Captain sensible Steven Davis steers steady course
CAPTAINCY is supposed to be a great honour. For Steven Davis at Rangers, it’s been a dubious one. “Yeah, it just seemed all to happen the week after Davie [Weir] left. Everything started to unfold. I think he got out at the right time,” the Ibrox skipper jokes ruefully. Little wonder.
Davis welcomes this afternoon’s derby encounter because it allows for the possibility of some restoration of pride and pay-back to the Ibrox fans for their support, while the magnitude of the occasion will take the focus off the club’s administration strife.
There was a five-day period earlier this month – when administrators were trying to agree wage cuts with the players – that Davis didn’t even make it on to the Murray Park training pitches.
If Rangers manager Ally McCoist’s lot has been decidedly unpleasant, Davis hasn’t had it much better. “Some of the boys were here until late at night to try to get things thrashed out with a conclusion that suited everybody and, thankfully, we managed to do that. I was here until about 10:30 one night, which tells the story.”
By accepting 75 per cent wage cuts for three months in return for clauses allowing them to leave for set fees, the players prevented any redundancies among the ordinary workers at the Ibrox club.
“I got a few texts from different staff members [expressing their relief at no redundancies]. But it’s not about just the players. It’s great they all took a cut, but this is a club where everybody plays a part in the success. One of the major factors for us in terms of trying to get an agreement was that there wouldn‘t be sackings. This is a real family club and there have been people who have worked here for generations and it’s important to keep the traditions. You want to keep the history of the club. We’ve done that until the end of the season in the hope the takeover will happen.”
Davis doesn’t pretend Rangers players have been other than deeply affected by the events of recent times, not least the ten-point penalty. “I’m sure the Celtic players got a boost from it, just as we were a bit despondent after that,” he says.
In the long term, Davis knows Rangers need a change of ownership and new people at the helm prepared to do what he says was required last summer. “We’re all hopeful,” he says. “When Craig Whyte came in, we all hoped this was a sign of the club moving forward and reinvesting in the team. We just hope the right decisions are made and whoever comes in invests in the team because I think it needs it.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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