Ally McCoist: Fans will turn on Rangers if no investment

Ally McCoist promotes the launch of the Ladbrokes Football show. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Ally McCoist promotes the launch of the Ladbrokes Football show. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
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Ally McCoist has described Rangers’ pursuit of a director of football as “absolute nonsense” and predicted the club’s directors will soon incur the wrath of the Ibrox support over insufficient levels of investment in the squad.

The former Rangers manager offered a forthright assessment of the club’s current situation, which sees them going into this Sunday’s Old Firm match 33 points behind Premiership leaders Celtic.

The gulf between the rivals in Rangers’ first season back in the top flight since their financial collapse in 2012 contributed to Mark Warburton’s departure as manager last month. Pedro Caixinha is poised to succeed him, although the Portuguese coach is not expected to be in the technical area at Celtic Park this weekend.

Rangers are also seeking to appoint a director of football as part of a new structure at the club but were dealt a blow when preferred candidate, Ross Wilson, turned down their offer and opted to stay on as head of recruitment and scouting at Southampton.

Former MK Dons and Southampton head of recruitment Paul Mitchell, who has just left the same position at 
Tottenham, is now a potential target for Rangers.

McCoist, however, regards it as a valueless appointment unless greater resources in the transfer market are provided by either chairman Dave King or other investors.

“A lot of people are talking about a director of football but I just think that is absolute nonsense,” said McCoist.

That role works for some clubs but it won’t help Rangers right now, no matter who 
they bring in. It will just be another wage.

“Ross Wilson might be the best director of football on the planet but what’s his budget at Southampton? He might come up to Rangers and not have a budget. Work that one out. I’m not blowing the concept completely out of the water but it’s absolute garbage for people to think a director of football is going to solve the club’s problems. Jock Stein, Walter Smith and Alex Ferguson didn’t need a director of football. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea but it won’t solve the problem.

“In terms of the new manager, I’m probably in the same boat as 95 per cent of Rangers supporters in that I don’t know a lot about him [Caixinha]. But anyone is a risk in that job at the moment, anyone. I don’t think the manager is the biggest thing needing sorted out. It goes a lot deeper than that.

“It’s about players on the park and the club needs investment to get that. In 2007, when Walter [Smith] went back to Rangers after Paul Le Guen, he spent around £2 million on Carlos Cuellar, the same on Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker and Kevin Thomson.

“Davie Weir we got for free. Daniel Cousin came in. Steven Davis arrived initially on loan and then we spent £2m to sign him. Within a year, the club was in a Uefa Cup final. Honest to God, I don’t think it’s rocket science. Until there is investment, we will be having this conversation next year and the year after.

“It’s a fact the club needs financial investment. In my last year before it was announced I was leaving as manager, I think we had 25 games. We won 19 of them. We beat three Premiership teams and never lost a goal. Have we moved on since then? Were we good enough then to challenge Celtic? No chance, absolutely no chance. I don’t think the goalposts have moved that much. Until there is serious investment, it will be the same. Would even Walter make a huge improvement with the current team? Maybe a wee bit. But could he challenge Celtic? No chance.

“You can invest within your means. I don’t want to put the club in any jeopardy like it was before but I think there were special circumstances for the club going into administration and liquidation. There was the crash. I know for a fact the debt at Rangers Football Club at that particular time was 100 per cent manageable.

“There were alternate motives or reasons for the club going into administration and liquidation. The vast majority of clubs run at a debt. Rangers’ was manageable then. I am the last one who would say I want to put us in a precarious situation again. But we have to find investment otherwise I just detect the patience of the Rangers fans is wearing thin.

“It’s only a matter of time before they turn on

players, the board and

individuals.”