DCSIMG

Ally McCoist pins hopes on Rangers peace deal

Dave King is preparing to take on the Rangers board. Picture: Jeff Holmes

Dave King is preparing to take on the Rangers board. Picture: Jeff Holmes

  • by CRAIG FORBES
 

Rangers manager Ally McCoist is praying Dave King can strike a peace deal with the Rangers board and end the Ibrox off-field saga once and for all.

South African-based businessman King flew into Glasgow on Thursday night ahead of meetings with the new League One Champions’ supporters and investors.

The former director will also head for a showdown with Rangers chairman David Somers after advising fans to withhold their season-ticket cash as concerns linger over the state of the club’s finances.

The ruling Rangers regime – which presided over last year’s £14.4million loss – have accused King of “damaging and destabilising” the club with his statements.

But McCoist hopes the two sides can now find a way to end the battle for boardroom control. He said: “I won’t be privy to any of the meetings but I just hope that we can all move forward afterwards. Like any Rangers fan, I would be hopeful the outcome would be positive and then we will see what happens after that.”

McCoist again refused to discuss the specifics of the rumbling row but did admit it had been a distraction to his job of managing the team. “Both the board and Dave have said it is best that I concentrate on the football,” said the club’s all-time record scorer. “A few months ago, it was perhaps part of my job to get involved [with the off-field matters]. But now that there is a proper board in place and Graham Wallace there as chief executive, that side of things will be left to them.

“I’m not sure if that makes my job any easier but it certainly allows me to focus 100 per cent on the football which, in all honesty, I haven’t been able to do in the past. If that is a criticism of myself, then so be it. You hope things would calm down and they have calmed down a little bit.

“But, obviously, there are still ongoing issues and I appreciate that. But I have to say I think the club is in a far better place than it was this time last year. Now we just need continued improvement on and off the park and that’s what we hope to do.

“[If this was all put to bed by the time we were back in the Premiership] would be ideal but all we can do is concentrate on the football. The off-the-field stuff will look after itself. There are other people to deal with that.”

The main aim of King’s trip is to force the board to sanction a new share issue which will allow him to plough fresh cash into the club’s dwindling coffers. And the man who lost a £20m investment when the club was liquidated in 2012 will have his bid backed by the Union of Fans group, who plan to distribute 30,000 blue cards to the Ibrox faithful as part of a display urging the board to accept King’s offer of help.

But McCoist again refused to take sides as he said: “I have no thoughts on that at all. That is not something I can control. I will let the fans, the board and Dave King and all those issues handle themselves. I won’t get involved and nor will the fans want me to. Does the protest affect us? No, as long as it doesn’t affect their support, the team and I won’t mind, because that has been outstanding over the past two years.”

Rangers clinched promotion to the Championship with a 3-0 win over Airdrie on Wednesday night.

That victory gave them an unassailable 26-point lead over today’s opponents Dunfermline but McCoist knows that tougher challenges await his side next term.

“We have got the job done comfortably with eight games to go,” he said. “We’ve achieved our target for this year but it will be very difficult next year. But nights like Wednesday mean everything to the people at the club and the supporters.

“To have well over 40,000 there on a Wednesday night at the same time as Barcelona are on the television is an unbelievable crowd. The title is payback for the fans. We want to give them what they want – a winning team.”

 

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