The reality of players leaving Rangers for nothing under a newco situation would be “devastating” to the club, admits manager Ally McCoist.
American businessman Bill Miller was this week named as the preferred bidder to take over at Ibrox, meaning his plans to move all of the assets into a new company are likely to be followed through.
The players’ union, PFA Scotland, holds the opinion Rangers players could elect not to have their contracts moved to the newco, leaving them free to quit the club in the summer once the transaction had been completed.
“It would be a devastating blow if it happened,” McCoist said of the prospect of the players exercising their apparent right under TUPE regulations.
“We are all assuming here it is a possibility that the players can leave. We are maybe all assuming that they are going to do that.
“That might not be the case. There's a lot of players here who love playing for the club and appreciate what the club is all about. Never underestimate that.
“There are a good few boys here who have grown up with the club and know what the club is all about. So it is maybe not just as straightforward as a lot of people will think.
“Not all footballers just want to run and take a fast buck. Footballers are intelligent enough to understand they have to look after themselves and their families, of course they do.
“But to suggest there is absolutely no loyalty at all amongst football players I would say is totally wrong.
“Obviously, legally if that was the case, they would be well within their rights to do that [leave].”
McCoist is also refusing to accept for certain that the opinion of the players’ union will necessarily come to pass, saying he has had conflicting advice.
“That's one train of thought,” he said of the view players could walk away. “I'm told at this moment in time it's opinion, really, more than anything.
“There is another train of thought that the players' contracts would have to be seen out and fulfilled.
“I know there is a possible train of thought contrary to that perhaps coming from the union, which I can understand.
“But there's also a train of thought to the opposite effect of that. So, really, it's opinion at the moment. There would obviously have to be a decision made by the powers that be.
“I don't think at this time it is clear cut, right or wrong in terms of the players' contracts.
“It's something obviously that would have a massive impact on the club throughout this whole process if the players were allowed to leave or indeed wanted to exercise that right.
“That would obviously not be a scenario that would suit the club at all. Clarification on that would have to be looked at sharpish.”
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