Rangers captain Steven Davis among players seeking exit

 

Midfielder Steven Davis claimed he had to put his career first after turning down a move to the newco Rangers.

Davis is one of eight players to confirm his objection to transferring his contract from Rangers to Charles Green's Sevco company, which bought the assets of the soon-to-be-liquidated club for £5.5million.

The Northern Ireland international, who joined Rangers in 2008, captained the club through four months of administration but Green's application to join the Scottish Premier League looks doomed and he could be forced to relaunch the club in the Irn-Bru Third Division.

In a statement published in the Daily Record, Davis said: "Only those who know me will know how much Rangers mean to me.

"I signed a new contract last year, giving my best years to the club in the knowledge we'd be challenging for leagues and cups and in Europe year after year. That's the reason I came to Rangers.

"My young family love life in Scotland but after all that's gone on since administration in February there came a point when I needed to make a decision based on what was best for my short career.

"I am 27 and need to be playing at the highest possible level."

Davis and goalkeeper Allan McGregor confirmed their intention to leave last night along with midfielder Jamie Ness and forward Kyle Lafferty.

They followed Rhys McCabe, Sone Aluko, Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith in objecting to the transfer of their contracts. PFA Scotland believe they are all free agents and can transfer to new clubs without compensation.

Lee Wallace yesterday pledged to stay but the only other player to have stated an intention to remain is Lee McCulloch and he subsequently expressed frustration over a lack of information from Green.

John Fleck is reported to be on the verge of leaving amid similar frustration and others could follow before pre-season training starts tomorrow.

Romanian defender Dorin Goian could stay, but that situation may change if a plan to put Rangers in the First Division fails.

His agent, Florin Manea, told the Scottish Daily Mail: "The people at Rangers have assured us that the contract will remain the same.

"If the club is doing this for us, then Dorin doesn't have a problem staying at Rangers - even if they go to the second league."

However, pressure is intensifying on Green with fans set to protest outside Ibrox tonight over a lack of clarity surrounding his investors and plans.

Former Rangers player John Brown has also declined to transfer his contract as a scout over to the newco and he plans to lead a fans' buyout of the Sevco group.

Brown urged fans not to renew season tickets and told the Scottish Sun: "I am making this decision because I believe the regime in charge are not the true owners of the football club.

"They have documents under Sevco but we want to know whose name is on the title deeds for Ibrox, Murray Park and Albion car park. That's the key to the future of our club.

"Today we ask Charles Green: How much do you want for the club so we can put it into the hands of the Rangers family?"

And, as the game becomes increasingly engulfed in the crisis resulting from the financial collapse of Rangers through years of overspending and tax debts, Brown added: "As a former Hamilton and Dundee player I want to apologise on behalf of my club to the whole of Scottish football."

PA

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