As the week has gone by it looks increasingly like the conspiracy theorists were right, I was wrong and Andy Webster has popped off to Glasgow Rangers. The move is on loan to the end of the season and Paul Jewell says that the situation will be reassessed in the summer; however Webster has already made it clear that he wishes to stay on at Ibrox.
The move will be worrying for Latics fans, Webster may not have settled in quickly, but the team experienced their best run with him in the side. Despite an apparent lack of fitness and a couple of horrible mistake he looked like he might be a good player had he got a few more games under his belt.
His removal from the squad means that Paul Jewell gets to choose from two over 35s who have struggled at times (for different reasons) this year, a young lad with no experience in English football and a first division player who seems to spend more timing thinking about polishing his Aston Martin than what the opposition are up to (stop press – you can add a player that wasn’t good enough for the reserves at one of our relegation rivals to that list).
More worrying are the stories that have been knocking about for more than a month about this deal. Stories that raise questions like; How long has the switch to Rangers been on the cards? How much was Paul Jewell involved in signing Webster? Did Andy Webster ever want to play for Wigan Athletic? Have we now become a feeder club for a team in a smaller league than ours? Who exactly is doing the urine extraction, and who are they taking it from? Of course the rumours are probably just that but it doesn’t half make you cross.
The other thing that is puzzling about this deal is whether or not it complies with FIFA regulations. The initial transfer caught them on the hop and it doesn’t seem that all the rules and regulations are finalised, but one thing was quite clear and that was Webster couldn’t sign for another Scottish club.
The reasoning behind that seems to be that his contract with Hearts was registered with the SFA until this summer and as he hadn’t been transferred it would remain so. Essentially, in Scotland, Andy is still a Hearts player, so how can he be registered for Rangers from another club? If I was FIFA I would be keen to stop teams and players taking advantage of this ruling and would be paying very close attention to this deal.
Of course there is always the possibility of Webster returning to Latics in the summer, but if the rumours have any truth in them that is unlikely. So from all at Not a patch on… it’s farewell Mr Webster, it was sort of nice whilst it lasted.
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