Young players should take the money and run
Rangers pair Danny Wilson and John Fleck are the latest, but certainly won't be the last, to discover a yawning chasm between what they think they're worth and what their club thinks they're worth.
It's a battle of wills played out regularly at every football club in the land.
Every player is just one career-ending tackle away from professional oblivion. A fortunate few will have stashed away enough cash to ensure that football heartbreak doesn't equal financial uncertainty.
But a whole lot more, and particularly young players, will discover that if their football life ends tomorrow then the game just doesn't care enough about them afterwards when the bills have to be paid.
There are exceptions to that rule of thumb. Celtic's highly honourable behaviour with John Kennedy being a case in point.
But in general forget the platitudes about playing the game, learning your apprenticeship and letting the money take care of itself.
The sensible advice is to get as good a deal as you can as soon as you can and then play your football, safe in the knowledge that your future is secure.
In recent times one First Division Scottish player on £800-a-week was wanted by several SPL clubs. The best deal on the table was about double that.
A Championship side offered him £5000-a-week, plus an extra £750 every 15 starts. He now squirrels away £6500-a-week.
So what should he have done? Continue to learn his craft in Scotland or quadruple his earnings, thereby ensuring his future at a young age.
What would you have done, or advised your own son to do?
He took the sensible view that if you're being asked to do a man's job in the first team, then you're entitled to a man's wage and not that of an apprentice.
Another SPL stalwart picked up £100 appearance money for his club, pocketing £8000 after 80 games.
After his move to a Championship side just eight games allowed him to salt away the same amount of money, with the going rate being £1000-a-game appearance fee.
That is the financial reality facing all Scottish clubs, including the Old Firm.
The Glasgow pair have traditionally cherry-picked the best from the rest.
Now the day of reckoning is at hand, and they face the same potential fate with clubs like Birmingham, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion easily able to outbid them on players' wages.
So, youngsters like Wilson and Fleck have highly attractive options open to them.
In the case of Wilson, I had occasion to talk to his father who was on duty at the Livingston v Dundee game, in his role as a senior police officer.
That position doesn't necessarily qualify him to sort out the global economy, but it's a fair assumption that a man who has reached high standing in such a demanding job, is a reasonable sounding board for his son, in matters of financial advice and career choices.
As a sensible father he has weighed up the offer received by his son and reached the conclusion that his boy's worth is not being adequately reflected in the offer made to him.
That's business. A club must do the best it can for itself, and a player must take appropriate advice and do the best he can for himself.
A year and half down the line at the end of their current deals both Wilson and Fleck can walk, with Rangers picking up only Uefa compensation for them.
The value of both players in the current transfer market probably exceeds that figure by a factor of ten.
Rangers are on the horns of a dilemma. They either up their offer in line with the market rate and keep two very good young players, or risk losing them for a fraction of their worth when their contracts run out.
Some will argue that in the long run it's better for young players to knuckle down and learn their trade fully before being entitled to the rewards earned by more senior figures in a team.
There is some merit in the argument, but as the economist John Maynard Keynes said: "In the long run we're all dead".
Who can blame young players in a short-lived career industry, which often treats them coarsely and as commodities, for taking the Steve Miller approach to the money.