The financial crisis hitting football amid the pandemic does not give English top-flight clubs the green light to buy Scottish talent cheap.
The absence of supporters from stadia for more than a year due to Covid-19 has created a financial black hole for clubs across Scotland at every level.
Aberdeen were hit with a £10 million cash chasm, but that doesn’t make them easy prey for English Premier League clubs looking to land a bargain.
The Scottish Premiership is not a discount store for rich English clubs to pick up the top talent for cut-price deals.
Watford had two offers, with the second just £1.7m, rejected by Aberdeen for Scotland U21 international midfielder Lewis Ferguson.
It was dismissed by Aberdeen as an “insulting offer” for one of Scotland’s top young talents who still has three three years left on his contract.
That bid was woefully short of Ferguson’s market value for a player fundamental to the Aberdeen squad going forward.
Aberdeen are right to play hard ball with any interested parties to get what their players are worth.
The club have put a lot of time and investment into developing their top young talent.
Ferguson is worth more than double Watford’s bid.
The Hornets recently secured automatic promotion to the Premier League by virtue of finishing Championship runners-up behind Norwich City.
That is a game changer in terms of finances.
In 2018, a report revealed promotion to the Premier League was likely to generate £170m for a club over three seasons.
The analysis from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group revealed that figure could even increase to £290 million over a five-year period if the club stepping up to the top-flight avoid relegation in their first season.
Watford have the cash to pay what Ferguson is worth – and their bid was woefully short of that mark.
When Ferguson is available, he starts, which is his worth to the club.
The 21-year-old has started all 126 games he has been available for, barring injury or suspension, since signing from Hamilton in summer 2018.
Having won the Scottish Football Writers’ Association Young Player of the Year award for the 2019-20 season, Ferguson was in contention to become only the third player to retain it.
Only Kieran Tierney and Steven Fletcher have ever retained the accolade.
Ultimately Ferguson lost out to Hibs’ teenage left-back Josh Doig, who is also on Watford manager Xisco Munoz’ wanted list.
Watford have been linked with a £4m move for Doig, who is a fantastic, exciting talent, but has only this season established himself in the Hibs first team.
If Doig is worth £4m, surely the far more experienced Ferguson, who is on the brink of a senior Scotland international cap soon, is worth far more.
The chance to play in the English top-flight is understandably alluring for Ferguson.
The club is greatly disappointed to have received a written transfer request from midfielder Lewis Ferguson today.
This request was rejected immediately.
More details ⬇️
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) May 19, 2021
He handed in a transfer request, which was immediately rejected by the Reds.
That is the club’s right as the midfielder committed his long-term future when signing a contract extension until 2024.
Ferguson is seen as a key cog in Glass’ squad, but if a club does meet Aberdeen’s valuation perhaps it would be best for all parties if the midfielder leaves this summer.
In handing in a transfer request, Ferguson now sees his future elsewhere.
It could be the time for him to move on, but the Reds must hold out for top price.
Josh Taylor an inspiration to all young boxers
Josh Taylor delivered one of the greatest ever Scottish sporting moments when defeating Jose Ramirez in the wee small hours of Sunday in Las Vegas.
In outpointing Ramirez, who he twice dropped to the canvas, Taylor became the first British boxer to become a four-belt undisputed champion.
In unifying the light welterweight belts, Taylor has entered the boxing elite.
— Josh Taylor (@JoshTaylorBoxer) May 25, 2021
Taylor is not just undisputed king of the 140lbs division, but one of the best boxers on the planet.
Only four male boxers have previously held all four IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO belts simultaneously – Oleksandr Usyk (cruiserweight), Bernard Hopkins (middleweight), Jermain Taylor (middleweight) and Terence Crawford (light welterweight).
Taylor and Crawford, who now fights at welterweight, are the only two boxers to be undisputed champions in the same division.
Taylor has said he is happy to step up to the 147lbs division to face Crawford.
If a match between the two could be engineered that would be box office gold.
Children and emerging boxers across Scotland can only be inspired by his heroics.
The long-term legacy could see kids take up the sport or inspire those already going to gyms.
Hopefully in the future young Scottish talent inspired by Taylor will also go to raise world title belts.
If they do, they will be walking in the footsteps of a boxing giant.
Time to kick out plastic pitches from the
The Premiership is now minus two plastic pitches following the relegation of Kilmarnock and Hamilton.
Now only Livingston play on an artificial surface and this could be the time for the Astro to go.
It would need a vote of 11-1 to outlaw plastic pitches from the Premiership and Livingston could be the one dissenting voice – which would not be enough.
In February 2019, PFA Scotland delivered a petition to the SPFL for artificial surfaces to be banned from the Premiership.
It was a unanimous vote where every player at the nine top-flight teams who played on grass voted against plastic pitches.
Now could be the time for their call to become reality.