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Rangers duo turn down newco move

ESPN staff
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Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith were among those Gers players to agree a wage cut © PA Photos
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Rangers players Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker are the latest to object to the transfer of their contracts to the newco side, following Sone Aluko and Ross McCabe taking similar action.

The pair have released statements through their lawyers announcing their intention to find another new club, despite Rangers claiming the transfer of all player contracts was complete and warning of legal action.

Naismith and Whittaker, though, have informed the club that they will not be reporting for training next month and will seek alternative employment.

A statement from Simon Catto of HBJ Gateley said: "Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker are formally intimating their objection to becoming employed by the transferee in accordance with Regulations 4(7) and 4(9) of the TUPE Regulations.

"Accordingly, Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker will not be attending for training or any other meeting next week and consider themselves to be under no contractual obligations to any party. They consider they are not employed by any party and are free to consider any employment options they wish."

Naismith, who describes himself as a "lifelong Rangers fan", added: "I have discussed this decision with my fiancée, my family and my advisors. It has been an extremely difficult decision to make but I believe it is the right decision.

"As players we were put in a difficult position by the administrators whereby we were asked to take a 75% pay cut to contracts that we entered into in good faith. As players we collectively saw this as the only way to get Rangers Football Club out of administration by way of a CVA and thereby protect the staff jobs and the history of the club and give the creditors who had also entered into contracts with Rangers in good faith the best chance of being paid.

"Both Steven and I and our agent fought hard with administrators during negotiations to insert clauses that offered protection to staff and players at the club. I am extremely proud of the actions we took but I am disappointed and angry that Rangers Football Club no longer exists in its original form."

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