Scottish fact of the day: Scotland’s £12m transfer

Tore Andre Flo remains the most expensive player ever bought by a Scottish club. Picture: Robert Perry

Tore Andre Flo remains the most expensive player ever bought by a Scottish club. Picture: Robert Perry

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FIFTEEN years ago, Rangers signed Tore Andre Flo from Chelsea for £12 million.

It remains the highest fee ever paid for a player by a Scottish club, and came in the days of elite international signings sought by then-manager Dick Advocaat and approved by Sir David Murray.

The Norwegian international, who Chelsea had signed three years earlier for just a few hundred thousand pounds, made an early impression by scoring on his debut with a flick in an Old Firm derby, which Rangers won 5-1.

His two years in Scotland produced 38 goals in 73 appearances - a good haul by most standards. So where did it all go wrong?

Some observers consider Flo’s time at Rangers a flop - he only spent two years at the club, for a start, so it could be argued that 38 goals for £12 million is a poor return on the Ibrox side’s considerable investment. Flo also struggled, on occasion, to cope with the hectic pace of the game in Scotland.

But the truth of the matter is that few players could have lived up to such an astronomic pricetag. Flo’s talents were rooted in quiet efficiency, physicality and industriousness - qualities that virtually everyone would agree Rangers overpaid for.

The pricetag is a footnote to the parlous financial disarray Rangers find themselves in. In retrospect, it also serves as a grim warning for Scottish football, which has rarely looked in danger of indulging in such extravagance since.

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