Rangers Players Leave after Administrators Reject Deferring Wages

By Community | March 6, 2012

First team players at Glasgow Rangers Football club have walked out on the club after administrators rejected a proposal by the squad to have wages deferred.

Gregg Wylde and Mervan Celik have become the first players to leave the financially stricken Scottish champions. Midfielders Wylde, 20, and Celik, 21, had their offers for voluntary redundancy with no pay-off accepted.

Administrators Duff and Phelps were meeting Rangers players at the club’s Murray Park training ground on Tuesday in a final bid to reach agreement on wage cuts, with the club reported to be needing monthly savings of £1 million ($1.5 million).

“I volunteered to walk with no redundancy package today to help the other people in the club who have families, like the kitchen staff,” Wylde told BBC Scotland on Tuesday.

“I offered to walk away yesterday (Monday) and the club told me today (Tuesday) that they would accept that offer.

“At the moment I have nowhere to go and I don’t have another club.

“I don’t know what is going to happen next but I thought it was important to play my part in saving Rangers.”

Celik is a Sweden Under-21 midfielder who moved to Ibrox from Gothenburg club GAIS on a three-and-a-half year deal in January.

Charlie Mulgrew, a defender with Rangers’ arch Glasgow rivals Celtic, said of Wylde: “I know him and I know his family well so I have a lot of sympathy towards him and I just hope things can get better over there.

“It just shows how good a character he is (to give up his salary).

“Somebody was saying he came through here (at Celtic) when he was 11,” added Mulgrew, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Tuesday by being named the Scottish Premier League (SPL) player of the month for February.

“I am sure he will do okay and go on and get another club because he has done very well at Rangers and he is a very good player,” said Mulgrew, who won his first Scotland cap in last week’s 1-1 friendly draw away to Slovenia.

In a statement released late on Monday, Paul Clark, a joint administrator of Rangers, said: “Everyone involved in the administration process has been attempting to reach a consensual solution in regard to job losses within the playing squad.

“The prime reason for this has been to achieve essential cost savings while preserving the fabric of the first team.

“Regrettably, it has not been possible thus far to reach a consensus where players could accept the necessary level of wage cuts to prevent job losses within the squad.

“We do not for a moment criticise the players for this as the wage reductions that would be required are very substantial and would have a significant impact on each individual.

“For clarity, we cannot enforce wage cuts. The players have to agree to this course of action.”

Rangers were placed in administration last month after British tax authorities went to court to see payment of an unpaid bill of £9 million ($14m) built up since Whyte took control at Ibrox in May.

They are also awaiting the verdict of a tax tribunal that could leave Rangers with a bill of up to £75m, according to Whyte.

The 140-year-old club were docked 10 points for entering administration, a penalty which effectively handed the SPL title to Celtic, now 21 points clear of Rangers.

by Ismail Uddin

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