NEWS
Sunday March 24 2019
Sadiq: 'Humiliated by Rangers'

Roma-owned striker Umar Sadiq, currently at Perugia, claims Glasgow Rangers still owe him money and he was “humiliated” by manager Steven Gerrard.

The 22-year-old was meant to spend all of this season on loan in Glasgow, but returned to Italy six months early and was sent to Perugia instead.

“Gerrard proved to be very different from what I believed he would be,” the Nigerian forward told The Sunday Post.

“At the beginning, I didn’t know anything about the Rangers move. The negotiations were all between Roma and my representatives. And when my agent told me about it, I expressed my doubts.

“I wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. But he kept arguing it would be good for me and my career. Then it was Steven Gerrard himself who convinced me.

“He phoned me three or four times, complimenting me and saying he’d back me to be a success. It made me feel important and convinced me to agree to the loan switch.

“At that point, I knew the club the same way football fans all over the world know Rangers – for its history and the passion of its fans.

“But when I arrived, I didn’t even have any time to settle down before they brought in another striker, Kyle Lafferty. That was when the problems started, and my situation soon degenerated into a real nightmare.”

“All of a sudden, I was told that I could not use the first-team dressing-room any more. Instead I had to go change with the kids. Then, after a few days, I was also forbidden to park my car inside the training centre.

“I felt humiliated and kept asking what was the reason for the change of attitude. But I never received any answers. Gerrard wouldn’t give any explanation about it, neither to me nor my representatives.

“I believe absolutely that I was not given a fair chance to show what I can do. They made me feel like a stranger.

“I started only once (in the League Cup semi-final against Aberdeen) and that was when there were no other strikers available.

“As I say, for me everything went wrong after they brought in another striker (Lafferty).

“Once I put a ‘like’ on Instagram to a post from a fan – and I was fined £20,000, which was absurd. And Rangers didn’t even pay me up everything I was due. They still have to give me my salary for December.”

With all that in mind, Sadiq would rather wipe the entire experience from his memory.

“I honestly don’t care how they do,” he said. As long as I was a Rangers player, I behaved like a professional, giving everything I could of myself to the shirt.

“But now I don’t want to hear about them and what they are doing any more. In my opinion, they behaved in a disrespectful way to me, both as a player and as a person.

“When it ended, Steven Gerrard didn’t even have the courage to talk to me and tell me what was happening face-to-face.

“That was a surprise to me. I didn’t expect such behaviour. How he will do long-term as a manager, I do not know. That is his business and I have my own career to think about.

“One man I do wish all the luck and success to in the future, though, is Alfredo Morelos. He was my fellow striker, and I felt good with him during the time I was in Scotland.

“I would say that he is a very good player and an exceptional guy. He will be one of the few Rangers that I will follow with affection.”

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