Rangers stars only at Ibrox for big money, says Kevin Kyle

Kevin Kyle in action for Ayr United against Rangers
Kevin Kyle played against Rangers for Ayr United after leaving Ibrox

Most of Rangers' under-performing players are only at Ibrox for big-money salaries, according to former Light Blues striker Kevin Kyle.

The 33-year-old says some of his team-mates were earning over £400,000 per year while he was with the club in the bottom tier of the Scottish league.

"The majority of players who are there at Rangers are there for one reason and one reason only," said Kyle.

"And that's the money that was on offer to them."

Rangers' playing budget has been reduced in the two seasons since they played in the Scottish Third Division following financial problems.

But, although they are now second of the Championship, money problems persist and manager Ally McCoist has handed in his notice amid criticism of performances and results.

And Kyle thinks the de-motivating effect of high salaries he experienced persists at the Glasgow club.

"I look back and I regret going to Rangers as maybe it was the downfall of my career," he told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound programme.

"I spent six months with Rangers and, within a year of moving to Ayr, I decided to chuck it in as I just lost all interest in it.

Kevin Kyle and Rangers team-mates
Kyle celebrates a goal against Elgin with team mates Andrew Little, Dean Shiels, Darren Cole and Lee McCulloch

"I'm sure there a few guys there who are fed up."

Kyle, who no longer plays professionally, believes that the quality of opponents outside the top flight would have dragged Rangers players down a level.

"My memory of Rangers is playing in front of 50,000 fans against the big teams, but this time around it is playing for Glasgow Rangers at Stirling Albion in front of a few hundred people," he said.

"That's not the dream that everybody thought it was and you lose that desire.

"For me, it was a great thing playing for Rangers, but what we were playing against every week never got me going. It didn't have that same vibe."

Kyle recalled the high spending at Ibrox during that season in Scotland's fourth tier.

"It's not the players' fault, because somebody stupid somewhere along the line offered them that money," he said.

"I go back to my situation where I went in there having been injured for 18 months and the wife said to me: 'what do you expect to get out of Rangers if they offer you a deal?'

Kevin Kyle
Kyle estimates his total earnings in a year at Rangers to have been about £100,000. He made four starts and nine appearances as a sub, scoring three times

"I said about £500-£600 per week, I would be quite happy with that as I had been out of the game and just wanted back in.

"I sat down with the manager and he asked what I was looking for and I just said a crazy figure and I almost got what I wanted.

"Looking back now, maybe he would want to do things differently. Over the course of a year, it was something about £100,000 with various bonuses."

Kyle said there were other players several times more.

"I know some of the figures some of the guys were getting and it was just stupid - it was laughable at times," he added.

"A few of the guys I used to play with, you're talking about £300,000 to £400,000 per year playing in the Third Division of Scottish football with money rising depending on appearances and bonuses."