LEE WALLACE has become the first Rangers player to admit publicly that he is concerned about the club sliding back into administration.
The Ibrox vice-captain was at the club in February 2012 when the business was declared insolvent, as a result of debts owed by the former chairman Craig Whyte's regime to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, and later placed into liquidation.
Wallace kept his job after buying into the concept of a universal pay cut within the football department and transferring his contract to the Sevco consortium which purchased the club's assets, but he realises fears are growing once more in the wake of a business review published last Friday which revealed almost £70m has been spent in two years of gross mismanagement and that payments for season tickets can no longer be made by credit or debit card.
Loading article content
Graham Wallace, the Rangers chief executive who is under police investigation over allegations of misleading shareholders at the annual general meeting in December, claims administration should not be regarded as a matter of concern.
However, his namesake in the first team was clear when asked if the sight of shareholder Sandy Easdale, whose brother James is on the plc board, stating on television that the club is "fragile" and would not survive a second insolvency event has caused him to worry about Rangers collapsing again.
"Of course," he replied. "When you see it battering along the Sky Sports News headlines, it gives you a slight concern. Until we hear from the manager or directly from someone at the club, though, we can only keep coming to training and getting on with our lives, basically."
Wallace is similarly forthright when asked if he believed Rangers would have been back on an even keel financially following the nightmare of administration and events such as the share offer launched by former chief executive Charles Green that raised an estimated £22m.
"I think so," he said. "On the football side, we are certainly making progress in terms of getting these leagues out of the road and getting back to where we should be playing our football.
"Obviously, we want the stuff above our heads to take care of itself and be sorted sooner rather than later. Again, that is outwith our control. It's just a case of hoping that it does [take care of itself], so that we can concentrate on the football and the manager can as well."
Wallace also witnessed his former club Hearts begin to crumble under the ill-fated Vladimir Romanov era before he moved to Ibrox in July 2011. The full-back admits he is becoming inured to boardroom chaos, finding it relatively easy to put the blinkers on and concentrate purely on fulfilling his own role within the club.
"I think it is possible," said Wallace. "I can certainly do it and I know that others can. I had this with Hearts with all the stuff off the field and it happened again when I came to Rangers a year later. I am quite well-schooled in remaining professional and that is what I am anyway.
"You cannot have an affect on what happens above your head anyway, so it is always just about remaining focused. You can't let off-the-field stuff get to you because it is going to affect your performance.
"I like to think everyone on our footballing staff has done that this year."