“It’s the easiest economic rule: Don’t spend more than you earn. This is something that certainly all clubs need to follow.” Christian Nerlinger, 2012
Quoting the man who turned down the chance to become Rangers Director of Football is merely a coincidence – especially given the absolute common sense the statement entails. However, the question begs to be asked – when will Ally McCoist & the club embrace this basic economic rule?
Reports broke on Monday that Rangers had turned down a firm bid for 26-year old center-half Bilel Mohsni. Football 365 claims that a number of clubs have inquired about Mohsni & that the United Arab Emirates club Baniyas had submitted a bid for Mohsni’s transfer. The report explained, “it is understood Rangers rejected that, as they are hoping to persuade Mohsni to sign a new deal.” Mohsni’s contract expires at the end of this season.
Baniyas is expected to continue their pursuit of Mohsni & it may be time for Rangers to begin selling some assets.
This is not a knock on Mohsni – who did struggle with maintaining focus & initiative last season – but his presence in the heart of the Rangers defence in League One should not be underestimated. He was dominant in the air & helped make up for Lee McCulloch’s dwindling pace. But raise your hand if you believe that Bilel Mohsni will be in the starting eleven come August? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
The arrivals of Marius Zaliukas & Darren McGregor have made Mohsni expendable. Yes, Mohsni would provide the luxury of depth – but so do Lee McCulloch, Sebastien Faure, Luca Gasparotto & even Kyle McAusland can be called upon to play center back. Also, you can add Jon Daly to that mix given that there really is no place for him up front when he returns from injury.
Mohsni is an appealing player to a club like Baniyas because of his age, potential, & his cultural background. As a dedicated Muslim, a move to the United Arab Emirates would likely be culturally appealing for Mohsni. Add to that the fact that he recently made his international debut for Tunisia – his career is on the upwards trajectory. He made 37 appearances in all competitions during his first season with Rangers – he scored 12 goals & accrued 11 yellow cards, along with one red card.
Under normal circumstances, Mohsni is a talent that you would keep at the club & hone his skills while he continues to evolve as a professional footballer. But the actions of the manager have clearly called for a new direction in the heart of Rangers defence. That & the other new signings have thrown the balance of Rangers salaries all out of whack again. The balance sheet of players coming & going is as follows:
In: Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd, Marius Zaliukas, Darren McGregor
Resigned: Kyle Hutton, Steve Simonsen
Out: Andy Little, Emilson Cribari, Ross Perry, Charlie Telfer, Chris Hegarty
Last season, the salaries for Rangers first team squad totaled £7 million. This number has clearly increased as there is no way that the salaries of the five players to leave the club matches up with the players resigned or new players brought into the club.
But who goes?
Last January, it was hard to deny that Dean Shiels was being shopped around with both Morton & Hibs being reportedly interested in Shiels. Clearly, no transfer occurred as many believe that Shiels salary situation makes it a fool’s deal for him to leave & for another club to take on his contract.
Teams also came sniffing around for Nicky Law last January but the bids were turned away by Rangers.
One player, whose name still lingers in the transfer gossip column is Lee Wallace – who has been linked to Fulham this summer. Rumor has it that Rangers are holding out for a £1.5 million bid – however, it is considered a long shot that Wallace would agree to leave Ibrox.
So if valuable assets like Shiels, Law, & Wallace aren’t going anywhere – who does? Rangers cannot sensibly maintain the approach of adding salary to a budget that many would argue is far beyond the needs of competing for victory in the Championship, let alone the SPFL.
- Will Mohsni be the first piece to be moved? Will there be others