Two years ago this week marked Ross McCormack’s £12 million move from Fulham to Aston Villa, one of the most expensive failures of recent times.
As the Birmingham club face their third straight campaign in the Championship, the McCormack transfer represents one of the most embarrassing sagas in Villa memory.
With McCormack still on the books at Villa Park despite being exiled by Steve Bruce, the club is still receiving constant reminders of his awkward presence in the Midlands.
The Scot joined Villa after a season in which he bagged 23 goals for Fulham, yet has an abysmal strike ratio of just three goals in 20 total league appearances for the Villans.
After Roberto di Matteo was sacked just a matter of months into his tenure as manager, new boss Steve Bruce took over and had a high-profile falling out with the striker in January 2017.
The dispute featured questions over McCormack’s fitness and discipline, including a remarkable claim that he failed to turn up for training because he could not hop over his gate.
Loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Melbourne City followed, but although McCormack was prolific in Australia, he still has been frozen out of the first-team set-up.
TeamTalk reported in May that the striker was still on a contract that paid him around £40,000 a week, and was set to almost double that if Villa achieved promotion.
Although the Villans fell short to McCormack’s former club Fulham in the play-off final, he is still being paid exorbitant wages despite having not played for the club since September 2017.
McCormack recognised his time at the club has been less than ideal in an interview with the Express and Star in October 2017.
“It’s been a disaster. There’s no two ways about it. I think most players have a dip in their careers, hopefully that was mine.”
Two years on from his misguided transfer, Ross McCormack remains one of the most high-profile wastes of money in world football, and is a stark reminder of Aston Villa’s often careless deals.