Rangers savings allow them to finish season

Rangers have agreed a raft of cost-cutting measures which will allow them to fulfil their fixtures for the rest of the Scottish Premier League season, administrators Duff and Phelps said on Friday.

The Glasgow club went into administration last month over nine million pounds in unpaid payroll and sales taxes.

The plight of Rangers, champions a world record 54 times, has sent shockwaves through British football where many clubs are struggling to make ends meet.

Players at the stricken club have now agreed to take temporary wage cuts of between 25 and 75 percent for the next three months in order to save one million pounds per month, Duff and Phelps partner Paul Clark told a news conference.

Midfield pair Gregg Wylde and Mervan Celik will leave the club at their own request while manager Ally McCoist and his backroom staff have also agreed temporary wage reductions to prevent widespread job losses on the non-playing side.

"The agreement on very substantial wage reductions and voluntary departures from the club represents a major sacrifice," said Clark.

"The discussions have been lengthy and by no means easy for anyone involved but the most important objective in all of this process has been to achieve an outcome that will help save the club.

"There are a small number of matters still to be dealt with over the weekend but we do not believe these will be insurmountable," added Clark.

"The players deserve great credit and we are in no doubt this agreement is the best way to achieve the necessary cost savings to ensure the continuing operations of the club."

Rangers also face a larger tax bill of 50 million pounds relating to the use of trusts to pay players over the past decade.

The club are part of the fabric of Scottish society, their bitter rivalry with city rivals Celtic illustrating the divide between Protestants and Roman Catholics in the country.

HEAVY PRICE

"We fully recognise the football staff are paying a very heavy price for the greater good," said Clark.

"It is to their eternal credit the players and management have sought to find a solution that helps protect the fabric of the club.

"We are especially grateful to Ally McCoist who has put the interests of the club, his players and the staff first and foremost at all times."

The wage cuts do not, however, eliminate the continuing threat to Rangers's long-term future.

"We should be absolutely clear this club is in a perilous financial situation," said Clark. "If substantial cost reduction could not be achieved the club would not survive until the end of the season.

"Administration is never a painless process and it is imperative if the club is to survive that the business trades viably through the period of administration."

Clark said the cost savings would make it easier to attract a new Rangers owner.

"The prospect of someone buying the club remains our prime objective," he said. "There are several interested buyers and we have had discussions with them.

"We have given a deadline of next Friday so we will have a better idea where we are later next week. The wage cuts are temporary and until the end of the season but they have given us breathing space."

A consortium called the Blue Knights, led by former director Paul Murray and including fan representatives, issued a statement on Friday saying it was finalising an offer for the club.


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