Rangers fans have been left shocked after it was confirmed that their cash strapped club are paying out wages for all five Newcastle loan players, despite almost no chance of seeing some of them on the pitch.
Last night it was confirmed that Derek Llambias had brokered the deal which saw Gael Bigirimana, Kevin Mbabu, Shane Ferguson, Haris Vuckic and Remie Streete move up to Ibrox on loan in January until the end of the season.
Eyebrows were raised at not just the number of players moving between the two clubs, but also the fact that a number of them were in various states of injury or lack of match fitness.
Both Kevin Mbabu and Shane Ferguson didn’t even go up for the photo call (see image above) when the deals were announced, remaining on Tyneside with Newcastle’s medical staff.
All five players were unavailable through injury for the midweek match against Alloa, with only Haris Vuckic having played a number of matches so far, Remie Streete the only other one to play and he immediately was injured during his first match.
Rangers boss Stuart McCall has been asked if the Scottish club are paying the five players’ wages and he confirmed that they are, though the Rangers hierarchy later clarified that it was an unspecified proportion of the wages. Whatever proportion it is, in Rangers’ financial position the paying out of any money to players who have no chance of playing is unbelievable.
When asked, McCall said he didn’t know if the loan deals could be cancelled. Though when he went on to explain where each player was in their stages of recovery/fitness, the only conclusion you can draw is surely that there is no chance of cutting them short, as why would Rangers pay money for players who have no chance of playing?
Stuart McCall talking to the Daily Record:
“Streete came and played the first game and pulled his hamstring. He was put in straight away and he wasn’t ready to play a high-tempo game because he had no football behind him. He was out for a couple of weeks then came back and pulled his thigh, and he’s had an ear infection on top of that, so he’s two or three weeks again and working with the medical side of it, but I don’t think Remie has played lots of football over the past two years.
“Kevin Mbabu is training with us and he has played two under-20 games but he’s not played a lot of football in the last two years I don’t think and his match fitness isn’t up to what we would like at the moment.
“Young Bigi (Bigirimana) is a smashing lad, you see him with a smile on his face all around the place, he has a medical condition that our consultant is dealing with. But he won’t play for us this season.
“Shane Ferguson has had a long-standing serious knee injury, I think he’s been out for four or five months. He had a minor setback a couple of weeks ago because he was supposed to be up with us, so he won’t be up with us for another couple of weeks.
“By then he will have been out for five or six months with a knee injury so he’ll likely need another six weeks to get him anywhere near being available, so even though he might come up and train with us, depending on what level we can get him to, he looks a serious doubt to be involved.”
“Obviously Vuckic has been in the side and has done well, he’s good, a talented player.