RANGERS manager Ally McCoist has offered his sympathy and support to Hearts after they became the latest Scottish club to be plunged into a financial crisis.
The Edinburgh side are battling for survival after being issued with a winding up order by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs over a tax bill of almost £450,000.
Rangers were themselves forced to call in the administrators in February as a result of HMRC action and faced months of turmoil before being consigned to liquidation in the summer and relaunched as a newco.
McCoist said: “We probably understand and sympathise more with Hearts than possibly any other club, just due to the fact that we know exactly what they’re going through. Our sympathies are with all the players and staff and supporters. You are effectively talking about peoples’ livelihoods and peoples’ lives which, in the grand scheme of things, is far greater than any result. We just hope that they can come out of it in a positive way like we have.”
Hearts have admitted next weekend’s visit of St Mirren could be their last game and have asked fans to help them raise the cash to settle the tax bill.
Rangers were able to fulfil the remainder of their fixtures last term but now ply their trade in the Irn-Bru Third Division after the newco was denied entry to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League. McCoist added: “All I want is for Hearts to survive and for people to keep their jobs and for Hearts supporters to have a team to go and watch.”
The Rangers manager was praised by fans as an instrumental figure in holding Rangers together during their darkest hour and McCoist has backed Hearts boss John McGlynn to help guide his club through their own plight.
He said: “John and I have worked together through our coaching and things like that and John is a good lad. He will be strong and he’ll need good people around him, which I’m sure he will have.”
McCoist also believes Hearts fans will throw their backing behind the club, in the same way the Ibrox faithful rallied around Rangers. He said: “The biggest plus in our negative situation, for me, was the incredible support shown by our fans. They backed our club in an unbelievable fashion. You would be very hopeful the Hearts fans will show the same support to their team.”
Meanwhile, Rangers welcome Peterhead to Ibrox today hoping for a more positive result than the 2-2 draw they scraped on the opening day of the season at Balmoor. However, with David Templeton, Kevin Kyle, Sebastien Faure and Francisco Sandaza all sidelined, McCoist is expecting another difficult encounter.
He said: “Peterhead have given us one of our tougher games, certainly one of the most physical. We only equalised in the last couple of minutes. It was the opening league game of the season and it was a really tough game up there and this will be a tough game. It’s not ideal not being at full strength, but we are where we are.”