Rangers players face another anxious night without clarity on their futures after failing to reach agreement with administrators over wage cuts.
Administrators Duff and Phelps had set yesterday as a deadline following more than a week of talks aimed at achieving monthly savings of £1m (€1.19m) but talks broke up early last night without a decision. Administrators will consider an offer from the players as they seek to strike a balance between wage cuts and job losses.
Players left Murray Park in quick succession shortly after 5.30pm, after arriving in the morning for talks aimed at preventing redundancies, and Duff and Phelps soon released a statement confirming another delay.
Joint administrator Paul Clark 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.
“This has not been an easy balance to strike and we would like to thank the manager Ally McCoist, his players and the PFA Scotland for attempting to find a solution that would be workable for all. Every realistic option is being explored.
“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.”
Joint administrator David Whitehouse said on Saturday that job losses were likely but a fresh deal was put on the table to avoid redundancies with a series of structured wage cuts.
The top earners in the playing staff were reported to have been asked to accept cuts of 75%, with others asked to lose 25-50% of their wages. However, no deal was struck and administrators will now discuss the players’ counter proposals before resuming negotiations today.
Administrators previously rejected the offer of wage deferrals until the end of the season, insisting they had to lower costs to make the club attractive to potential buyers, who have been set a deadline of March 16 to make first indicative bids. However, one of the interested parties, former director Paul Murray, then urged administrators to leave the squad intact as he claimed replacing 10 players could cost a new owner £20-30m.
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