The Saudis are spending big money, and Rangers are vulnerable

The Saudis are spending big money, and Rangers are vulnerable
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 17: Rangers captain James Tavernier celebrates at full time during the Viaplay Cup Final match between Rangers and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on December 17, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With the long-running saga that the Saudis are interested in Rangers captain James Tavernier (and have been for some time) a lot of Ibrox supporters either yell ‘clickbait’ or ‘to the Saudis? £20M’.

Of course the story is true, Saudi clubs are interested in Tav and have been for about 18 months, with Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq among the courting sides, and the banded figure is around the £7M mark.

And then those Rangers fans demand £20M because ‘it’s the Saudis’.

Problem is, we only got £4M for Fashion Sakala from Al-Fayha, and he’s a Zambia international with a pretty good record in goals from his time at Rangers.

In short?

Just because the Saudis want you, doesn’t mean your current employer is going to earn a bomb out of you.

Jordan Henderson went to Al-Ettifaq for around £12M but he was Liverpool’s captain and an England regular. He was worth around £35M only a few years ago but the Saudis got him at a modest fee.

Just because the Saudis want a player doesn’t automatically mean they will pay ridiculously over the odds for that player. And they don’t pay as much as Ligue 1 or the Premier League overall.

But they do still splurge – they paid £25M for Jota from Celtic of course, showing that canny business can still earn big money from them.

Problem is he was only early 20s when he went to Saudi, Tav is well into his 30s.

In short?

It really depends on the conditions. Saudi clubs have huge cash to spend, and aren’t limited by FFP. Players going to that league are doing so for a cash grab, and to set themselves up for life.

Who wouldn’t, if faced with untold riches.

And that’s the real catcher – it’s not the fees that are huge, it’s the wages. We all know Ronaldo is on a truly ungodly £180M a year in Saudi Arabia – be a bit hard to turn that down for playing the sport you love.

And that’s what attracts these players. So if some Saudi mob offers Rangers £7M but says they’ll pay Tav around £100K+ a week, he’s not going to want to turn that down, is he?

But as with it all, time always tells. And money talks.

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