Rangers’ fall still bewilders Terry Butcher
TERRY Butcher thought he had seen it all in Scottish football. Nothing could surprise him. Own goal disasters and leg breaks. The Old Firm courtroom drama. The odd foot smashed through a referees’ door.
There are extraordinary tales he can recount and dressing-room secrets he would never share. But the man who tasted relegation heartache at Caley Thistle and administration grief at Motherwell has never seen anything quite like the disintegration of Ramgers, the club he captained to three league titles and two league cups.
Butcher is still incredulous about Rangers’ fall from grace but has nothing but admiration for the way Ibrox manager Ally McCoist and his backroom team have dealt with the darkest of times. The 53-year-old said: “I still just really can’t believe what has happened. I always looked forward to playing Rangers because of my past history with the club and the characters there.
“Ally McCoist, Kenny McDowall, Ian Durrant, Jim Stewart – all fantastic people. It is still a brilliant club for me, although technically it is now a ‘new’ club. I just can’t get my head around what has happened and where the club finds itself. Scottish football? I’ve had some unbelievable times in Scottish football. There have been the broken legs, the own goals, the criminal record. You thought there weren’t really many things left to surprise you. But what happened last year was unique and unbelievable. You are still gobsmacked by the speed of events.”
Butcher keeps his views on the rights and wrongs of Rangers’ situation private. It is the predicament of McCoist that most animates him. The Caley Thistle manager believes McCoist has been landed with the toughest job in Old Firm history. “I felt no other Rangers manager in history had been faced with what he has. To deal with the financial crisis and rebuild the team within the market place he is working to has been quite amazing,” he says.
Despite this, Butcher would love to add to McCoist’s woes on Wednesday by claiming a League Cup semi-final spot when Inverness travel to Ibrox.
“I think it will be a big crowd and a lot of my players haven’t even been to Ibrox, let alone played there. It is going to be new and different. It is one of the biggest games we will have this season, another SPL match really. We saw what happened to Motherwell there. You are going to one of the best grounds in Britain with the crowd, noise, surroundings – a lovely place to go.
“But we can’t go there and admire the scenery because we could be two or three down by that stage. We are scoring a lot of goals and playing well, but we have to make sure we handle the occasion.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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