Ally McCoist admits he is baffled by the Scottish Professional Football League’s decision to hold the Ramsdens Cup final between Rangers and Raith Rovers at Easter Road.
With Hampden unavailable due to preparations for the Commonwealth Games, McCoist says he would have preferred 60,000-capacity Celtic Park to be given the nod ahead of the home of Hibernian, which holds 20,000. And, if determined to see the 6 April clash take place in Edinburgh, the Rangers manager believes league chiefs should have given administration-hit Hearts a cash boost by selecting Tynecastle as the venue.
Asked for his thoughts on the decision, he said: “It baffles me to be honest with you. If I’m the managing director of the sponsors, I would want it at the biggest venue. If the Scottish Cup final can be held at Celtic Park, I would have thought the Ramsdens could have been held at Celtic Park.
“With the increased opportunity for coverage and, indeed, revenue it would have been more sensible to me.
“But they decided to take the game to Edinburgh and, in doing that, I would have given it to the club that need the money.
“I would have given it to a team in administration and tried to help them out. But, for whatever reason, the game is being played at Easter Road, which we are fine about. We don’t have a problem with it at all.”
When put to McCoist that supporters may also be unhappy with the choice of venue, he added: “I can understand it. I want as many Rangers supporters watching us in that cup final as humanly possible. We’ve got 36,000 season ticket holders and I don’t think there is any doubt we could fill wherever with a Rangers support for the Ramsdens Cup.”
Celtic Park has been confirmed as this year’s William Hill Scottish Cup final venue, and McCoist would love to see Rangers secure an end-of-season visit there by progressing all the way in the competition.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s third-round tie against Airdrie, he said: “That would be the target, that would be the dream. It would be fantastic.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice last year and we were beaten fairly and squarely by Dundee United. We want to improve on that.
“The players who have been signed from Motherwell, Dundee United, Hearts all have good Scottish Cup experience and a lot of them have done well in it and some have won it. We are hopeful of a victory on Friday night and of going on a run.”