Goian's refusal to play in Scottish fourth tier could spark player exodus at Ibrox

 

Dorin Goian was the first Rangers player to reveal he will leave the club rather than play in the Scottish Third Division, but the likelihood is that more will follow.

The Ibrox side are due to kick-off the league season in the bottom tier with an away trip to Peterhead in four weeks, but it seems certain that at least the current international players in the squad will join Goian in seeking a move.

Maurice Edu and Carlos Bocanegra will not want to damage their places in the US national squad by playing in the Third Division, while Lee Wallace may also consider his position at Ibrox, despite the Scotland full-back recently pledging his future to the club.

Eight players asserted their right under employment law not to accept their contracts being transferred to the newco company that now owns Rangers, and so left for nothing, and the three further departures will be the first consequences of the decision by Scottish Football League clubs on Friday to vote Rangers into the Third Division.

Goian had been prepared to play in the First Division but the SFL clubs voted against placing Rangers in the tier below the top-flight. The SPL clubs themselves had previously rejected the request from the newco Rangers company to go into the Premier League.

Manager Ally McCoist accepted the decision for his team to begin next season in the Third Division but the reality for him now is some frantic squad rebuilding.

Rangers will dwarf every other club in the bottom tier, and if crowds held up at Ibrox, Rangers could still afford to pay wages higher than most SPL teams.

The reality is, however, that there is obvious financial uncertainty around the club currently.

Barely any season tickets have been sold due to unease among supporters about the investors behind, and intentions of, Sevco, the consortium run by Charles Green, the former Sheffield United chief executive, that now owns Rangers.

It is likely that most fans will now buy tickets on game by game, but that won't stop the Ibrox side being able to offer wage terms that are more attractive than most other Scottish clubs.

The likes of Lee McCulloch, Kirk Broadfoot and Neil Alexander are all paid five-figure sums a week and those terms still apply.

Rangers are interested in signing Ian Black and Craig Beattie, the former Hearts midfielder and striker, and both players could yet be tempted to join the Ibrox club's drive to climb back up through the divisions if they are offered long-term deals that other Scottish sides could not match.

McCoist would still have to manage the balance between young, inexperienced players and a small core of battle-hardened veterans.

The Rangers support would also reduce from the numbers commonly attracted in the SPL, but the mood among the fans is to get behind the club in its hour of need, although they are torn by their suspicions about the current owners.

The scenario can also change, since the SPL clubs are meeting tomorrow, ostensibly to decide whether Dunfermline or Dundee replace Rangers in the top flight.

But they could also push ahead with plans for SPL2 and invite Rangers, plus nine other teams, to break away from the SFL. However, it is not thought enough clubs would be willing to do this.

The SPL could also, in theory, change its stance and offer Rangers a place in the top flight. Most clubs voted against this on the assumption that the Ibrox side would be accommodated in the First Division and that Sky would honour the terms of the broadcast deal with other commercial partners if Rangers were only out of the SPL for one season.

The Scottish Football Association must also process Rangers' membership application now that they have a league place, and the governing body has asked for clarification on a number of issues, including the source of the current owners' funding.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week