FINISH it. Get this boardroom business done and dusted now, we all just want to concentrate on football.
In as many words, that was the verdict of Rangers manager Ally McCoist when asked yesterday about the power struggle and unseemly squabbling among the Ibrox overseers.
Tuesday’s crucial board meeting could see the end of Charles Green as a consultant for Rangers. But if chief executive Craig Mather sacks him – legally, he is the one to wield the axe – as has been mooted, will the board with Green’s allies on it back or sack Mather?
Reports that Rangers’ finances are not as sound as the fans thought, plus the fact that pay cuts are being sought – and have taken place – among senior staff, are almost minor considerations as the boardroom war continues.
The re-emergence of Green and his Yorkshire bluntness that infuriated McCoist, the resignation of Walter Smith as chairman, the legal threats from Imran Ahmad and the sale of his 2.2 million shares, and now Tuesday’s board meeting to effectively get rid of Green despite his large shareholding – there’s more excitement in the Blue Room than on the Ibrox pitch, and the manager is heartily sick of it all.
“It dominates the vast majority of my life,” said McCoist. “I just want to come in here and talk about our team playing well, hopefully, and looking forward to cup runs, that stuff.
“I think we all want it finished with a happy outcome for the football club and then we can all move on.
“Everybody [wants it concluded], including fans from other clubs. I know a lot of people not just from our club and support want an end to it, so that we can just talk about football.”
He probably never said a truer word, and there was a frank admission from McCoist that, even though he could lift a finger and the Ibrox faithful would do whatever he asked, he will not be tempted to intervene before Tuesday.
“A manager has to know his place,” said McCoist. “I’ve had that view for a great number of years.
“I am a shareholder and a fan, but I understand my responsibilities as a manager, and that’s to create a winning team and squad, and also to create calm within the football club and run the football club as best I can, and that’s what I am continuing to do.
“It is a board meeting, involving the board, I am not on the board so it is nothing to do with me in that respect.
“Has there ever been a Rangers manager who started bumping his gums about the board and what they should do at board meetings? I don’t think so, and I don’t think it’s my place.”
McCoist is being at least disingenuous with these words because he has such huge influence at the club, especially after the departure of Smith.
It is clear the manager has formed a working relationship with Mather and wants Green gone, not least because Mather and he need to co-operate in finding the “forward and defender” that McCoist feels he needs to sign before the end of the transfer embargo on 1 September when he will be able to play the full squad of players.
“The process is very much still ongoing,” said McCoist. “I do fully appreciate that Craig is extremely busy with other stuff as well.
“He knows my views on it, in terms of getting players in, and he’s very respectful of those views. He’s done nothing but his best to help me in terms of bringing players in so it’s very much ongoing.”
The players all know that the changed situation after 1 September will mean some going in and others going out of the first XI. McCoist said: “The fact of the matter is that, if the boys play really, really well between now and 1 September, they have got to make a case for me being able to pick them and make it extremely difficult for me to leave them out of the team.
“I hope I’ve created a problem that all managers would want to have and that is team selection. If I’ve given myself a headache with that then I’m delighted, crazy as that may seem. That means I’ll have competition for places and one or two players not happy at not playing.”
McCoist has an ideal team in mind “but that will be open to change in the next few weeks”.
If he can get the team he wants and they make it all the way back to Scotland’s top league, McCoist is in no doubt about the status his men will achieve: “They would certainly be legends in my eyes, the ones that we brought in and the ones who have stuck with it.”
First up, however, is the next instalment of the soap opera in the boardroom, and a “love-in” is not in the script.