Glasgow Rangers legend Ally McCoist has criticised reported Ibrox target Lyle Taylor – as well as Ryan Fraser – for their apparent contract stances, in conversation with talkSPORT.
Taylor is entering the final few weeks of his current deal at Charlton and, as things stand, will be leaving the English Championship side at the end of June.
His boss, Lee Bowyer, said earlier this month that his top scorer has decided to protect his career by deciding against extending his contract by a month and not playing when the campaign resumes.
Likewise, Fraser hasn’t penned a new contract at Bournemouth, and with both sides embroiled in relegation scraps, McCoist made his feelings “crystal clear” on the two players.
“I’m really disappointed in players who effectively aren’t honouring their contracts,” the Light Blues icon told talkSPORT.
“You can’t look at it any other way particularly if your team are fighting for their lives, which Lyle Taylor and Ryan Fraser’s teams are.
“I just think what kind of message does it send out to your teammates and supporters if you aren’t effectively going to honour your contract.
“If your contract runs out on the July 1 and you’ve got a game on the last day of June, you should be honouring that contract in my opinion. That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it should be.
“If I’m Eddie Howe, then clearly survival is the most important thing in the top flight.
“I wouldn’t cut my nose off to spite my face, but if there was another opportunity to play somebody else and it wasn’t to the detriment of the team’s opportunity and chances of winning the game, then none of them would be near my dressing room.”
As much as McCoist has a point, he has to bear in mind that this kind of situation is unprecedented and as such, tough decisions have to be made.
While you’re talking about loyalty and commitment to the cause, you have to bear in mind that, if Taylor or Fraser sign new short-term deals and suffer an ACL injury or leg break, they’ll end up having to undergo months of rehabilitation whilst being out of work.
That said, it’s tough on the clubs too – the football industry has been dealt a huge blow by the measures put in place in wake of the global health crisis and, although it’s never good being relegated, there’s no worse time to suffer the drop than this year.
Here’s a suggestion – offer Taylor and Fraser one-year contracts, slightly reduced salaries, so they’re covered if they suffer long-term injuries and their clubs not only save a bit of money by having to pay less on wages but can recoup a bit of a transfer fee for them this summer.