ALLY McCoist has admitted he is powerless to prevent Rangers losing out on Kris Boyd or any other potential summer signing targets as he awaits clarification of the Ibrox club’s financial strategy.
Kilmarnock striker Boyd, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is likely to command interest from a number of clubs – including Hearts, who while still in administration are nevertheless preparing for life in the Championship following relegation from the top flight.
Boyd, who has been nominated for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award after scoring 19 times so far this campaign for Premiership strugglers Kilmarnock, has also been linked with a return to Rangers where he netted 128 times in 192 appearances from 2006 to 2010.
But while McCoist has drawn up a list of players he believes would strengthen his League 1 winning squad for their own Championship tilt, he is in no position to pursue any of them.
Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace is due to reveal the findings of his 120-day review of the club’s business operations later this week and it is only then that McCoist will have an indication of his own budget.
“I can’t do anything just now, so things are out of our hands at the moment,” said McCoist. “Kris Boyd is a player who has caught everyone’s eye again this season, scoring the amount of goals he has for Kilmarnock and getting voted into the top four in the Player of the Year awards.
“But there is no point me worrying about something I can’t have an affect on. I can’t do anything about anything at the moment. I just have to wait until I get the thumbs up or thumbs down. When that happens, then we can start to get to work on it.
“We run the risk of clubs planning for next season and moving in, getting their work done early. So that’s something we’ll have to live with. Time is of the essence, absolutely. We’re well down the road with our pre-season stuff but the biggest step is the players and sorting the squad.
“I haven’t seen any targets drop of my list yet but as time goes on, you expect it. Players have to look after themselves. They have their livelihoods to look after. But I haven’t seen anybody drop off the radar as yet. I did get a conditional ‘yes’ from one player and I told him I’d get back to him as soon as possible.”
McCoist intends to have several meetings with Wallace this week, the first of them before tonight’s League 1 fixture against McCoist puts out-of-contract players at top of his ‘urgent’ list Ayr United at Ibrox. “I’ll probably sit down with him on Wednesday and Thursday as well,” added McCoist.
“I haven’t seen the 120-day review yet. Graham is aware of our position. Everybody is aware. In the grander scheme of things, in the whole situation involving the club, our part of the business is very important and important to the fans. But Graham has the whole club to look after and that is the most important thing.”
McCoist also has to determine the future of Rangers’ out of contract players, including first team squad members Steve Simonson, Emilson Cribari, Kyle Hutton and Andrew Little.
“Sorting that out is a matter of urgency, of course it is,” he said. “I am talking about players coming in, but I have got to be fair to the lads who are out of contract. More than anything, I prioritise that. It is something that has to be dealt with. It is only fair. We need to be fair to our own boys. If we can’t be fair to our own boys, then who can we be fair to? As soon as we are aware what we can and can’t do, then the boys will be the first to know.
“We will have to react to what we’re told. I would probably bat it back the other way. I would still like to strengthen.”
If McCoist does receive the go-ahead to recruit new players, he believes it may be easier to persuade them to join a club now preparing for second-tier football next season.
“I would hope so,” he said. “Obviously, you are just one step away from the top flight. Hearts will be there and possibly another team from this year’s Premiership.
Dunfermline could come up. You might also have Falkirk, Hamilton, Dundee. You could attract players because there is a better quality of opposition and, potentially, we are one season away from getting back to the top flight.
“There were some targets in the past who didn’t fancy the level of football we have been playing at. I can understand that. There were about 25 who went out the door two years ago who didn’t fancy the prospect of Stair Park or wherever.”