Graeme Souness has admitted that Â£8m signing Jean Alain Boumsong turned out to be ‘hit or miss’.
The transfer of the French defender from Rangers (IL) to Newcastle in January 2005 was one of the strangest of that decade with the Metropolitan Police raiding both clubs two years later.
Boumsong was signed on a Bosman from Auxerre but was sold to Newcastle for Â£8m after just 28 matches for the Ibrox side.
Souness had been manager of Blackburn when the defender was available but showed no interest in Boumsong.
After moving to Newcastle he turned to his old pal Dave Murray to bolster his defence with Newcastle website The Mag picking up the story from Souness’ latest book.
The former Rangers (IL) manager explained: â€œWe paid Rangers Â£8million for Jean-Alain Boumsong in a bid to sort out the defence but it didnâ€™t work out as I hoped it would. Of course he could have done better but we needed really had a solid partner for him. Titus Bramble and Boumsong were perhaps too similar. I then signed Craig Moore from Rangers to be a steady Eddie alongside Boumsong because what we had were two centre-halves who were a bit hit and miss.â€�
While the raid by the Met Police failed to uncover anything relating to the Boumsong deal they did discover the side letters that Rangers (IL) used alongside the EBT payments agreed.
Boumsong’s Ibrox earnings were boosted by EBT payments with the defender unhappy about that element of his transfer.
In 2012 he told the Daily Record: â€œMy salary was normally paid but there was a trust. I was not comfortable with that to be honest. I didnâ€™t know anything about it until the day I was going to sign.
â€œWhen I discovered it I first refused to sign the contract and said, â€˜What is this?â€™
â€œI didnâ€™t want to sign because it seemed strange, we donâ€™t have that kind of payment in France and I didnâ€™t know anything about it. When I left Rangers, for example, to sign for Newcastle, it was for a normal contract with normal payment but the day I was signing for Rangers I was told it was legal.
â€œAs players we donâ€™t know the law but my advisers said, â€˜Itâ€™s okay, you can sign it. Itâ€™s legalâ€™.
â€œI wouldnâ€™t have signed otherwise, no way. If I thought it was wrong legally I wouldnâ€™t have gone. Itâ€™s important to be able to sleep at night without any fear of being chased by the tax office.â€�