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Rangers: McCoist to sit out talks with King, board

Rangers manager Ally McCoist is content for Dave King and those battling for control of the club to do their talking without him. Picture: SNS

Rangers manager Ally McCoist is content for Dave King and those battling for control of the club to do their talking without him. Picture: SNS

  • by STEPHEN HALLIDAY
 

ALLY McCOIST has welcomed the prospect of imminent face-to-face talks between the Rangers board and former director Dave King but insists he will be content not to become personally involved in them.

South Africa-based businessman King is expected to arrive in the United Kingdom next week, when he will meet some of Rangers’ institutional shareholders in London before moving on to Glasgow for a meeting with the Ibrox board in the wake of the ongoing war of words between the two parties.

Since Rangers were placed in administration more than two years ago, McCoist has often been at the forefront of their off-the-field activity, including regular trips to the City of London to meet potential investors.

But the Rangers manager is keen to maintain his recently adopted stance of focusing solely on football matters and stay out of the dispute between King and the board over the club’s current financial position and business strategy.

“I would have to think about it if I was asked,” said McCoist. “But I wouldn’t imagine being asked or anyone asking me to get involved (in the meeting). That would probably suit me.

“Even more so after reading Mr King being quoted as saying he thinks the manager should concentrate on football matters. I know (chief executive) Graham Wallace and the board are also happy for me to concentrate on football matters.

“So if all parties involved want me to do that, then I am thrilled to concentrate on football matters. Those gentlemen can discuss what they have to discuss and I will concentrate on getting a result at the weekend.”

Asked if he was encouraged to see an apparent willingness among the rival factions to hold discussions, McCoist replied: “Dialogue is great. I’m all for it, I’m very pro-dialogue.”

McCoist’s own talks with Wallace are continuing while the chief executive conducts his 120-day review of Rangers’ business operations but there remains no clarity on the manager’s budget for next season or new deals for players out of contract this summer. Andy Little, the Northern Ireland international striker, is among that number and last week expressed his concern at the situation.

“I had a chat with Andy either yesterday or the day before,” said McCoist. “I’m not in a position to tell you anything more.

“I had a meeting with the chief executive on Wednesday, which was fine, and we are meeting a couple of times next week.

“The discussions will enlighten us in terms of strengthening the squad and so on. All these things have to be looked at for next season.”

Rangers face Albion Rovers at Ibrox on Sunday in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup and further progress in the tournament will have a significant short-term impact on the club’s financial position.

“I have been told it would 
obviously be very beneficial to the club, particularly at this time,” added McCoist.

“I haven’t thought about it myself. I don’t know whether that is right or wrong but I’m just trying to concentrate on getting the team to the semi-final. Finance is obviously important and it would be great. But I don’t want to reach the cup semi-final just for the financial benefits, which is what I’m trying to say. That would be an added bonus.”

League One leaders Rangers, unbeaten in their last 33 matches in all competitions, are overwhelming favourites to overcome League Two strugglers Rovers. But McCoist is wary of the Coatbridge side who have already eliminated Premiership high-fliers Motherwell.

“Everybody says it’s a great draw for us but it’s only a great draw if you win,” he said. “The incentive to get, possibly, a semi-final at your own stadium is fantastic. We couldn’t have hoped for anything better.

“But we have to go and win the game on Sunday. We have already beaten Rovers in the Ramsdens Cup this season and they are a division below us – all the signs are there for us to be out-right favourites.

“But the fact they put Motherwell out, who didn’t score against them, and the fact they then beat a Stenhousemuir team we lost three goals to at home proves there are enough warning signs there for us.

“If we don’t go about our job in a proper, professional manner, then there would be an opportunity for a shock. We have to guard against that.

“It would give everyone at our club a real boost and a real lift if we could get through. Before administration, the club was always going to cup semi-finals and finals. We can’t do anything about the league until we work our way back up to the top flight. So it would be a fantastic boost for the supporters and everyone connected to the club to get back playing in a cup semi-final at a major stadium.

“But we are not underestimating the task. In the Scottish Cup this season, the Albion Rovers players are doing something right.

“I hope our players sense how special it could be to get through. I don’t want them to get too carried away, but I do sense the anticipation among them.

“Rightly or wrongly, people look at us and see that we are going to win the league and secure promotion. There is a big question mark over whether we have the luck, the ability and the potential to go far in the cup. We’ve done that so far and now we have a terrific opportunity to get to a semi-final.”

 

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