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Beyond Economics: How much will selling Alan Hutton cost us?


Frankie
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The Alan Hutton affair has resulted in a fury of figures for the average fan to digest. How much will be bid for him? How much would it cost to replace him? How much will Murray free up for Walter from the how much will be bid for him? How much will it cost to replace him be greater or lesser than how much Murray will free up, and by how much? How much would we value Hutton at, and would this much allow us to free up enough to replace him based on how much we think Murray will free up? Is this repeated refrain of ‘How much’ not better understood in term of the other important figure – our overall debt?

Yes, increasingly complex speculations with plenty of hypothesising, and plenty of scope to get completely lost in a few pints into the discussion. But I think the danger in all this brutish number crunching is that we get caught in the cynic’s dilemma – plenty of speculations about costs, debts, transfer fees, percentages, budgets and the like, but none of the significantly more important issue of value. People have wrongly applied Wilde’s quote to economists, but the power in his aphorism is that it is cynicism that tends purely towards economics, and I think that it’s an overwhelming cynicism that is the real danger of our current situation. I think it is a Rangers fan disproportionately low expectations that knows the figures of Alan Hutton’s transfer, but not how much it would cost us in the less easily delimited world of reputation, ambition and vision.

In pure economic terms, getting 8 million quid for a good, but ultimately promising, player is not bad going most probably. We have a ready made replacement in Whittaker, who, though not as good, would presumably be good enough for the SPL and could himself progress into a better player. So, it may not cost that much to replace him. Perhaps Murray would free up a portion of the money for a position we more severely needed, and the rest would go to the not ignoble more general cause: the reduction of our debt. I mean, you can’t keep a player when a lot of money is bid for him, and he wants to go, surely.

But while all these things are to some extent true, they are the absolutely most pessimistic view of the situation. Today Alan Hutton is strongly rumoured to have turned down Spurs – perhaps this is because he’s waiting for Man United, but perhaps he thinks that he has plenty of scope to develop at Rangers. I think as a matter of general principle we as a club and a support should be reasoning about the departure of the most successful product of our youth system, a Rangers supporting Rangers player who is a first pick at club and country level in his early twenties, and who has played a starring role in our recent European adventures and minor successes, as a strictly worst case scenario.

It shows the extent of our fall in our collective imagination: a club and support confident in their own stature, as a matter of principle, do not sell these sorts of players as a matter of course, though they can go if they really want. I can’t help but think that our expectations have been lowered disproportionately by the spin of recent years. We are far too quick to follow the club’s, albeit to some extent necessary, obsession with figures – we are starting to live out Murray’s, pragmatically understandable but to a fan convinced of our greatness unacceptable, cost cutting for a potential suitor. Just because we understand our financial situation, and understand Murray’s cost cutting in terms of his own self motivation, it doesn’t mean that our expectations should be indistinguishable from his. It is our job to provide the demand for greatness, a continuing catalyst for Murray to put all his energies into making this so. It means fundamentally being disgusted at the cost, a cost beyond economics, of selling a player like Alan Hutton – it is the act of being disgusted in situations like this, even if economics prevails, that will maintain our all important tendency towards greatness in these more precarious and vision less days of supporting the club.

If Alan Hutton does stay, I expect David Murray at least then to portray it as a sign of our continuing vision and ambition, and hopefully then it will start to filter out into our wider expectations again.

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I should say a mate of mine wrote it... ;)

My own thoughts are that while it may be difficult to turn down £8million for any player in the current SPL financial climate, what does it say about us that we are considering it while we still remain in Europe and genuine contention for the league?

Quite simply if he does go we must invest the money received into ensuring this kind of transfer is not required again.

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I should say a mate of mine wrote it... ;)

My own thoughts are that while it may be difficult to turn down £8million for any player in the current SPL financial climate, what does it say about us that we are considering it while we still remain in Europe and genuine contention for the league?

Quite simply if he does go we must invest the money received into ensuring this kind of transfer is not required again.

So we invest that money in new blood to ensure success on the pitch.

What pittance will we receive for said success Frankie?

Whatever way I look at it I can see no situation where we can fend off the financial insanity of the EPL (not that £9million is unreasonable for Hutton)

I see what you are saying, but we have to face facts regarding the financial disparity between the two leagues.

Does that mean I've lowered expectations to suit the charlatans vision?

Perhaps, but in all honesty I see no scenario where we can afford to knock back a one off payment equivalent to CL entry.

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Not disputing that mate - I just think it's one small example of changing attitudes and expectations that we now deem selling one of our best players as acceptable.

However, times change and no matter what we all think of the RFC board, £8-10million is an fair offer and one we cannot afford to ignore eventually.

Nonetheless, if we use any such income wisely over the next year or so, we may be able to minimise similar approaches in the future.

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