The Rumour Mill: Friday’s football news and gossip

Today could bring a glimmer of hope to Rangers fans if reports that the club’s players are set to agree on a wage deal come to fruition.Rangers owner Craig Whyte also looks set to face a challenge from administrators over his share holding with the Ticketus deal reportedly heading for the courts.

RANGERS - MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

• Rangers owner Craig Whyte held lengthy talks with the club’s administrators Duff and Phelps yesterday where he was grilled

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on his financial transactions since taking over the Ibrox club.

It is understood that Whyte’s claim to be the club’s major creditor will now be challenged with the aim of installing legal mechanisms

that will give the administrators control over the businessman’s share holding.

Whyte bought Rangers for £1 having used future season ticket sales to pay off £18m of debt to Lloyds TSB - a condition of buying the club

from David Murray.

Legal moves are expected to secure control over Whyte’s share holding are expected to gather pace next week.

• The deal between Ticketus and Rangers is expected to be challenged in the courts next week with the administrators set to argue that the

agreement should be declared “null and void”.

• Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith last night accepted wage cuts at Ibrox with both players reported to have agreed cuts of 75 %

A total of seven senior players have been asked to reduced their wages at this level. These include Allan McGrgegor, Carlos Bocanegra and Steven Davis.

These reductions, which will be in place until the end of the season, are seen as vital if Rangers are to survive until the end of the season. The club

has to make cuts of one million pounds a month to stave off the liquidation threat hanging over the club.

It is understood a clause has now been put into the contracts of all Rangers players who have taken a cut that would allow them to leave should a suitable

offer come in.

This clause will remain while the pay cuts are in place.

• The remainder of Rangers’ squad are on the verge of agreeing a pay cut deal, it was reported today.

•The administrators set a deadline of today for an agreement to be reached or “significant redundancies” would be announced across the board.

• Senior players are being asked to take a cut of 75%, middle earners 50% and those at the lower end of the Ibrox pay scale are being asked to take a 25% cut.

An announcement is expected today.

•Swedish club Orebro claim they are owed £240,000 from Rangers for the transfer of Alejandro Bedoya

• Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has described the prospect of Rangers going into liquidation as “a disaster”.

He was speaking after administrators accelerated attempts to sell the club after failing to finalise a consensus on wage reductions among the playing staff following several days of talks. Duff and Phelps also warned that Rangers would not finish the season unless they achieved a quick sale or made severe cost-cutting measures. Those developments came after Ibrox director Dave King said in a statement on Wednesday that he believes it is “inevitable” the club will go into liquidation.

Regan told the BBC: “(The administrators) are sending out a message that, if they are not able to reach an agreement, then the club is facing liquidation. That would be a disaster. It is a pretty desperate time for Rangers Football Club.”

• UEFA Events chief executive David Taylor says there is no chance of Rangers being given special dispensation to play in Europe next season.

Former Scottish Football Association chief executive Taylor insisted there would be no extension granted to the 31 March cut-off for securing a licence to take part in European competition.

Rangers’ administrators admitted on Wednesday there was “no realistic prospect” of the extinction-threatened club meeting the deadline but vowed to appeal to the SFA, who use Uefa rules to determine whether licences are issued.

• Craig Whyte has been branded “unfit” to run Rangers by the SFA, who have brought a wide-ranging disrepute charge against the Ibrox club for alleged breaches of their rules committed since their discredited owner took charge last May.

The independent inquiry, chaired by former Supreme Court judge Lord William Nimmo Smith, delivered its verdict on Whyte and Rangers to a specially convened meeting of the SFA’s executive board at Hampden yesterday.

After several hours of considering the report, which will not be published until disciplinary proceedings against Rangers are completed, the SFA announced that Whyte does not meet their criteria as a “fit and proper person” to hold any formal office within football. The governing body are writing to Whyte, who will have a week to respond to the charge.

The SFA’s Judicial Panel will also consider a raft of other potential offences committed by Rangers and Whyte, including a general charge of bringing the game into disrepute against the club itself which carries a maximum punishment of a £100,000 fine and termination of SFA membership.

SPL clubs to meet without Old Firm

Ten of the SPL’s clubs will meet without representatives from Celtic or Rangers to discuss the possibility of changing the structure of the league and a redistribution of TV income.

Wylde in potential transfer limbo

Any proposed move by former Rangers player Cregg Wylde would have to overcome a number of difficulties, it emerged today.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle, who has expressed an interest in the 20-year-old, said he would have to receive clearance from the Premier League and UEFA to sign a player outside the transfer window.

Sergio confident of back from Hearts board

Hearts boss Paulo Sergio believes his deal to manage the club will be extended beyond the current season and that he believes he has the support of Vladimir Romanov and the club directors.

Templeton eyes return date

Hearts’ David Templeton is hoping to make a return in April and has urged

his team mates to put St Mirren out of the Scottish Cup Quarter Finals

Durie set to appointed East Fife manager

Former Rangers striker Gordon Durie is on the verge of being appointed manager of East Fife following the sacking of John Robertson.

He is expected to put pen-to-paper tomorrow after being given a vote of confidence by chairman Sid Collumbine.

IN BRIEF

• Airdrie Utd striker Ryan Donnelly is on trial at Wigan

• Celtic will take on Chelsea at the Yankee stadium in the New York this summer in a pre-season friendly

• Islam Feruz will return for Scotland Under-17 duty later this month for the first time since leaving Celtic for Chelsea