EXCLUSIVE: Ian Durrant says Rangers faithful are the power behind attracting transfer targets

IAN Durrant today revealed the huge role faithful Rangers fans are playing in the Ibrox club's attempts to land new recruits for next season.

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Ian Durrant will take part in The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice Dash 'n' Splash event to raise money for the Brick by Brick Appeal. Picture: Jim Galloway
Ian Durrant will take part in The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice Dash 'n' Splash event to raise money for the Brick by Brick Appeal. Picture: Jim Galloway

Gers manager Ally McCoist has been speaking to individuals who are out of contract in the summer since the beginning of the month.

He is unable to pay cash for any targets due to a 12-month transfer embargo imposed by the SFA for the non-payment of taxes last season.

However, the Light Blues gaffer can talk to free agents and then register them as players on September 1 after the signing ban ends.

Chief scout Neil Murray has drawn up a list of targets – and Rangers have been linked with the likes of Murray Davidson at St Johnstone and Tom Hateley at Motherwell.

First team coach Durrant has confirmed the ongoing quest to strengthen their threadbare squad is "well advanced".

And he has told how the bumper crowds the team has been attracting in the 2012/13 campaign despite being in the Irn-Bru Third Division has helped their cause.

Attendances for league matches at Ibrox this season are expected to pass through the half million mark when the Gers play Montrose on Saturday.

Durrant believes the astonishing record-breaking crowds the club has had at their home games have been hugely important.

He said: "We can only attract players on the size of the club we are and the crowds we are getting. As things stand, we don't know what division we are going to be playing in next season. We need the situation with league reconstruction to be clarified. Players need that clarity.

"But we are in the process of talking to players just now and things are well advanced. This is obviously still Glasgow Rangers and the club has some pull.

"We are focusing on the size of the crowds that the guys we want to sign will be playing in front of at Ibrox next season during our discussions."

Durrant added: "The fans have played their part for us this year. And they will play their part again in helping us attract the calibre of player we want at the club.

"In our home game this weekend we will break through the half a million mark for attendances at league games at Ibrox. That is just incredible.

"The fans have been with us through thick and thin. It is up to us now to get a team on the park that is worthy of them. That is what we are trying to do."

The SFL and SPL clubs are currently considering proposals to change the structure of the leagues to a hugely controversial 12-12-18 set-up next season.

If they decide to go ahead with the plans then Rangers, currently 19 points clear at the head of the Third Division, would find themselves in the bottom tier once again.

It will, advocates of the change have argued, still take exactly the same length of time for the Ibrox club to return to the top flight.

However, manager McCoist has condemned a move that could see the Gers return to play the likes of Annan, Berwick and Elgin City all over again.

Durrant has echoed those sentiments – and claimed rendering the league this season meaningless and denying Rangers promotion would be "unfair".

"The manager is spot on," he said. "At the start of the season we were given our punishment and put into the Third Division.

"Now it seems we have been given two different avenues we can go down. We might end up having nothing to play for. That shouldn't be the case.

"If you win the league you should get promoted, simple as that. As the manager has said, you can't move the goalposts in the middle of the season. It is a bit unfair.

"We have put a lot of work in to try and build a team and we are going to go through the divisions in three years. We have a three-year project.

"Now all our work for one year might not really matter. Hopefully, that won't be the case.

"We will still celebrate if we win the league. But all our hard work will have been for nothing. I will feel very sorry for the players if that turns out to be the case."

If SFL and SPL clubs do vote through the change to a 12-12-18 set-up, Durrant is confident the Rangers players will remain focused for the remainder of this term.

And he has also predicted the savage blow would not dampen the astonishing enthusiasm of their followers. "You do see the players talking about it," he stated.

"But if that is the scenario then we will just have to get on with it.

"I am sure whatever league we will be in the fans will be there 100% as well. The support this year has been absolutely fantastic.

"It has not just been at home games either. In the away games, against clubs like Annan and Peterhead, they love it. They can't get enough of it."

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