People hear what they want to hear. When Neil Lennon was asked at a media conference if he was able to spend £6m on one player, as he was last year, he gave the honest answer; “Yes”. He was able to make this type of signing, but that’s not to say he would regard this as the best use of his very finite resources.
Some felt “cheated” when Celtic ultimately didn’t make a £6m signing, they perhaps only read headlines with promises to that effect, without drilling down to the actual quotes. Nothing can be done about this. Dave King is another story.
King desperately wants to do something positive for Newco Rangers, perhaps mindful of his role as a director when Original Rangers were consigned to liquidation. He wants to believe that he can bring influence to bear on the collection of hedge funds and Respectable Local Businessmen who control Newco, but he appears to be indulging in a bit of ‘hearing what he wants to hear’.
Newco accused King of making “untrue” and “disgraceful” comments, which is perhaps polite for “glib and shameless liar”. Based on their public comments, Newco are in the right. After almost two years of over-promising and under-delivering, they have played clever. Specifically, they did not publicly promise to reveal their forward budget plans for the club before season ticket renewal deadline. Why would they?
King met the board and then told the world he won this assurance from them. I’d be amazed if Graham Wallace was sufficiently malleable to be manipulated into making such a commitment to a man who led Oldco into liquidation. Wallace’s 120 day review period was surely chosen not because it takes anything like this long to discover the blatantly obvious, but because it allowed him to kick all this trouble into the long grass of the close season. Wallace’s entire strategy for this season is not to be drawn on discussing the long metaphoric winter that lies ahead.
A few weeks ago I described King as the Pied Piper of Govan. In truth, I don’t expect many fans will sign up to his hair-brained “give me, not them, your money” plan. It’s far more likely that thousands of would-be fans will simply tune out. There are a million more things people can do than watch lower league football; maybe some could back the team their grandchildren will support, I hear they have Champions League qualifiers coming up.
The worst thing for King right now is for Salary McCoist to fluke a cup win today, allowing Newco to flood their support with season ticket renewal notices on Monday on a wave of positivity. Acting on the eve of such a major game will surely have been a well-considered move. Better all-round if United win, momentum is halted and those hedge funds and Respectable Local Businessmen are forced into a humiliating liquidation.
Don’t bet on it, though. The current key holders will have contingency plans of their own.
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