/ Soccer

Uncertainty spurred Naismith's decision

Updated: Monday, 25 Jun 2012 09:36 | Comments

Steven Naismith has explained why he will not be play for the new Rangers entity
Steven Naismith has explained why he will not be play for the new Rangers entity

Steven Naismith objected to the transfer of his contract to newco Rangers over fears his career would suffer if the Glasgow giants lose their Scottish Premier League status.

Naismith and team-mate Steven Whittaker announced that will not report back to Murray Park for training this week and now consider themselves free to find new clubs.

The pair have made the decision despite claims from the new regime that the transfer of all player contracts has already taken place, while warning that any players disputing the move could face legal action.

All 12 SPL clubs will meet on 4 July to vote on whether the new company should be granted entry to the top flight, with Dundee United and Hearts having already indicated they will vote against Rangers' application.

Speaking at a media conference, Naismith explained how the prospect of dropping down the divisions meant he could not agree to the transfer of his contract.

He said: "The reason for the decision I've made is, at this moment in my career, the uncertainty of what division the new company will be playing in.

"There's too much uncertainty there for me at this stage in my career to be waiting around to see where that is.

"I would hope to be playing at the highest level possible.

"I feel as though I would be getting held back if I was to move down divisions in Scotland to play."

The forward says a lack of contact from Charles Green and information about the investors behind the Sevco consortium, who last week bought the business and assets of Rangers, also contributed to his decision.

He added: "The first bit of contact I had was on Thursday when I got an email and then my representatives met him on Friday.

"Part of the reason is that I can't transfer over to a new company when I've never met the person involved with it.

"I've never met any of the investors, I don't know anything about them. There is just far too much uncertainty."

When put to Naismith that he could face accusations of bailing out on Rangers in their hour of need, he replied: "To be honest, the loyalty I had to Rangers I think was shown when I signed new contracts and took a 75% wage cut, when it probably wasn't in the best interests of any of the players.

"We did it because we had such a tight association with Rangers Football Club.

"It wasn't just about saving money, it was about saving jobs and we got that into our contracts that nobody would be made redundant.

"By doing that, it has given every employee at Rangers the chance to now transfer over to Sevco or walk away.

"We could have sat and said 'no, pay our wages' and it probably would have brought liquidation much quicker and then people would have lost their jobs. As a squad, I'm very proud of my team-mates.

"I would like to think I've given my all for Rangers in every game I've played. I've shown how much passion I've got for the club."

In a statement yesterday, manager Ally McCoist urged players to be open about their plans and called on them to let the club's fans know what is happening with regards to their futures.

Naismith said: "The first person I spoke to after making my decision was Ally, the gaffer.

"I know he made a statement yesterday. But all along, I've had too much respect for him to not tell him and let him be the first person to know.

"He's done brilliantly for Rangers in this current time."

Asked if McCoist urged him to reconsider his decision, Naismith added: "No, he understood.

"He thanked me for all the work I've done for Rangers and wished me all the luck in the future.

"He's held the club together in the last six months.2

Naismith - who was the subject of a failed bid by West Brom in April - has no firm plans for his future.

He said: "I'll continue training and see what opportunities arise for me.

"I've not thought too far ahead. Fitness-wise it's back to normal and I just wanted to think about this and come to a conclusion."

When asked if he believes Green has what it takes to take Rangers forward, Naismith added: "Hopefully. I wish him all the best in doing so."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip