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Sports News of Thursday, 2 March 2023


Former AC Milan star blasts Rangers board for selling Aribo and Bassey

Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey

Rangers FC recently lost to their arch rivals Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final, and they were also ousted from the Champions League.

Glasgow Rangers’ board has come under fire from Rangers legend Mark Hateley for letting its key players go during the summer transfer window.

Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo were instrumental in helping their teams win the Scottish Cup, advance to the Europa League finals, and finish second in the Scottish Premier League, four points behind Celtic.

Yet, the former AC Milan player stated that the Rangers’ board might have waited longer and possibly made more money from the sales of the two Nigerian players.

While Bassey was sold to Ajax FC for a fee of £25 million and Aribo to Southampton for a fee in the region of £6 million, the 61-year-old indicates that the Gers’ current squad could be improved and the players who left be replaced with new ones.

The Coventry City great told Grosvenor Sports that the Rangers board should understand when it is wise to part with its players and when best to retain them.

“I think the board have done remarkably well over the period – but they are custodians of an institution.

“When you are in that position, you need to know when you have done your bit, and you can’t take it any further.

“You have to know when the time is right to let others come to the fore and make the club what it wants to be and what it should be,” he said, as cited by Scottish Sun.

The Teddy Bears just suffered a 2–1 Scottish League Cup loss to Celtic, their bitter rivals, after losing all their games in the Champions League.

Hateley believes the players would have played a more significant part in the Scottish team’s success in the Champions League and the season.

“A lot has been made about the money Rangers achieved in selling Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey, but if they had been kept for this season, they would be worth even more.”

“They were Rangers’ best players, and yes, there was a great profit. But would it not have been more astute to keep these players for the Champions League and then look to sell with their values enhanced?

“For me, that was a pivotal moment in terms of making the team better because I don’t think the team is any stronger now than it was two years ago,” he added.

Conversely, Aribo and Bassey need to perform better for their new employers. Aribo was recently relegated to playing for Southampton’s under-23 team, while Bassey has been a subject of criticism in Amsterdam.