STEVEN DAVIS today insisted he was left with no option but to quit Rangers to save his career.
The Ibrox skipper rocked the crisis-hit club yesterday by joining Allan McGregor, John Fleck, Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ness as the latest batch of first-team stars to walk out.
Davis has spent the entire summer weighing up his future and believes he had to announce his decision to leave with the club now facing up to the prospect of playing in the lower leagues.
The Northern Ireland internationalist said: "I have never been one to shout my mouth off. Only those who know me will know how much Rangers means to me. I felt it was only right to give the fans an explanation of how I've agonised so much over this decision.
"I signed a new contract last year, giving my best years to the club in the knowledge we'd be challenging for leagues and cups and in Europe year after year. That's the reason I came to Rangers.
"My young family love life in Scotland but, after all that has gone on since administration in February there came a point when I needed to make a decision based on what was best for my short career.
"I am 27 and needed to be playing at the highest level possible. I have a great relationship with everyone at the club, from the fans to management right through to the tea ladies, since the day I walked through the door at Murray Park.
"Hopefully, I've repaid everyone be playing my part in teams that have won eight trophies and reached a European final in my four-and-a-half years.
"I've been lucky enough to not only play but captain my boyhood heroes and no matter what I achieve in the future I'll look back at the time I spent at the club as some the happiest of my life.
"I would like to thank Walter Smith, Ally McCoist, Kenny McDowall, Ian Durrant and Ewan Chester for bringing me to Ibrox and wish the club well in the future."
Meanwhile, Alan McLaren says Lee Wallace will continue to be picked by Scotland boss Craig Levein – even if Rangers are playing in the Irn-Bru First Division.
Wallace gave Gers supporters something to cheer about when he announced he will turn up for pre-season training tomorrow and commit his future to the Ibrox club.
The versatile defender, who was a £450,000 signing from Hearts last summer, is only the second high-profile Light Blues star after Lee McCulloch to pledge to play for the newco.
Sone Aluko, Kyle Lafferty, Rhys McCabe, Jamie Ness, Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker have all moved on.
Former Hearts, Rangers and Scotland centre-half McLaren welcomed the news that Wallace is going to remain in Glasgow – and expressed the hope he will play in the First Division.
He believes if Ally McCoist's men do drop down a league then the versatile star will still be involved in his national team's bid to qualify for World Cup 2014.
McLaren said: "It's fantastic news for Rangers that Lee has decided to stay. A few of the other boys are walking away. They have obviously had a think about it and decided they don't want to play for Rangers in the First or the Third Division.
"But Lee is going to honour his contract and stay and that is good for Rangers. I think Lee will still be considered for Scotland. Rangers will, hopefully, be playing in the First Division and, as long as he keeps his performance levels up, then Craig will pick him."