Sunday, June 24, 2012
ALLY McCOIST last night blasted the Rangers stars who are set to quit the club.
In an astonishing outburst, the Ibrox boss accused some of his players of cheating the club and fans by using the formation of a newco to leave under freedom of contract.
The likes of Steve Davis, Stevie Naismith, Steven Whittaker, Carlos Bocanegra and Kyle Lafferty are all understood to be on the verge of walking out this week.
They have been advised they are entitled to do so as their contracts are no longer valid due to the liquidation of Rangers.
This will cost new owner Charles Green more than £10million in lost revenue from transfer fees but will slash more than £90,000 per week off the wage bill.
Sone Aluko is also leaving while youngster Rhys McCabe notified the club via a legal letter on Friday night that he is walking away from his three-year contract.
That led to the midfielder, 19, receiving death threats yesterday on social networking sites.
But McCoist – who was on the verge of quitting himself 10 days ago – couldn’t hide his anger and ripped into the want-away stars.
He raged: “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. 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 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 people want to leave and play somewhere else then they should be honest with the supporters.”
The squad took massive pay cuts in March in a bid to stop Rangers from going under after the club went into administration.
Some stars agreed to 75 per cent reductions but negotiated clauses that would have allowed them to leave for cut-price fees.
Now McCoist believes agents are taking advantage of the newco to engineer free transfers.
He said: “I don’t want Rangers fans to be reading over the next few days how devastated players are about having to go. The supporters deserve better. 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 next season.
“But they should not expect sympathy from fans if they use the transfer of contracts as an excuse.
“There are agents touting my players all over the UK, 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. They should not have to listen to stories trying to sugar-coat the possible departure of players.
“The lads were magnificent last season and made great sacrifices. That will never be forgotten. Now we have to look forward and everyone should be honest about their intentions.”
McCoist’s attack could lead to a couple of the players performing a U-turn but that seems unlikely. It looks as if this will be a long and drawn-out battle between the club and the players – and Green is not for backing down.
The Ibrox CEO said: “We are meeting 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 other teams that we will take whatever steps necessary to challenge what we regard as a breach of contract.”
But MailSport has been advised by top employment law specialists that Green won’t win this battle.
A source insisted: “The players are in the right. There is no doubt employment law sides with them.
“The players are registered with a company that isn’t allowed to play football in this country.
“Green’s actions look pretty suicidal. It has to be asked if he has handled this correctly and it would appear he has not consulted employment law specialists at the appropriate times.
“TUPE is a creation of the European Union and FIFA would have to recognise that.”
Rangers report for pre-season training on Thursday and it remains to be seen how many top-team players McCoist and his backroom staff will have to work with.
Posted by Nitu at 02:59