NORWICH CITY yesterday completed the signing of Steven Naismith from Everton for a fee estimated to be £8.5m.
Naismith, the Scotland and former Kilmarnock and Rangers player said of the move, ‘I’m very happy to have signed because now I can concentrate on the football side of things.’
‘Norwich have displayed class in the way they’ve done their business all the way through. They’ve shown how much they wanted me, which is great, and I’m delighted to be here.
‘Where I was in my career, the age I am and the way the first half of the season has gone for me, I had to think a lot about the future. When January came, it was a case of knowing exactly where I stood and the manager at Everton was good and said that he’d listen to whatever I wanted.”
Norwich, of course are managed by ex-Hamilton boss Alex Neil and he will be well aware of the qualities Naismith possesses.
So it would appear that everyone involved in this deal is happy. The player has got his move and both managers seem to be in agreement that they have served the best interests of their respective clubs.
But aren’t we forgetting something?
Did Naismith not have a sell-on clause in his Everton contract? If not, why not?
Naismith left his first club Kilmarnock for Rangers in the summer of 2007 for a fee of around £2m. He won three consecutive league titles while playing for the Ibrox club and picked up a Scottish Cup winners medal in 2008 and enjoyed League Cup victories in both 2010 and 2011. He was regarded as the best player at the club and certainly would have considerably increased his transfer value during this successful, trophy winning period at the Ibrox club.
However rather than leaving Ibrox for a big transfer fee, Steven Naismith, with years remaining on his contract, walked away from Rangers, the club he supported as a boy, for nothing.
Their loss was clearly Everton’s gain.
Can anyone remember how that happened?
On 24th June 2012 the Daily Record (yes the Daily Record!) wrote ‘when the Rangers he knew and loved ceased to exist 11 days ago, part of his dream died with it.
Shame that. The Record continued:
‘Now? He can’t even bring himself to call them by their new name.
‘Naismith yesterday rejected a switch to Charles Green’s newco club The Rangers after deciding to quit Ibrox. And throughout his final press conference, the 25-year-old continually referred to them as Sevco – the business title of the company that will form a new Glasgow club.
‘Clearly, Naismith was making a point – that the club he once adored had been ripped away from him by others and there was no going back.
‘Some Rangers fans will question Naismith’s loyalty to a club who stood by him in his dark days when injury threatened to ruin his career.
‘But the striker claims his debt of gratitude was to the club who signed him – not Sevco, Green or any of the mystery men behind his controversial takeover.’
‘Naismith said: “This has been the biggest decision of my career. It’s one I haven’t taken lightly. I’ve had to sit down with the people closest to me to work out what’s best.
“The uncertainty surrounding the new club, especially in terms of what league they’re going to play in, has been a major factor in my decision.
“It probably hasn’t sunk in yet I’m not a Rangers player any more. It’s been a tough few days. But a big decision had to be made and I believe I’ve made the right one.
“This is a new company called Sevco. I’ve never met Mr Green or anyone from Sevco. I don’t know who the investors are or what league they’ll be in. So how can I push forward into a new company that I don’t know anything about or any person involved in it?
“I have concerns about who is in charge of the new club, definitely. You need to know what business you’re going to be part of. If you don’t, it’s inevitable there will be problems.
‘“The first I heard from Mr Green was on Thursday through an email. You would think they might have been in contact before then considering the enormity of the situation.
“The loyalty I had was with Rangers. I’ve never met anyone from Sevco since it’s been formed. And I don’t think I could have moved forward on those terms.
“Will I ever come back and support the new club? I haven’t thought about it.”
So when Everton receive their payment for £8.5M from Norwich they will not be calculating how much they are due to pay his former club for the transfer.
It is not usual for a selling club to insert a sell on clause of up to 20%, which would have netted (same club) Rangers a cool £1.7m – around ten times the amount they have had a second rejected bid for for St Johnstone striker Michael O’Halaran.
The Ibrox club are getting nothing because as Naismith explained, he played for the Rangers that died, not Charles Green’s successor club. The club Naismith called Sevco.
Meanwhile Neil Doncaster, the chief executive of the Scottish Professional Football League, could perhaps explain why the (same club) Rangers are not due any money from the Naismith sale or why no-one at the cash-strapped club is asking for their cut?
Despite pretending otherwise Doncaster knows what every set of opposing fans sing to them, ‘You’re not Rangers anymore.’
Celtic supporters went one further and ahead of the club’s first ever meeting with the new Ibrox club in February 2015, they booked a full page advertisement in a Sunday newspaper to state the facts. The Ibrox club released a t-shirt to celebrate their first ever appearance at Hampden in a major cup competition.