By Mark Dingwall
And we paid £12million for him.
And despite the adulation that came with spending that kind of money on a Chelsea player this signing marked for me the final sign that David Murray was out of control at the wheel of the club. You could never hope to make that money back on him – we were operating in a league that just didn’t justify that kind of spending.
I’m no accountant but I simply didn’t see how you could justify it – £12million to perhaps score the goal that would have unlocked entry into a then £6million Champions League run – the figures didn’t add up.
Others, such as The Gub and Wee Tam from the Rosie, had had their doubts about Murray for some time. Personally I looked at the books and thought Nine In A Row was done at almost break-even money and so Murray’s reign for me is broken into two parts – the Nine In A Row Years and The Rest.
Ultimately our problems mostly relate back to Advocaat’s reign – I think I calculated at the time that during his reign we spent £124million more than we took in. That undermined us for years afterwards.
The big man did pretty well for us – his strange edge of the boot back heel kinda goal in a 5-1 victory debut against Celtic still raises a smile. 18 goals in the SPL that season and followed up with 22 in 42 the following season before being transferred to Sunderland for around £6million, the number still shrouded in mystery, the following season.
All in all not a bad scoring record but what overshadowed him was that mental price tag.