RANGERS players have refused to accept a 15% pay cut as an option to slash the Ibrox squad's £6 million a year payroll.

First-team players took the decision at a hastily arranged meeting after learning of a suggested across-the -board salary reduction.

Manager Ally McCoist and captain Lee McCulloch were told about the 15% option in what club sources described as "exploratory talks" with chief executive Graham Wallace. Mr Wallace had previously said savings would have to be made to the playing budget.

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Sources at the club said the idea, presented on Tuesday, was not a formal offer "so nothing could be rejected".

A players-only meeting was convened and it was decided they could not agree to any pay cut as a possible alternative to some players having to be sold.

Mr Wallace told shareholders at the annual general meeting in December last year that savings would have to be made because the cost base was too high, "even for a top-flight club".

Rangers International Football Club plc, which raised £22m through a share issue in December 2012, announced ten months later it had made a £14.4m loss in its first 13 months of trading.

A Rangers spokesman said: "The manager and chief executive continue to examine ways as to how Rangers can live within their means."

Last week Ally McCoist finally signed off on a 50% cut on his £825,000 a year salary, which he agreed to in order to help steady the flow of cash running out of Ibrox.

Finance director Brian Stockbridge was forced to hand back a £200,000 bonus after the club won the Third Division title last year.

Even once the wage bill has been slashed, it is still likely to be 10 times higher than their rivals in the ­Championship next season. Mr McCoist has said reducing his budget would be a false economy. He said last weekend: "Should our wage bill be £1m? £2m? Nobody knows. From my point of view, I want it to be as high as can be while still being safe for the club so we have a better chance of getting out the division."