Ibrox boss knows Rangers may act to enforce sales

ALLY McCoist has admitted the Rangers players who turned down the offer of a pay cut could be sold off by the troubled Ibrox club.

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Ally McCoist has positioned himself fully behind his players over wage cuts
Ally McCoist has positioned himself fully behind his players over wage cuts

McCoist defended his squad's decision to flatly reject a proposed 15% reduction in their salaries earlier this week.

However, he accepts the repercussions of that stance might be that several of them are offloaded to drive down the wage bill.

McCoist said: "I am aware of the severity of the situation and that figures will need to be cut throughout the club.

"Graham (club chief executive Wallace) has informed me that, among other things we discussed, there will be potential player budget cuts.

"Nothing specific has been discussed in terms of individuals or anything like that.

"I myself won't be selling anybody. But the club might sell somebody.

"There are a few options available and that is obviously an option. But it's certainly one that Graham and myself wouldn't want to go down."

McCoist has held further meetings with Wallace about the "120-day restructuring project" he is undertaking.

The Glasgow giants are operating at a significant monthly loss and the senior official is keen to lower the £6million being paid to players annually.

The manager, though, fears that it may not be easy for the Ibrox club to cut costs by selling players who are on watertight contracts.

"It's a lot easier said than done," he said. "Players are on contracts and in an ideal world should be allowed to have those contracts honoured.

"I mean, clubs want players to honour contracts so I think it's only fair players have that right as well.

"I've got nothing but tremendous pride and loyalty to the players. My loyalty is to the players, the fans and the football club and I stand by what decision the players would make."

McCoist, who has agreed to take a 50% pay cut as part of the cost-cutting measures, feels sorry for his players being put in this position given all they have been through in the last two years.

But he revealed that the prospect of further financial difficulties ahead had not deflected their attention from the matches they have coming up - including the SPFL League One match against Forfar on Monday.

He said: "There have been a couple of constants throughout the whole thing. Obviously, the fans have been unbelievable. But the players have as well.

"Last year, rightly or wrongly, they got their fair share of criticism and won the league by 24 points.

"This year, I think the fact they aren't being criticised tells me that they are doing fantastically well. That's a constant that's been here thankfully so far this season.

"I wouldn't like to think what might have happened if the players hadn't been doing so well.

"They've been magnificent for the football club throughout, whatever it may be, the last 18 months.

McCoist added: "Their morale is brilliant. That's the message that needs to get out more than anything.

"The club's being battered from pillar to post again, but it's our job to keep it high.

"The main thing I'm interested in is the morale because if the morale goes, the whole thing collapses."

"The players know the management and coaching staff's views on them and how important it is that they continue doing what they have been doing in terms of their progress as a team.

"So they are aware that no matter what happens, they know what we think of them and it is very much a positive and appreciative stance."

McCoist has also paid tribute to club captain Lee McCulloch for the role he continues to play, both on and off the field, at his boyhood heroes.

He said: "He has definitely stood up when we have needed him and he has been a fantastic captain.

"He has really enjoyed and revelled in the responsibility of being club captain with the senior pros and indeed with the younger boys and we are without doubt lucky to have him."

McCoist admitted that he has no chance of adding any players to his squad during the January transfer window given their current predicament.

Yet, he has refused to rule out the possibility that he could strengthen before Rangers go up to the SPFL Championship next season.

He said: "I would be extremely surprised if we had anyone coming in this month. We haven't looked as far as the summer yet.

"But I think the tell tale signs would be that I'd be very surprised if anybody came in this particular window.

"Graham hasn't told me there will be nobody coming in during the first summer window, so I'd remain hopeful of being able to make changes come that time."

Football

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