How this Rangers star ruined his career by chasing money


On Friday, Scotland international Kris Boyd signed for Turkish team Eskiehirspor.  Eskiehirspor finished 7th in the Turkish Super Lig last season, having returned to the top flight in 2008 after 12 years.  That Boyd has gone from winning the SPL title with Rangers to signing for a mid-table Turkish team in a little over 12 months is a sign that chasing the money isn’t always the best idea for a footballer.

Kris Boyd started his career at Kilmarnock, and he made his debut on the final day of the 2000/01 season.  He scored four goals in his first full season at Kilmarnock, and a total of 44 league goals over the next three.  He entered the final year of his contract as the 05/06 season began, and had scored 17 goals before the January transfer window opened.  He then joined Rangers in January for a £400,000.  He made an immediate impact, scoring a hat-trick on his debut in a Scottish Cup tie against Peterhead.  In total he scored 20 goals for Rangers, and actually ended the season as both Rangers and Kilmarnock’s top scorer.

Boyd scored at least 25 goals in all of his four full seasons at Rangers, with the 08/09 campaign being his best with 27 goals in 35 league games.  In January of that season, Rangers accepted a bid of £4million from Birmingham, who were managed by the man that had brought Boyd to Rangers, Alex McLeish.  Despite extensive talks, Boyd couldn’t agree personal terms and remained at Rangers.  Although he only had 18 months remaining on his contract at the time, Rangers never offered him a new contract.

Boyd began the 09/10 season in the final year of his contract.  He had a typically good start to the season, scoring 19 goals in the first five months.  After the January transfer window opened, Rangers began talks with Boyd, offering him a new three year deal.  Hampered by their financial position, Rangers could only offer £12,000 a week. 

But Middlesborough and Birmingham had been linked with Boyd, and were both able to offer superior wages.  Although Boyd stayed at Rangers for the rest of the season, he lost his form and only managed 7 more goals.  Rangers clinched the league title after beating Hibs at Easter Road, but Boyd appeared strangely subdued.  It became clear why when he confirmed that he would leave the club when his contract expired.

Middlesborough announced the signing of Boyd in July, in a deal believed to be worth around £30,000 a week.  At a press conference, Boyd claimed playing for Gordon Strachan would take his game to a new level, and seemed confident of scoring the goals that would help Boro’ return to the Premier League.  But things didn’t go according to plan and Middlesborough had a disastrous start to the season.  Strachan left the club in October, and was replaced by Tony Mowbray two weeks later.  Boyd had only scored 3 goals for the club at this point, and although he scored twice in Mowbray’s first three games in charge, Boyd still couldn’t keep a place in the starting eleven, and scored just once more before joining Nottingham Forest on loan in March.

His form improved with Forest, and he scored 6 goals in 10 league games as they reached the playoffs for the second consecutive year.  But he failed to score in either leg as Forest lost to Swansea in the semi-finals.

Tony Mowbray had made it clear that Boyd had no future at the club, as they couldn’t afford his wages.  So earlier in the week, Boyd travelled to Turkey to open talks with Eskiehirspor, following in the footsteps of former Rangers team-mate Kenny Miller, who left Glasgow to sign for Bursaspor in January.  Miller had moved to Turkey after the club apparently offered him £50,000 a week, and it seems likely that Eskiehirspor have offered Boyd wages close to what he was earning at Middlesborough.

So Boyd swapped league titles and Champions League football for money and mediocrity.  And as he struggles to re-ignite his career, you have to wonder if Boyd now realises that money doesn’t mean everything, especially in football.

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