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Steven Naismith opens up on 2012 Rangers nightmare

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Steven Naismsith has revealed how the chaos of financial issues and subsequent administration crippled the 2011/12  Rangers squad's ability to concentrate on football.

Ally McCoist 's side had a 15 point lead early in the season but the margin was whittled away as players were drawn into behind-the-scenes politics.

And Naismith revealed it got so bad that the team were only training twice a week in the title run-in.

Senior players banded together and attempted to improve matters but Naismith has lamented that little heed was taken of their suggestions.

He told the Lockdown Tactics Podcast with Kris Boyd and Robert Snodgrass: “It was surreal.

“I got a knee injury in the October time and then everything started to unravel in the January.

“But no-one expected it to be the way it was.

“And it just got to the point where they knew what was happening.

“They’d come one morning and say: ‘right, we need an answer from you right now.’

“I personally didn’t like the position they were putting us in, in terms of trying to bully us into an answer they wanted.

“There was a group of us - Greigsy ( Allan McGregor ), myself, Davo (Steven Davis), Jig (Lee McCulloch) - who would stand up and say things weren’t good enough.

“We were footballers just trying to play the game yet around 90 per cent of our time was spent talking to administrators and the board to talk about everything but football.

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“It was a terrible time, if I’m honest.

“In the January, when it all kicked off, they said they were going to do X, Y and Z just to get the club on a good footing.

“We were told nothing would change, we’d move forward, and everything would be fine and be plain sailing come the summer.

“I mean, we were 15 points clear at the top of the league at the time.

“But after administration, the boys would only train twice a week. Two days a week they’d be out on the grass.

“I was injured at the time and in the gym but the team would go into a Saturday game and it was crazy. Results just nose-dived and it got worse and worse and worse.

“My mates would be going to games and hear stories about the administrators, and be buzzing thinking things were moving forward.

Former Rangers administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark at Ibrox (Image: SNS)

“But we’d go in the next week and it would be totally different, it was a mess.

“As a squad of players we were trying everything we could, from taking pay cuts and other legal things that could be done to save jobs.

“But at the end of the day they’d just turn around and say ‘no, we don’t really want to do that.’

“In my opinion they had an end-game they were always sticking to. The collateral damage was going to be the fans, the club, the squad, everything.

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“We were all guys who loved being at Rangers having supported the club, and all wanted to do well.

“But in the background there were people in charge doing what they could to get what they could get out of the club.

“For the club to lose £70m in the next two years, being in the bottom division in Scotland, is incredible. That tells the full story.”

You can catch up with the Lockdown Tactics podcast on its YouTube channel here.


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