Standing firm: Naismith won't back down in Rangers row as striker battles former club
23:15 GMT, 12 December 2012
Steven Naismith has maintained he will not back down from his legal dispute with Rangers and instead insisted he owes the Ibrox club nothing.
The Everton star is one of a posse of former players defending themselves against legal action brought by Ibrox chief executive Charles Green after they quit the club on free transfers in the summer.
Green wants the new clubs of Naismith, Steven Whittaker, Jamie Ness, Sone Aluko and Kyle Lafferty to pay compensation for signing players who walked out after objecting to their contracts being switched from the Rangers oldco to the newco.
Won't back down: Steven Naismith is involved in a dispute with Rangers
The Ibrox club will learn in January if they have the right to pursue compensation via the SFA. If that is unsuccessful, Green has threatened to pursue the cash via the courts.
Unable to have their international clearance certificates transferred to their new clubs in the meantime, Aluko, Lafferty and Ness are counter-suing the Ibrox club for ‘constructive dismissal’.
Naismith says he wants no part in suing Rangers but is determined to defend himself from legal threats.
And, despite accepting a 75-per-cent wage cut when the club entered administration, he insists he is not after a penny.
‘I think 90 per cent of people that talk about this don’t know half of what happened,’ said Naismith in Glasgow.
New start: Naismith left Rangers to join Everton in the summer
‘I took legal advice and made the decisions I made.
‘I’m not looking to go after the club for money for 90 days’ pay or anything like that — it’s not something I’ve thought about or been interested in.
‘There’s so much going on, so many different cases.
‘People think it’s one big thing and everyone’s name gets thrown in the pot.
‘People want to say things as they think they know everything. But the people closest to me know what happened — and what’s gone on, on my part anyway.
‘You’re never going to make everyone happy.’
No brainer: Naismith left Ibrox after Rangers were relegated
Taking advice from lawyers, Naismith admitted the prospect of counter-suing Rangers was raised.
Already unable to walk through the door at Ibrox amid the bitterness, he opted instead to concentrate on his new career at Everton.
And, frustrated that fans rarely mention the financial sacrifices players made when they took substantial wage cuts to keep others in their jobs, Naismith insists he never intended to leave Rangers and would still have been there but for financial meltdown in February.
‘In a couple of years, people will look back and say they did that (wage cuts) for the good of the club,’ he said. ‘People might think there were other agendas or we were only doing it for certain reasons, but the players know what we were trying to do at the outset. That was to try to stop the club from getting liquidated.’