles, while also hoping for a bunch of top Bosman additions stronger than what we have.
John Lundstram, for example, might have been a slow starter, but he had a market value of about £10M and we got him for free. He became massive the season before last.
John Souttar too was a Bosman, a precontract – and while he’s had injuries galore, no one could deny how good a defender he is. He’s quickly shot up in Rangers’ fans’ affections the past few months.
And Ryan Jack, another one – we got good value, even if his injuries have derailed his Rangers career a lot.
The point is Bosmans are key to Rangers, because we just don’t have a lot of money.
Unfortunately some of the Bosmans thus far have been pretty underwhelming – Kieran Dowell and Dujon Sterling are two players who aren’t going to raise the standard much. Jack Butland is a lot better though, and of course Sam Lammers had a price tag.
But it’s the Bosmans we’re looking at – supplemented by one two (or more) good quality additions at a cost. And now, it seems, potentially resorting to the loan market.
See, we have a few misgivings about the Senegalese attacker Sima too, but we truly believe Beale is going for the Ryan Kent angle there, and at the end of the day top wingers under contract cost a king’s ransom.
That’s money we don’t have, and unfortunately there are few to no wingers out of contract this summer of notable quality. So it’s either chuck a tonne of cash at one and likely splurge the rest of the budget, or try to get a disillusioned one on loan and pray we can reignite him.
What we’re saying is Beale is restricted, probably more so than any previous Rangers manager. He would have known this before he took the job, and his summer spending will be modest.
There may be a hidden wad of cash we don’t know about, but that’s conjecture.
We really do just have to trust his judgement in all additions, and hope that any money spent isn’t a waste.