RANGERS will immediately release Daniel Cousin if administrator Paul Clark announces that there will be redundancies at the club.
Manager Ally McCoist will meet Clark today and expects a full briefing on the cost-cutting measures being put in place and whether any of the club's 177 staff will lose their jobs.
Rangers have come under growing criticism for trying to complete a deal for Cousin. They have been labelled insensitive and accused of having their priorities wrong for trying to push through a £7500-a-week deal for the player while staff feared redundancies. But McCoist last night told Herald Sport that the Cousin deal was effectively done before the club went into administration, and the decision to continue with it was taken only after initial indications that job losses were not inevitable. Cousin also agreed to a wage cut, to around £5000-a-week, and he has accepted that it would be inappropriate for the deal to go ahead if Clark has decided there must be redundancies.
McCoist consulted some of his senior players and also Fraser Wishart, the PFA Scotland chief executive, before deciding to continue the deal last week. The players supported the move. "They were very well aware of the sensitivity of the issue," said McCoist. "And they also knew a few facts which were important. The players had a meeting with the administrator who said to them that dismissals and people losing their jobs was not inevitable. It was a possibility, but it was not inevitable.
"So, taking everything into consideration, we all agreed we would continue with the attempt to sign Daniel. In all of this Daniel decided he would take a wage cut. In total fairness to Daniel he's gone from thinking his deal was signed, sealed and delivered to taking a wage cut, which he duly did."
The SPL board refused to sanction the Cousin deal because Rangers had gone into administration. Rangers can appeal that decision this week and whether they do so will depend on what Clark tells McCoist regarding redundancies. "We will have a chat [today] and decide what we want to do with it." said the manager, who dismissed a claim that Cousin had already been paid in full for a three-month contract.
McCoist is preparing himself for his most testing week in football. "I am braced for anything that comes our way," he said, anticipating meetings with administrators that will involve talks on the future of players. "I appreciate this week might be a little bit different. I'm up for it and ready to meet whoever, whenever, wherever."
McCoist faces a testing time off the pitch but is aware of the problems on it after Kilmarnock's victory at Ibrox on Saturday leaves Motherwell six points behind his side with a game in hand.
"I'm not sure it is case of hanging on for second place. That is obviously the worst scenario we would want," he said. "We know it is going to be tough, but we must attempt to win all our remaining league games.
"The most important thing is the welfare of the club and the workforce within it. That will always be the case. But life will be a lot easier if we are winning games of football."
McCoist will face more immediate problems than the visit to Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Sunday, though. He has been in regular dialogue with Clark, of administrators Duff and Phelps, and may have to make difficult decisions this week.
The administrators are expected to make an announcement soon on the financing of the club. They believe they now have "a pretty full understanding" of the takeover and are planning talks with "interested parties".
However, Rangers, out of both domestic cups and with the title slipping out of their hands, now have a limited revenue stream over the next few months. Tough decisions will have to be made soon regarding the payroll and the administrators have stated categorically that the Rangers manager will be consulted.
McCoist has welcomed an inquiry by the SFA into the activities of the club under Craig Whyte's ownership.