RANGERS returned for pre-season training today with only enough recognised, first-team players to make up a seven-a-side team.
Assistant manager Kenny McDowall oversaw their first day back instead of manager Ally McCoist as the Murray Park complex resembled a ghost town.
The Ibrox club are now without Steven Davis, Allan McGregor, Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker, Kyle Lafferty, Sone Aluko, Juan Ortiz, John Fleck, Jamie Ness and Rhys McCabe after all 10 players objected to their contracts being switched over to the newco.
With American internationalists Maurice Edu, Carlos Bocanegra and Alejandro Bedoya, and Romanian stopper Dorin Goian not due back until July 9, it left a small batch of top-team players reporting back for fitness tests.
New No.1 goalkeeper Neil Alexander, Lee McCulloch, Lee Wallace, Kirk Broadfoot, Ross Perry and Kyle Hutton were joined by Salim Kerkar, who is out of contract but may have agreed a new deal.
Also through the gates were youth and fringe players Chris Hegarty, Kane Hemmings, Kai Naismith, Scott Gallacher, Andy Mitchell and Darren Cole.
The lowly band of players returning only adds to the crisis that has engulfed the club over the summer, and highlights the difficulties facing McCoist as he still does not have any idea what league the club will be competing in this season, or what kind of team he will be able to field.
The foreign quartet have been given extra time off after being involved with their international teams over the summer.
Bocanegra and Edu were with the USA in their opening World Cup qualifier in Antigua and Barbuda at the start of this month.
But even although both players are believed to have transferred over to the newco, they could still be on their way.
Bocangera has a clause in his contract allowing him to go for free after he accepted a 75 per cent wage cut with the rest of the squad in February.
He has been heavily linked with Vancouver Whitecaps and may not return to Scotland.
Edu also has a £450,000 get-out. The midfielder was the subject of a transfer bid from French club Sochaux last season, and has been linked with a move to Turkey.