Speaking to BBC Scotland, former Rangers defender Richard Foster has slammed Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor, following the announcement of his imminent release from the club.
The 34-year-old, who made 83 appearances across two spells at Ibrox, was one of four players the Staggies confirmed would be leaving the club via a press release on Monday morning.
It’s stated that Foster, Declan McManus, Sean Kelly and Lewis Spence will depart ‘at the conclusion of their current contracts in the coming weeks’ [rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk]
After it was asserted that two players had signed new contracts and a further two had been offered new deals, the release went on to confirm that ten reserve team players would also soon be released.
Foster believes the club could have done a lot more to help its staff through the crisis.
“I just find the whole issues around the furlough scheme ridiculous, and why clubs are choosing not to furlough their players when there is a scheme there in place,” he told BBC Scotland. “Which to me is morally shocking, really.”
“What I heard him [MacGregor] say, was that he believes that it would be dishonest or that he believes that we would be defrauding HMRC, or however he wants to frame it, if we were to be put on furlough.
“So it’s essentially a binary thing. You either believe that players should be put on furlough and given the chance to earn money in the next couple of months or you just say: ‘On you go, we don’t want to furlough you, see you later’ and that is what he’s done.”
Foster’s anger at the position he and some of his teammates will soon find themselves in, is understandable.
While clubs like Dundee United and Raith Rovers have opted to retain out-of-contract players until the end of June via the furlough scheme, he hasn’t been afforded the same treatment by Ross County.
The full-back has spent almost his entire career in the SPFL and with the upheaval surrounding the Scottish game right now, it will be difficult to find a new club anytime soon.
The out-of-contract County players are far from alone, though. Many clubs in the lower divisions have already announced their intention to release the vast majority of their squads, with Dunfermline letting 17 players go and Queen of the South 16.