ALLY McCOIST will cast his eye over the training pitch at Murray Park to find only a small handful of his Rangers players participating in the club's preparations for the new season.
Having lost a large batch of first-team players this summer, including Ibrox captain Steven Davis, goalkeeper Allan McGregor and the influential Steven Naismith, the Rangers manager has found himself overlooking an empty training ground for the past week.
It will, of course, remain a ghost town until new recruits arrive ahead of the new season providing a proposed signing embargo is uplifted or possibly even delayed to allow the crisis-hit club to bolster their depleted squad.
McCoist is currently unable to make any moves for players until he knows for certain whether Rangers will be either be playing in the Irn-Bru First or Third Division with a decision possibly being taken on Friday when all SFL clubs meet at Hampden Park.
Depending on the outcome of that meeting, the Light Blue's boss will then attempt to begin to make additions to his squad. Out-of-contract Hearts midfielder Ian Black is already believed to have agreed to join Rangers providing they are parachuted into the First Division.
Also on the radar is Craig Beattie, who is available on a free after the striker's deal at Tynecastle expired at the end of the season. So it would seem the difficulty in attracting new players to Ibrox might not be as great as first feared.
Certainly, former Rangers striker Kevin Drinkell believes the club will still prove to be an attractive option for players if they only drop one division.
He said: "Why wouldn't you? It is only going to be a year and then you will be back in the top flight and ready to go again.
"I can understand that if they go to the Third Division it will not be anywhere near as attractive since you are looking at a relatively long period of time in the career of a player before he is back playing football in the SPL.
"But if it's the First Division then you look at the club and the platform that you will possibly have to play on and the way that you could still make a name for yourself. I reckon the vast majority of players, especially Scottish-based, would still go for it.
"Both of the lads at Hearts have done relatively well and Beattie caught the eye in the few months he was at the club. He definitely looks a much improved player from his time in England.
"These guys are at a stage in their career where they know what they could get at Rangers if they were to get back into the SPL within 12 months and from their point of view it is a decent gamble to take. If you think about it, it is a pretty small sacrifice to make."
That will be galling to the SPL clubs who have been left in the league.
The fact that Rangers could, hypothetically, still be in a position to better them in the transfer market despite not being in the top flight will still stick in the craw of many of the SPL clubs.
Drinkell, however, has insisted that Scottish football has made a mess of the entire situation and has lost the chance to make substantial changes to the game over the last five months.
There has been a lack of direction from all quarters and the length of time the crisis has dragged on for without being properly addressed has painted the Scottish game in the most unflattering of lights.
Drinkell, who won the 1988/89 league title at Ibrox, said: "I am still friendly with many people in the game south of the border. They are aghast that we are still no further forward with this.
"I do not want to say that Scottish football has become a laughing stock because I don't think that is fair, but I do not think that anyone has looked very clever in this.
"There are so many questions unanswered, my big fear is that there will be a significant delay in the league kicking off now. We are only meant to be weeks away from the curtain coming up on a new season, but no-one knows what is happening. That is shocking.
"One of the big issues that has been overlooked is whether Dunfermline stay up or Dundee get promoted. Whoever doesn't get the SPL place would have a pretty good case if they were to take legal advice.
"These are all issues that ought to have been hammered out long before now.
"Instead of the sniping and petty arguments, this was a real chance for the governing bodies to get around the table and shake things up.
"They could have made the league bigger and still kicked Rangers out but they could have made changes that would have benefited all clubs. Instead a chance has been lost and the game is in a state."
And Drinkell, who is now a football agent, is irked that there has not been due diligence paid to the fact that the game has been on a downward spiral for the last decade.
He said: "I have not been alone in saying that for the last 10 years there have been obvious signs that we were heading in the wrong direction.
"The game in Scotland has been crying out for a restructure but no-one has seemed to bother too much.
"This has been a golden chance to get everyone working together to create a system that raises the standard of the league and the game but it has descended into absolute carnage."