He said: “It has been reported that a couple of players have indicated they want to challenge the transfer of their contracts. This is news to me and no player has spoken to me about it. At all times during my first year as manager, I strived to show players respect and in return would have hoped they would have shown me, and more importantly the club, respect by notifying us of their intentions before making it known elsewhere.
“Players have their own decisions to make and I understand that, but the question they have to ask themselves is do they want to play for Rangers or not? The formation of a new company is not the issue. The players would be playing for the same club – Rangers – in front of the same fans.
“If players want to leave and play somewhere else then they should be honest with the Rangers supporters. I don’t want Rangers fans to be reading over the next few days how devastated players are about having to go. The fans deserve better than that. They are not daft.
“I can understand if a player has the chance to go somewhere else and there is uncertainty about which division we will be playing in. If that is the case that is understandable but they should not expect sympathy from Rangers supporters if they use the transfer of contracts as an excuse.
Already some Rangers fans – a small minority I may add – have launched threats at youngster Rhys McCabe as he was announced as one of two players heading for the exit after refusing to transfer to the newco. The other player being last season’s top performer for Rangers in the second half of the season – Sone Aluko – whose contract was ending on the 1st July anyway. It is only the start of the exodus as many more of Rangers’ top players look for pastures new as they look for top level football elsewhere. Despite the rhetoric from some players in the squad, if the Ibrox side are consigned to the Third Division or even the First as reported by some papers, top earners like Steven Whittaker, Steven Naismith, Steven Davis and Allan McGregor will be gone along with a number of other – if not all – of the first team squad.
McCoist added: “I already know there are agents touting my players all over the United Kingdom, so let’s be brutally honest. We are in a difficult situation and the contracts issue has given some players and agents the belief they can use it to leave the club.
“After all that the club and the fans have gone through, the supporters, above all, deserve the truth and should not have to listen to stories trying to sugar-coat the possible departure of players from the club. The players were magnificent last season and made great sacrifices and that will never be forgotten. Now, we have to look forward and everyone should be upfront and honest about their intentions.”
Meanwhile Charles Green launched a threat to any player looking at the exit door, he said: “We are meeting the PFA Scotland and their legal advisers on Monday with a view to allaying players’ concerns about the transfer of contracts so the timing of these announcements by players is hard to understand.
“The transfer of contracts has already happened and the club’s clear legal advice is that players’ purported objection is ineffective.
“Rangers would like to make it abundantly clear to players, agents and the chairmen and managers of other football clubs that we will take whatever steps necessary to challenge what we regard as a breach of contract to protect the interests of our club.”
Despite strong words from Green, PFA Scotland are of a different opinion and have stated that the players are free to object to their contracts being transferred from the oldco to the newco.
The new season is fast approaching and with Rangers currently in limbo until the 4th July, players heading for the exits and the Rangers fans withholding season ticket money due to fresh concerns about Charles Green’s ability to finance the club amongst other issues, the saga at Rangers is only in its infancy. There are plenty of twist and turns, skeletons in the closets and spitting of the dummies still to take place. The question is who will be left with egg on their face – no pun intended Kirk – and who will walk away from this sorry mess with their head held high?
Meanwhile it has been reported in Canada, that American international Carlos Bocanegra could make the move across the Atlantic to sign for Vancouver Whitecaps, as the MLS side try to take advantage of the money situation at Rangers.
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