This week we’ll look at three players that have to be considered the biggest wastes of money in Rangers’ history. Now, you might not agree, but as always, I’ll state my case and justify the decisions I’ve made.
There are a few obvious players that haven’t made my list and I’m sure most Rangers fans will say the biggest one is Tore Andre Flo. First of all, I liked Flo. He was good at what he did and came to Rangers with a (roughly) goal every three ratio, he left with a better than goal every two ratio. So, he actually improved his record and over performed whilst he was at the club.
Flo’s biggest problem is that he was suffering in comparison. He was compared to Ally McCoist, Michael Mols and more pertinently Henrik Larsson who was scoring goals for fun across the water. He also suffered with the £12 million-pound price tag. I’ve said it before, I still think he would be remembered fondly at Rangers if we had paid £4-6 million for him. Was he too expensive? Yes. Was he a waste? No. He scored 40 goals in a little more than a season and a half with a lot of appearances off the bench too. Not a bad return. We got between £6-8 million for him off Sunderland so, for me, I don’t think it was a complete waste.
Another striker I considered was Duncan Ferguson but he’s already on the “One Hit Wonder” list, as a British record transfer fee a lot was expected of him but he was another victim of circumstance. Mark Hateley had his best season and the two of them couldn’t play together. He also had the “SFA” issues. He wasn’t a waste of money though because we got what we paid for him off Everton.
Andrei Kanchelskis was £5.5 million but he gave us enough entertainment and moments in big games to just miss out on this list. I loved watching him in full flight, when he showed flashes of his Manchester United form he was brilliant.
So, my Three of a Kind this week are:
An absolute Rolls Royce of a centre half. Not only that, he was one of the finest in Europe when we signed him for £2 million from Atletico Madrid in 1998. But he never played a game, not one single minute. He was injured when we signed him, he didn’t have a medical and arrived with falsified documents to get the transfer rushed through.
Prodan could’ve been a great partner for Amoruso had he ever been fit but the reality was he played about 10 more games in the rest of his career, he was finished before he signed for us at 26. He retired at 31 and sadly died at the age of just 44 of a heart attack in 2016.
When Michael Ball signed for Rangers in 2001 he had just been capped by England and was expected to become their left back for a sustained period of time. That was to be his last international cap. The emergence of Ashley Cole and the fact that Ball was no better than a solid, reliable full back in a modern era where pace and attacking ability was paramount.
Ball wasn’t helped in his time at Rangers by rupturing his ACL not long into his first season, he recovered and went onto play at the top level in England again but never fully reached his potential. He certainly wasn’t a £6.5 million player though especially when you consider we already had Arthur Numan at the club. Why were we spending £6.5 million on a back up left back?! He was sold for £500,000 to PSV Eindhoven in 2005.
Ah, Carlos Pena. What is going on with Carlos Pena. He arrived with a mixed reputation but had 19 Mexico caps on his CV, he can’t be that bad surely? In relative terms £2.2 million isn’t that much, but for a club in Rangers current financial position it is a hell of a lot of money. He has shown only the slightest of glimpses that he could be a decent player. He seems to be an excellent finisher and a decent passer of the ball, however, he doesn’t seem to have any level of fitness or ability to hold the ball up and link up with other players in congested areas.
He has two years left on his Rangers deal and with him currently in footballing limbo there is almost no chance of anyone taking him off our hands and us having to pay a substantial pay off to get him off the books. I don’t think he will be Steven Gerrard’s cup of tea.
If you have another three names that were a bigger waste of money, comment or get in touch @allaboutrangers.