Naismith wants a future with revived Rangers
'Club means more to the squad than just a job' insists forward who wants to fulfil contract
Thursday 10 May 2012
Steven Naismith does not believe he has played his last game for Rangers despite deepening concerns over the club's future.
Further doubt was cast over the survival of the Glasgow giants on Tuesday when the preferred bidder Bill Miller informed administrators he was withdrawing his offer to take over the club.
The administrator Duff and Phelps is urgently evaluating three other bids in the hope of completing a sale before the end of the season. The events of the last 24 hours have meant further uncertainty for the players, who agreed in March to accept wage cuts of up to 75 per cent until the end of the campaign.
But Naismith, whose campaign was ended by a cruciate ligament injury in October, remains hopeful of fulfilling his Ibrox contract beyond this term.
Asked if he believed he had played his last game for Rangers, the forward said: "I've not thought about it too much and, personally, I don't think I have. I would like to think there is a team there for the 50,000 who turn up every two weeks and the 100,000 who travelled with the team to a Uefa Cup final.
"All these people need a team to support and, hopefully, at the end of this, there is a team there for them. It's not just a job, to come in and train every day and then play your games. It means more to everybody and it has shown in the results. I'm contracted to Rangers for the next three years and if the circumstances don't change then that's where I'll be. Definitely."
Naismith was the subject of a failed bid from West Bromwich, reported to be in the region of £2m, which was rejected by administrators last month.
He said: "There was a lot of speculation about it and the manager spoke to me and said there had been a bid made and it had been rejected. For me, there was nothing else to deal with, nothing else to do. The club had rejected an offer for me and that's fair enough. The administrators are there to run the club in the best way possible. Although it was flattering that someone would make a bid when I was injured, it was nothing I ever really had to consider as the bid was rejected."
With wages set to revert to normal next month and administrators yet to find a buyer, Rangers may have no option but to sell their top players come the summer. "Hopefully, Rangers don't need to go down that route," Naismith said. "As players, we want the best for the club. We have shown that in the past with everything that's been put in front of us. We decided to take wage cuts because we thought it was best for the club.
"The boys have gone out and performed in the last few months to give the fans something back for all their fantastic work and support. There is no one player who is bigger than the club. Unless circumstances change, the players will be right behind the club. But if different things come up, there will be decisions to be made. We will just have to wait and see what happens on that front."
Miller's £11.2m bid favoured a "newco" route to create what he described as an "incubator" company, while Duff and Phelps aimed to take the club out of administration through a Company Voluntary Arrangement.
The PFA Scotland chief executive, Fraser Wishart, believes players may be free to walk away from Ibrox under such circumstances, while the Rangers manager, Ally McCoist, wants clarification on the issue of whether players would be obliged to fulfil their contracts.
With a "newco" yet to be ruled out, Naismith was reluctant to be drawn on the subject until he, too, has more information about players' rights. "It's pretty vague. It's all ifs and buts," he said. "Some people are saying these are the rules and other people are saying differently. It's all up in the air, there is no one way that it's going to go.
"The players have shown what they are about by going out and performing when there's not much to play for. They just want a solution. Even the boys who weren't Rangers fans before they joined, they have seen what it means to people. They become fans. I would say the majority of the squad are now Rangers fans. It definitely means more to the squad than just a job. We want the best for Rangers."
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