The latest news that Rangers have asked the players to take a 15% wage decrease is shocking on many different levels. As a fan, the reactions range from exasperation & anger, to being absolutely dumbfounded.
Back in October, it was reported that the club was operating with losses of £14 million. Some of blame was put on one-time costs such as pay-outs to terminate contracts, legal bills to fight Craig Whyte, & money paid out to Charles Green.
However, it had been clear that the financial plan of how Rangers runs the club was in need of serious attention.
New CEO Graham Wallace has made it publicly clear that the club needs to cut some of its operating budget & that would likely begin with the team’s roster. The current first-team’s squad is salaried at approximately £7 million.
The request to have players take a 15% pay cut is insulting, unrealistic & you would have assume that Wallace knew that there was little chance that the players would accept such an offer. For a player like Lee Wallace that pay cut would be over £100,000 of his annual salary, while someone like Cammy Bell would be losing about £60,000 of his yearly wages. For the younger players, who may be earning £2,500 a week – that would mean taking home £14,000 less a year.
It can be surmised that Graham Wallace was smart enough to be fully aware that the team would not go through with such a request. So was their an ulterior motive for this request – especially knowing the media storm that would follow it??
Was this a way to hone in on Ally McCoist’s mismanagement of the club’s roster?
Once the news was digested – many fans & bloggers immediately began to question some of the additions made to the squad over the summer & why some players rot away on the bench while collecting handsome pay checks for doing little beyond staying fit?
Rangers are very effective at controlling what information gets released (or leaked) to the press – so it goes without saying that the club’s management team should have been fully aware of the financial crisis that has been lingering at Ibrox. However, McCoist was steadfast in his desire to create a level of depth at Rangers, that in hindsight was not truly necessary for a club that was basically pre-destined to win League One anyways.
McCoist took a great deal of pride in the fact that he could bolster the squad with the likes of Jon Daly, Cammy Bell, Nicky Law & Nicky Clark. He was crafting a core of players who could provide a level of quality & experience that was lacking last season.
However, adding players like Steven Smith, Richard Foster, Arnold Peralta, Steve Simonsen & even Bilel Mohsni was piling on salaries to the club when these players were either unnecessary or without clear roles in the squad.
There was never a way that Smith would be a starter – so why bring him in?
Richard Foster began the season at right back – even though there was younger players who could have been given the chance to grow into the position, like Kyle McAusland or eventually Sebastien Faure.
Arnold Perolta’s supposed most natural position is in a holding midfield role – a role currently filled by Ian Black. For Honduras, he is a subpar right back & for Rangers he is asked to play on the right side of midfield. Peralta was a creative signing, given his being from Honduras but the typical ‘fit a square peg into a round hole’ kind of acquisition you should avoid when YOU HAVE NO MONEY!
In hindsight, the Simonsen signing is truly mind-boggling. Even though Scott Gallacher proved that he is a capable goalkeeper in the beginning of the season, McCoist was driven to bring in an experienced back-up to Cammy Bell. Simonsen seems like an excellent teammate but truly is a waste of money & epitomizes what is wrong with McCoist’s approach to putting together this year’s roster.
Bilel Mohsni had been a fantastic addition to Rangers — but ultimately an unnecessary signing. With Emilson Cribari’s refusal to leave the club, coupled with the club having three other capable players to man the center of the defence (Lee McCulloch, Sebastien Faure, & Luca Gasparatto) – where was the actual NEED for Mohsni?
To exasperate McCoist’s ambivalence to the need to be mindful of adding redundant costs to the team – he openly courted players like Kenny Miller & Marius Zaliukas – players whose salaries would be far beyond what the club could ever feasibly afford this season.
Here lies the claim that Graham Wallace knew that this proposed player wage cut would deflect the attention to Ally McCoist.
Yes, Ally McCoist is a legend & should always be held in the highest esteem by Rangers supporters for his love of the club & his passion to keep Rangers alive during its darkest hours. He should be commended for sacrificing half of his salary to help the club financially. But as one of the fans said in Rangers Report’s exclusive post asking supporters to assess the club so far this year, maybe it’s time to give McCoist a new role for the club. Would Ally McCoist & his talents & his popularity be better suited as a Chairman for the club rather then manager?
So where do Rangers go from here?
If the clubs needs to reduce the players salaries by 15%, or approximately £1,000,000 – then we are likely seeing the last days of a player like Lee Wallace at Ibrox. Wallace reportedly earns about £880,000 annually & is signed through the 2017-18 season. It’s a quick & tragic fix to the the clubs mismanagement.
Of course, it’s doubtful that Rangers will be able to maximize Wallace’s value on the transfer market given the very public display of economic desperation —- so there’s that…
- Should Ally McCoist be blamed for the latest financial fiasco? Was this a covert move by Graham Wallace to create a reason to replace McCoist? Share your thoughts below….