Are Rangers the new owners of the infamous biscuit tin?

What do Tomar Hemed, Craig Conway and Neil Danns all have in common?

All three were targeted by Scottish champions Rangers – and all three turned them down FLAT.

After securing their 54th championship on the final day of last season, there was an expectation at Ibrox that it would just be a case of Ally McCoist stepping into Walter Smith’s shoes at the club and hitting the ground running.

However, McCoist’s Rangers tenure hasn’t exactly gone to plan so far – despite the initial feel good factor of Craig Whyte’s takeover of the club earlier in the summer.

Israeli striker Hemed, 24, – singled out by McCoist as the first signing of his new regime – opted for the sunnier climate, and healthier wage packet, at Spanish cracks Real Mallorca rather than a shot at Champions League football.

Then, joining Hemed during a frustrating start to the transfer window, were former Dundee United winger Conway, 26, and former Crystal Palace midfielder Danns, 28. Once again both turned down Rangers – this time more surprisingly for the English Championship, at Cardiff City and Leicester City respectively.

Neil Danns chose Sven's Leicester ahead of Rangers

All of this – coupled with the fact that Rangers’ bids for Scotland stars David Goodwillie and Lee Wallace were thrown out by both of their respective clubs – means it’s not been a happy first few weeks for McCoist.

Instead ‘Gers fans – who had been preparing for the unleashing of Whyte’s millions to fund their transfer “war chest” in a bid for four-in-a-row – have so far had to console themselves with the contract renewals of Salim Kerkar and David Healy. Not exactly something to write home about.

To put that into perspective, as Rangers threadbare squad battled their way to the title last season, Algerian Kerkar was the forgotten man, only being seen once as a substitute in the 5-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park. In terms of Healy, he’d have been better not being at Ibrox at all. His Rangers career reads; eight games played, one solitary goal.

As Kerkar and Healy are signed up once more, while the likes of Hemed, Conway and Danns turned down Rangers is anyone’s guess. There are strong rumours that they refused the Scottish Premier League’s challenge at Ibrox because they could pick up a few extra pounds elsewhere. If this is indeed the case – coupled with Celtic securing the signing of Kenyan Victor Wanyama and about to tie up the signing of Israeli Omar Demari this week – it’s quite feasible to crown Rangers as the new owners of the infamous “biscuit tin”.

Although there is still a long way to go in the transfer window,  Craig Whyte – deemed Rangers’ knight in shining armour after single handedly saving the club from imminent administration earlier this summer – will soon have to open his, seemingly, bulging wallet. Since taking over the reigns at Ibrox, he has appeased supporters by promising to continue the Govan club’s recent success.

Craig Whyte

However, by publicly revealing McCoist’s transfer targets and then failing to deliver, he has continually set himself and the club up for a fall when those targets then turn him down.

Whyte has promised a lot in his early tenure as Rangers chairman. However, if one more transfer target turns the club down so publicly for the likes of a Leicester or a Cardiff, Rangers’ fans might just decide it’s time for him to “put up or shut up”.

By Joe O’Brien


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One Response to Are Rangers the new owners of the infamous biscuit tin?

  1. Johnny Utah says:

    I don’t think any sane Rangers fan thought Whyte was a ‘knight in shining armour’. Rather, there was a reluctant acceptance of him and his money as we had no other viable options. I have considerable doubts as to his ability to deliver and even his intentions for the club.

    From a PR perspective, McCoist’s mistake in naming his targets (something Smith very rarely did) can be put down to enthusiastic naievity but it has been a bad strategy. Quite why he wasn’t advised to keep names out of the press is beyond me. It may be that Rangers were keen to show that they were ‘doing business’ in a way to appease the anxious and fickle fanbase.

    However, rather than this being a ‘biscuit tin mentality’, I think the rejection of the club by, and let’s be honest here, mediocre players, is a reflection on the ever diminishing reputations of Rangers as a club and Scottish football on the whole.

    There appears to be genuine willingness to spend money but that is easier said than done.
    Last seasons controversial events would hardly be likely to entice outsiders and the financial plight of Rangers is so well documented that players probably perceive the club to still be on the precipice of oblivion.
    Put it this way, you can earn double in The Championship for much less aggravation!

    McCoist’s unproven record as a manager also poses problems. Smith had gravitas and a wealth of experience that would be a reassurance to potential signings.

    I think we all knew that this season was going to be very long and very hard which is one reason that winning last seasons SPL was such an important symbolic achievement (not just for the Champions League revenue).

    Personally, I’d be happy with second place and both cups. It may sound negative but this has been coming for a long time. The fallout from Smith’s departure will really put into perspective the job he has done over the last three and a half years.

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