Glasgow Rangers’ transfer business has been well documented throughout the previous 25 years, with plenty of money being spent in order to vastly improve the squad and progress in Europe, especially under former chairman Sir David Murray.
The club won nine league titles in a row between 1988 and 1997 and in the first few years after the millennium, Murray wanted the Ibrox side to take the next step and become a European force. Of course, millions would need to be spent to achieve this goal, and they were, just ultimately on the wrong players.
When manager Dick Advocaat splash out £6.5m on Everton defender Michael Ball back in 2001, it looked as though the Light Blues had signed a player of considerable quality. It didn’t quite work out well for the left-back unfortunately during his spell at the club.
How much did Michael Ball cost Rangers?
At the time, the deal to bring Ball to Ibrox was the second highest in the club’s history and much hype was generated upon his arrival.
He missed 18 months of football early on in his Rangers career due to knee problems suffered at Everton and this heavily impacted the trajectory of his career.
The Englishman played just nine matches during his first season at the club and missed the whole of the 2002/2003 treble winning campaign.
40 matches in 2003/2004 was his best season at the Glasgow side, although in his last few years, he had to come to a strange agreement with Murray. If Ball played one more match, Rangers would have to pay another £500k to Everton and with the Gers short on money, Ball agreed to pay per appearance.
He said: “I remember it was a match at Ibrox when the gaffer Alex McLeish said the chairman wanted to see me – that’s when he put the idea to me.
“Alex asked how it went, and I was still a little bit shocked about what had just happened.
“I had agreed to pay £4000 every time I played so they could pay Everton.
“I wasn’t sure if I had got it right. We had a bit of a chuckle about it and later that day I came on as a sub with a few minutes left. I remember thinking ‘that’s just cost me four grand’!”
All in all, he made 67 appearances for the club across five and half seasons, which works out at around £97k per game in relation to his initial transfer fee – excluding wages – and this simply wasn’t money that Rangers could afford to waste.
If he managed to keep himself fit, there is no doubt he could have enjoyed a wonderful career in Scotland, however it proved to be a massive transfer shocker by Murray.