THE reappearance of Craig Whyte with his extraordinary self-defence of his actions on the BBC last week has provoked huge anger at Rangers.
Just when it seemed the club could be moving on, up popped the harbinger of doom to say that, yes, he might have been a teensy weensy bit at fault for the demise of the Oldco Rangers but you can’t blame him really.
In the meantime, and despite his express wish to visit his old stamping ground, there is one place Whyte should avoid – a rather grand edifice on the south side of Glasgow called Ibrox Stadium.
Who says so? Ally McCoist, the Rangers manager.
Asked if Whyte could ever go back to Ibrox, the usually quickfire McCoist took his time to answer: “I think at best it would be ill-advised for Craig Whyte to come back to Ibrox again.”
Others at Ibrox would not be so diplomatic, Indeed, the club’s official programme let rip at Whyte last Saturday, editor-in-chief Lindsay Herron lambasting the man who put Rangers into administration and regretting that Whyte was ever allowed space in the publication to voice his opinions.
McCoist, pictured, was telling in his condemnation of Whyte and his re-emergence on the BBC, the broadcaster that the former owner once banned from the club and which he threatened to sue.
“I’m not surprised but I think everyone is taking it with a pinch of salt,” added McCoist. “The one thing we want now is to at least have the opportunity to move forward and I think some of the comments have attempted to take us back the way.”
McCoist is very clear in his view of what occurred under Whyte, and where the blame lies and what should happen to those who have brought his club so low.
“The only reason we went into administration was non-payment of PAYE and National Insurance — nothing to do with EBTS,” said McCoist. “From what I’m led to believe and what I’ve been told, that was why, no other reason.”
His plea for Whyte to shut up was not stated openly. It did not need to be. McCoist’s calm words were eloquent expression of the burning desire of everyone at Rangers to get on with the job of winning the Third Division.
McCoist said: “You can find it a bit choice or look for an argument, but I’m refusing to, because I want to move forward. We need to move the club forward. Charles Green and his consortium have taken over and I think the least they deserve now is our support. I’m not sure Whyte’s comments have been helpful.
“I firmly believe, and I’m of this opinion 100 per cent, that, if there’s been wrongdoing, then the people should be held accountable. The legalities of it I don’t know but every one of the individuals should be made accountable in whatever court that may be, judicial or otherwise.”
Meanwhile McCoist has a rather pressing job to do – getting Rangers back on the road when they are on the road. The defeat to Stirling Albion on 6 October was the worst of a bad lot of poor away results and McCoist and his men go to Cumbernauld’s Broadwood Stadium to face Clyde today. McCoist has had the Bully Wee watched three times and he said: “There is not a lot between top and bottom in this league.”
And having overcome one “obstacle” by getting to the top of the table, McCoist feels his side can cross another hurdle by starting to win away. On Wednesday they’ll be in Inverness for a Scottish Communities League Cup tie and McCoist added: “We know a lot about Inverness but their team has probably changed as much as anybody’s, outwith our own.
“But, to be fair, they’ve managed that change very well with some good performances and results. I expect the game to be very open and with our support it dictates we have to go and win the game.”
McCoist ended by choosing some careful words about Celtic and their efforts in Barcelona. He watched the game on TV and admitted to a hint of envy.
He said: “We want to be in the Champions League, of course we do. And that’s where we have to get back to. That’s the target.
“It won’t happen next month, that’s for sure, but it is the target.”
When they get there, Craig Whyte need not bother applying for tickets.