Does Rae Have Too Much Influence Over Transfers?

While reading today's Tele' I picked out a couple of comments by Douglas Rae that concerned me. On Motherwell's enquiry about Jim McAlister Rae is quoted as saying : "It is myself and Jim who decide on transfers." and "No player at this club is for sale anyway."

Now it might just be me but there is no way Douglas Rae should be involved in deciding on transfers. Jim McInally should be left to identify players and decide who we should sell . The only part Douglas Rae should play is providing the funds to assist his manager in acquiring players he thinks could improve his team. Neither should Rae have the authority to decide that no one at Cappielow is for sale. If Jim McInallys decides a bid for a player is acceptable that's his decision, not the chairmans. Especially if the manager feels it would free up wages or provide additional funds for a player he would like to bring to the club.

In the past I have heard rumours that Alex Williams and Chris Templeman were signed not by the manager but by Douglas Rae. Also, this summer Jim McInally explicitly said that he didn't think Paul McGowan was worth more than £50,000 and that the deal was dead. A couple of days later Morton made a bid of £80,000 with a 25% sell on clause. Now that doesn't prove anything and it certainly doesn't confirm the rumours that the chairman signed Templeman and / or Williams but it does seem slightly suspicious that McInally says the deal is dead yet we make another bid.

It would also seem that I'm not alone in my thinking. A couple of letters in the Terrace Talk section of today's Greenock Telegraph appear to make the same point. You can read two of the letters by clicking on the images below to enlarge.

Hopefully Jim McInally is allowed to identify his own targets without Douglas Rae being involved in deciding on transfers - as he has said himself - as we really need them before the transfer window closes on Friday night. We especially need players who the manager has belief in, not just players who the manager and chairman agree upon.


Simplyton said...

Of course Dougie has a major say on transfers he holds the purse strings.

Dougie has plowed a lot of money into the club and if he were to sell Jim to balance some of the books could we really fault him?

Regarding the Mcgowan deal if he had spoken to Mcinally and he said he wanted Mcgowan then Dougie has obviously tried to get him - We are having a go at our chairman for attempting to push the boat out to sign someone that the manager wants - what is the problem here?

"It is myself and Jim who decide on transfers."
The manager determines who he needs the Chairman deals with finances - this is the same with most clubs our size. I wonder how many managers actually have any input in transfer negotiations other than player indentifying

"No player at this club is for sale anyway."
There is currently no one on our transfer list looking for a move away from our club. Obviously everyone has their price but why wave a big flag saying we're a selling club than have club have to prise our star players from us.

It appears your are getting caught up in the negativity that has been rife on the messageboard for week and aiming pot shots at Dougie & Jim.

Jonathan Mitchell said...

No I'm not getting caught up in any negativity. I give my own opinions on things and criticise when I think its due and praise when its due.

I notice you didn't comment on the Templeman signing in particular.

I am having a go at our chairman for going against his own manager. If McInally says the deal is dead it should be dead.He also said the chairman was bidding too much for McGowan - maybe McInally wanted some of those funds to get additional players in.

I think you have misread my inerpritation of the quotes. I think Douglas Rae is involved with identifying players not just dealing with finances and I don't care how much money he has invested he shouldn't be involved in that unless it is to maybe make little suggestions on players .

We don't have to have any flag waving. There was no need for Rae to say no one at Cappielow was or was not for sale. That comment should have been made by the manager in my opinion.

If you don't mind me asking, what name do you post as on the messageboard?

Simplyton said...

I post as Simplyton on the messageboard although my posts are few and far between these days. The messageboard has lost a lot recently - There never seems to be any sensible discussions on there - Its all too easy to have a pop at Dougie & Jim.

Just so you know where I stand Jonathan im 29 years old i've been a attending Ton games since 1985 and pretty much been 35+ games a season since then. I've seen
some great players and some downright awful players.

I dont think Jim Mcinally is the answer long term but he guided us to the 2nd division so he has to be given a crack at it. I dont believe he has the tactical ability to change things and seems to watch a different game from the one that I see every Saturday. I thought he had cracked it after the Dunfermline game when our tactics worked to a tee but then to play the same formation against Stirling showed his tactical naiviety.

The problem is if Mcinally is not the answer then who is? I cant think on a boss who is available that I would like to see at Cappielow.

It is the same respect with Dougie Rae - I will forever be indepted to him for what he has done to save our club and I think a lot of people should bear that in mind - Of course at times his outbursts can be cringeworthy but im happy to overlook them.

If Dougie has more of a say on transfer than the fans would like then might I suggest that is more of an issue of Mcinally's strength of character than Mr Rae's. Any manager worth their salt should be firm on signing players etc. Do you think the likes of Brown at St Johnstone give Owen Coyle a free reign with the finances?

I think a lot of our fans seem to think there is a queue of Russian billionaires waiting to take over at Cappielow and that removing Dougie is a viable option. That is clearly not the case and while he does have his flaws I did happily take the excentricity of Dougie than get involved in the murky goings on the likes of Dundee have to put up with recently (Notice I didn't refer to Sc***)

I dont think there are many of us posting on the messageboard that know the exact ins and out of Dougie and Jim conversation but I cant see why our chairman is taking flak for pushing the boat out for an obvious target. How do you know that extra would have come from the total transfer budget? Mcinally wanted McGowan Dougie tried to get Mcgowan - what is the problem?

Re; The Templeman transfer are you meaning he was more a Dougie signing than a a Jim signing? If Jim did not want to sign Temps after his performance against us at Glebe park then its clear Jim is not up to the job. Temps tore us apart that day and I think most Ton fans would have signed him. What we paid for him is a different matter and yes there should have been a limit as to how much we spend

Re: Dougie's "Not for Sale" statement - What is wrong with our chairman coming out and saying this? Its sends a clear message to those eyeing McAllister that we are not in a hurry to sell Jim - There is no financial reason to sell Jim cheaply etc. If you look around the football news leading up to the close of the transfer you will see a number of similar quotes from chairman (Killie on Naismith is the example that springs to mind)

Jonathan Mitchell said...

"If Dougie has more of a say on transfer than the fans would like then might I suggest that is more of an issue of Mcinally's strength of character than Mr Rae's. Any manager worth their salt should be firm on signing players etc."

I think you make a good point here. I totally agree in that I think a manager should not accept his chairman meddling in transfer affairs.

I'm not against Douglas Rae spending his own money and going all out to get a player the manager wants, I think that's great. However, Jim McInally explicitly said that he isn't worth over £50,000 and the deal was dead. Now if Douglas Rae was only pushing the boat out because his manager wanted McGowan then he would have stopped when McInally said the deal was dead but he didn't. My problem is not that Rae pushed the boat out but that he went against his managers own comments and made him look foolish in doing so. He also made himself look amateurish in the transfer market in my opinion. Clubs will know that if Morton want a player their 'final offer' probably wont be their final offer.

I don't know that the extra would have come from the total transfer budget. It's just an educated guess based on our signings so far. The signings of Shields and Coakley on 6 month contracts in particularly look like the purse strings have been tightened.

I think Templeman WAS a Rae signing rather than Rae more than Jim. Morton went for Templeman before McInally was manager and again after he was manager. To me all the signs suggest that Rae signed Templeman. Particularly when McInally sent him back to Brechin on loan and dropped him. If McInally had enough faith in Templeman to sign him and for the money we paid then I think he would have percivered with him rather than drop him and then send him out on loan.

Maybe the No one for sale is not a big deal but for me it just ties in with all the other stuff about the chairman being too vocal surrounding all things to do with transfers but I do concede that I've maybe made more of that than is there.

At the end of the day we will never agree on this and to an extent your stance does surprise me. I know lots of Morton supporters and irrespective of whether I'd class them as boo boys or uber supporters one opinion that seems to be constant among them all is that Douglas Rae is far too controlling and has too much influence in Morton's trasfer dealings. I can assure you I'm not jumping on any negativity bandwagon though, I'm just giving an honest opinion.

SpoonTon said...

Just wanted to point out this quote from Gordon Strachan:

“Kenny Miller has gone to Derby,” Strachan said. “Everyone in football wants regular first-team football but the problem is, I can’t promise that to anyone. In Kenny’s case, the club accepted a bid, because that’s what clubs do, they balance their books. Every manager wants all their good players to stay, and I spoke to Kenny about it, so he knows what I think of him. But the choice was his [to go].”

Douglas Rae has the right to say a player is not for sale as the chairman. It's the same at any club. The same goes for accepting a bid for a player. Do you really think Michael O'Neill had any real say on Iain Russell coming to Morton? Of course he didn't, the chairman accepted the bid and the player wanted to come, there is nothing the manager can do about that, it's not him who holds the player's contract. It's the same at any club.

As for buying players, the manager identifies targets, nothing more. And from the way I interpreted the McGowan situation there was nothing but praise for Rae from McInally. Saying the deal was dead was nothing to do with not still wanting McGowan. And it's not a set transfer budget he gets. The money spent on a player is a business decision made by the men who are trying to balance the books. Just because Rae is willing to spend £80k on McGowan doesn't mean there's £80k to spend on any player or players, it all depends on what kind of return the money men think they are going to get financially.

It may be a footballing purist's dream for the manager to get a transfer budget and spend it how he likes. But no football club runs that way. Not Morton, not the Old Firm, not Manchester Utd, not Brechin City.

On the issue of Templeman. If your chairman comes to you and asks if you want the top scorer in the division, you'd be mad to say no. And McInally said yes...proving he's not completely mad...

Jonathan Mitchell said...

Most of what you are saying is valid but I'm pretty sure I'm right here so I'd rather bow out than continue to debate the point.

Cheers, Jonathan.