PLAYERS COULD LEAVE 'NEWCO' - PFA
Rangers players could walk away from Ibrox for free if a new company is formed to take over the club's assets, according to PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart.
Wishart has warned administrators that any bidder looking to transfer the club's assets to a 'newco' could find himself losing players.
Wishart has also urged Duff and Phelps to speed up the process of appointing a preferred bidder amid frustration among his members, who took wage cuts of up to 75% last month.
Duff and Phelps had been expected to award exclusivity to one bidder last week but there have been several twists and turns since then with Brian Kennedy re-entering the race and the Blue Knights stepping back from the process before having second thoughts.
US businessman Bill Miller, who remains in the frame along with a Singapore-based group, is believed to favour liquidating the club, whose debts could reach £135million, and any newco could start the season with a 10-point penalty and lose 75% of their income under Scottish Premier League proposals.
Wishart said: "There has been a lot of chat about possible transfer from old Rangers to a newco and discussions about the implications in terms of creditors and football regulations, points penalties and financial penalties.
"One of the things that has been forgotten about is our members.
"It's not necessarily the case, in our opinion having taken legal advice, that the players have to go across to a newco.
"Should a newco be formed the players do not have to go across."
Wishart pointed to employment laws, namely paragraph 4.7 of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, which protect employees if a company's assets are transferred to a new firm.
"They have the right to object to that transfer," said Wishart, who has not yet discussed the issue with the Scottish Football Association.
"There may well be complications in terms of FIFA regulations and football regulations.
"I don't think the football authorities have any right to force someone to go and work for a new company should they not wish to.
"And it will be a new company, whatever it is dressed up as.
"Our position I think will be supported by the football authorities."
Wishart added: "If players do go across their contracts are protected. The newco would have to take their whole contract, wages, terms and conditions. They may all wish to go across.
"The players are aware of their individual rights but none of them have come back to me. I don't think anyone is actively searching for a way out.
"But we are hitting real tight time deadlines. In three weeks' time the season finishes, players go on holiday.
"They don't know whether they are coming back, some of them who are out of contract. They don't know what state Rangers are going to be in.
"There is a lot of talking to be done and the players are getting frustrated.
"I think it's so important, given the size of the debts Rangers have, that someone is given exclusivity as soon as possible."
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