JAMES Tavernier last night admitted the response of the Rangers players to the coronavirus crisis had made him proud to be Ibrox captain after they agreed to defer 50 per cent of their wages for three months to protect other employees' salaries.

A statement released on the official Rangers website last night confirmed that manager Steven Gerrard, his coaching staff and players and executive directors had agreed to the money-saving measures.

The Glasgow club haven't played a competitive fixture since the SFA and SPFL Joint Response Group suspended all football in Scotland on March 13 and the shutdown looks set to remain in place for some time.

Rangers confirmed that some employees had been placed on the government's coronavirus job retention scheme - but will have their salaries topped up so they receive their full pay.

“I want to place on record our appreciation to every single member of staff for their determination and resolve during these unprecedented events," said Tavernier. I’m very proud of the reaction of everyone at Rangers to the challenge we face throughout the UK and beyond.

“As a team, we were adamant that we work together to do all we can to secure the future of the football club. We are also acutely aware of the livelihoods and wellbeing of our staff.

“In reality, it was an easy decision for players and senior staff. Now is the time to work with unity of purpose, as the Rangers family, to ensure that everyone works together to maintain our institution. Today has made me proud to be Rangers captain.”

The Rangers statement read: "As with all businesses throughout the United Kingdom and beyond, Rangers is continuing to deal with the implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have carefully considered measures which ensure that all employees are treated fairly and with respect whilst we safeguard our club finances in such uncertain times.

"No professional football club or business is immune to the challenges of this unprecedented situation and as a club, we will continue to review actions necessary to navigate our way responsibly in such a changeable environment.

"Rangers can confirm that first team players, manager, coaches and executive directors have volunteered to take a salary deferral for the next three months. Senior players and staff were keen to ensure that no Rangers employee suffered financial hardship during this crisis.

"All parties volunteered and wholeheartedly agreed to defer wages to ensure that fellow colleagues could continue to be paid their salaries in full. We are proud of the leadership and responsibility taken by senior members of staff, and acknowledge the positive impact that this will have on everyone at Rangers.

"We firmly believe in the ‘one club’ concept and are united in our collective goal of making Rangers the very best in every facet of football life. We are resolved that the integrity of the club is maintained as we continue our focus on ensuring the financial stability of the business."

The statement continued: "Due to the extraordinary challenges from the ongoing crisis, Rangers intends to implement the coronavirus job retention scheme for a number of employees.

"Rangers will ensure that everyone furloughed under this government scheme will receive 100 per cent salary through ‘top up’ assistance from the club with all other conditions and benefits remaining unchanged.

"We are proud of the continued efforts and support of everyone at Rangers during this difficult period.

"Finally, we wish all our supporters and their families good health during this time. We are especially thankful for the tireless work of NHS staff and other key workers who are selflessly working to keep us all safe and well. Please continue to follow government guidelines at this time."