Window Shopping For Transfers
It is a harsh fact of life that, despite all Murray's talk about having sorted out our debt - he hasn't! - our club is broke and he and Bain are more concerned with offloading players and cutting the wage bill than they are about strengthening the squad and breathing new life into our fading SPL title challenge. Just as they'd hoped to qualify for the current Champions League on the cheap, it looks like their ambition to take Scotland's automatic slot next season is based on a similar bargain basement strategy. And in view of our latest disappointment, our hopes look destined to suffer a similar fate.
We'd better hope we don't suffer too many injuries during the second half of the SPL programme because, if Murray and Bain get their way, anything resembling strength in depth will evaporate, with the likes of Burke, Adam, Dailly, Smith, Beasley, Darcheville and Velicka having been deemed surplus to requirements and edged towards the exit door. However, it is hard to envisage too many clubs being prepared to pay good money for such run-of-the-mill players so, while we might get one or two off the payroll, there will be precious little dosh filtering back towards the manager. Indeed, there is every chance that quite a few will be sticking around to see out the remainder of their contract.
More worryingly, the fine form of one particular first team regular could attract interest from England or the Continent and the Murray and Bain have already shown they can't resist an opportunity to cash in. It is no secret that Harry Redknapp wants to link up again with Pedro Mendes at Tottenham, Neil Alexander's desire for first team football and Allan McGregor's troubled private life could also lead to a change between the sticks, and the occasionally impressive efforts of Broadfoot, Bougherra, Whittaker and Boyd may well have caught the eye elsewhere.
Should there be any truth in the story about Walter being interested in Steven Fletcher, Boydie's future will again be clouded in doubt and there has to be a limit to how often a man can find his place under threat. Currently enjoying his richest vein of goalscoring form for quite some time, Boyd's name will be on a few shopping lists and he could find his commitment to Rangers seriously tested over the next month or so. It is all very well to talk of the player being loyal to the club but the big fella might be reaching a stage where he is beginning to question the club's loyalty to him.
If Rangers are to make any significant impact in the forthcoming transfer market, I suspect it will be for a player who is not yet on the radar. While Sporting Lisbon's Tonel has been mentioned, Walter has always tended to play his cards close to his chest so I'm expecting a surprise package or two to arrive at Ibrox, especially as the manager is only too aware that he will only have buttons to play with. It is far from ideal but it is the way it is, and will continue to be, while our club is at the mercy of David Murray's whims. The manager could do worse than set out to protect his image with Rangers supporters by starting to ask some serious questions of Mr Chairman and his lackey. The longer it takes him to make a stand, it is increasingly likely he will be identified more with the problem than with the solution and all the good work he has done since inheriting PLG's debris will quickly be forgotten.
Elsewhere, it looks like Wee Aids has already got his bags packed and is ready to do his deedly-dee act somewhere else. Lets see if anybody is prepared to match the Hack Pack's valuation of ten million quid. Methinks the figure will tumble to less than half as much before you can say 'credit crunch' or 'dressing-room troublemaker' but he will still be on his bike, ready to make the same impact in England as the other wee dwarf who flopped and was back at the Piggery in pretty short order. Well, nobody really expects Gordon The Garden Gnome to be at Breezeblock Boulevard for too much longer so the Castlemilk Oirishman could find himself returning to a more agreeable dressing-room.
Lukasz Zaluska's intention to leave Tannadice for the Cesspit at the end of the season might force Dundee United to punt him before the window closes to pull in a few shekels but there is no way any business will be done before January 3 when the Arabs visit the east end. Suddenly the integrity of the SPL isn't such a big deal when one team can have a keeper at both ends of the pitch. Liewell certainly won't approve of too many heroics from Zaluska. Ra Sellick's interest suggests that Borat's coat is on a shoogly nail - another ten million dubloons offer which won't materialise! - although I daresay he is a hero again after Saturday. And I'm still convinced finance will make it hard for Mr Integrity to resist any Japanese interest in the Knackered One. But they are sure to beef up their squad considerably and the destination of the SPL title could be confirmed by the comings and goings of the next month or so.
If we as a support are prepared to sit back and allow the Minted One to capitulate so shamefully - again! - we deserve all we get. If a very vocal 'Back the team, not the regime' campaign is what it takes to get positive action, organisations like the RST, the Blue Order and the other singing sections and fan groups must get together and make their voices heard before it is too late. Sir David doesn't like it when it all gets personal so his fragile ego must be the prime target. Just as Walter's status as a Rangers legend is beginning to be questioned, Murray's image won't survive too much widespread dissent if we make it clear we are not prepared to be conned by the continued smoke and mirrors routine.
The recent RTV programme 'Twenty Years, Thirty Trophies, One Chairman' - does John McClelland's stint in the chair not count? - was the most boke-inducing stuff I've had to sit through for many a long day. Hardly surprisingly, those he has made millionaires were only too happy to sing Murray's praises but, if yet another SPL title is going to be conceded because the Rangers are unable or unwilling to compete with their leading rivals, the Murray legacy definitely won't look so clever amongst those of us whose allegiance to the Rangers is governed more by our heart than by the size of a wage packet.
Lets wait and see. Sir David is not a stupid man and, despite all his talk about wanting out, his swollen head might see that, despite last weekend, the Other Lot are far from impressive and he has a chance to see a few more trophies draped in red, white and blue ribbons before somebody else picks up the reins… and exposes the true extent of the mess which is more likely to be the true Murray legacy.
But for now, it is all in his hands. Aye, its the silly season right enough.