ALLY McCoist, the Rangers manager, last night launched an astonishing attack on Charles Green, the former chief executive who is back at the club as a consultant.
Speaking after his team were knocked out of the Scottish League Cup, thanks to a 2-1 extra-time defeat by Forfar Athletic, McCoist was furious about comments attributed to Green.
The Yorkshireman, who once described McCoist’s side as the worst in history, said in a newspaper interview yesterday morning that the Rangers manager should win a league-and-cup double this season or face the consequences.
“I was appalled by Charles’ comments,” said a furious McCoist. “The so-called, self-acclaimed straight-talking Yorkshireman again let himself down. His contempt and total lack of respect for my players, this football club and our support and Scottish football in general is appalling. He’s an embarrassment.
“If it was a threat, the self-acclaimed, straight-talking Yorkshireman should know that boys from the west of Scotland don’t scare easily. If he does come back I’ll certainly go and pick him up at the airport. I won’t have a problem doing that.
“It’s just more hot air and that’s what we’ve come to expect from Charles. He just seems to be a devious man. After I’ve given him that endorsement it would be crazy of me to say ‘welcome back Charles’.”
It was a dramatic outburst on a day when Rangers succumbed to an extra-time winner by Gavin Swankie at Station Park. McCoist said that, while Forfar deserved credit for their win, his own players had been affected by Green’s remarks.
“I’ve got to be careful because Forfar deserved their win and well done to Dick [Campbell] and his players.But our players picked up the newspaper at breakfast to be reminded they’re the worst team in Rangers’ history.
“I’ll tell you, that would be bad luck – to have the worst Rangers team in history and the worst chief executive in history at the same time. That’s downright bad luck.
“Instead of concentrating on the match, their minds are elsewhere and they’re worrying about their jobs. Because let’s face it, if he’s said we don’t win a cup and we go out some of the players would be under threat too. As team-talks go, I don’t think it was one of Charles’ best. That’s something I can’t legislate for and don’t have any control over.”
Neither was it a good day for the club’s current chief executive, Craig Mather, who released a statement, criticising those who are attempting to overthrow the existing board. He said they were destabilising the club for their own advantage.
An emotional McCoist was quick to defend Mather last night. “What I can say is that the current chief executive has backed us with players coming in, absolutely. He’s stood side-by-side with us and we’ve got players who are at the game. It might be a small thing but they have all taken the trouble to come up. Craig Mather has been shoulder-to-shoulder with us, which is something Charles seems to have taken umbrage to.”
McCoist also suggested Green had timed his comments to inflict maximum damage on the Rangers players. “Let’s be honest about it, I don’t think it’s surprising that at probably at our most vulnerable and weakest because we can’t play our new signings. That’s when Charles has surfaced and the biggest thing of the lot is that he’s turned up after 34,000 fans have bought season tickets. Coincidence? Perhaps not.”
Earlier, Mather had rounded on former Ibrox director Paul Murray and businessman Jim McColl, accusing them of “self gain and arrogance” after the pair were among a group of supporters who called for an extraordinary general meeting to oust Mather, finance director Brian Stockbridge and non-executive director Bryan Smart, and replace them with Murray and football finance expert and Rangers fan Frank Blin. Mather did not name names in a coruscating statement but the identities were obvious. Murray fronted the Blue Knights consortium that was funded principally by Brian Kennedy which tried to buy Rangers last year. They lost out to Green’s group as preferred bidder before the failure to obtain a Company Voluntary Arrangement last June resulted in the liquidation of the oldco Rangers. Mather said the Murray/McColl faction was “attempting to bang down the doors simply because they feel they should be inside before any others and for no good reason other than self gain and arrogance”.
The new power struggle at the Ibrox club follows the return on Friday of Green in a “consultant” role.