Among the many other puzzling decisions, the Rangers board have made over the past year, the lack of fight they put up to keep David Bates has to be up there.
A report in the Scottish Sun earlier this week suggested that the club refused to meet the defender’s demands of £7,000 a week, and Hamburg then swooped in to give the 21-year-old a four-year deal.
The German side are not exactly world beaters themselves. They are second from bottom in the Bundesliga, and are very likely to be relegated with four games left to go.
Playing for a huge club in Scotland or playing second division football in Germany doesn’t seem like much of a choice in my opinion but it seems David wasn’t ready to accept the deal that was on offer from the club.
Of course, a player is always missed more when others are playing so poorly, but there has been no doubt that Bates has been the club’s best centre-half this season, and the board should have made every effort to keep him.
The sight of youngster Ross McCrorie struggling so badly alongside Russell Martin in the humbling loss on Sunday would have surely made them regret their decision to let our no.24 leave even more.
His absence through injury for the cup semi-final was sorely felt, and it’s now unlikely we’ll see him in a Light Blue shirt again before his departure in the summer.
The loss of Bates will likely be the start of another huge overhaul of the playing squad in the summer as we try to bridge the gap to our rivals. Yet, bridging that gap in the next few years would likely be a lot easier if we had pushed the boat out to offer terms the defender would have accepted.
It’s just another example of poor judgement from the board during a period where strong leadership is required. What happens next, I wouldn’t like to guess.