RANGERS chief executive Graham Wallace was today urged not to offload the Ibrox club's top players.

Wallace met with Gers manager Ally McCoist this week to outline the drastic cost-cutting measures he will be implementing.

He has to slash costs as the stricken SPFL League One club is currently operating at a loss. And several members of the first-team squad could be moved on in an attempt to drive down the high wage bill.

But Rangers legend Derek Johnstone believes it would be catastrophic if stars like Lewis Macleod and Lee Wallace are sold as he fears financial repercussions.

He said: "Graham Wallace has gone in to Rangers as chief executive and his remit is to make sure the club is healthy financially.

"If the club is losing £1million a month, as we are told it is, then something has to be done.

"But Ally's job is to get a team on the park that can compete in the upper echelons of the Scottish game.

"How is he going to do that if two or three of his top players are going to be sold?"

Johnstone added: "At the same time, Rangers have got 35,000 season ticket holders who want to see a decent side.

"If you get rid of your top players then the fans are going to get frustrated and you run the risk of some of them not renewing their season tickets.

"It is all very well saying: 'If we get rid of him, him and him we could bring in X amount of money.'

"But if you do that what are you left with? If you sell your best players and nobody else is coming in then you have a problem. You are weakening the side.

"It will be fine this season. The team is romping away with the league. But it will be different next season when they go up to the SPFL Championship.

"If Ally has a weaker squad next season then it's going to be a hard toil.

"I think Ally is wanting to bring in seven, eight, or nine players who are better than he currently has.

"I can understand both sides of the situation. There has to be some sort of compromise. You have to get the balance right on and off the park."

Johnstone believes McCoist will have to accept that players who are not getting a regular game will be moved on.

He said: "Those who are not featuring in the first team at this time can be part of the cost cutting.

"Even if Ally thinks an individual can still do a job for the first team then he still has to allow him to go."

Meanwhile, Johnstone has appealed to Wallace and his fellow Rangers directors to make securing new funding for the club a top priority.

He said: "It is about time they went out and looked for investment.

"The sooner somebody jets over to South Africa to speak to Dave King the better.

"The most important thing at Rangers at the moment for me is bring in new investment to drive the club forward."