Rangers newco: Praise heaped on McCoist as Beattie and Black join training
RANGERS chief executive Charles Green believes manager Ally McCoist is the most significant factor in the Ibrox club still being in a position to recruit SPL-standard players despite their demotion to the Third Division.
• Former Hearts players Ian Black and Craig Beattie train with Rangers today
• Andy Little will re-sign for Rangers tomorrow after contract expired at end of last season
• Rangers will be unable to sign players until SFA membership is granted
Ian Black and Craig Beattie, two of Hearts’ successful Scottish Cup winning squad who left the Tynecastle side after last season’s Hampden final, trained with Rangers at Murray Park yesterday ahead of potential moves to Green’s newly constituted club.
As Green continued talks with the football authorities to resolve issues over Rangers’ application for transfer of their SFA membership from oldco to newco, he also revealed that Northern Ireland international Andrew Little is poised to sign a new contract with the club.
The captures of Black and Beattie would be a startling declaration of Rangers’ intent to blaze a rapid trail through the lower divisions, given that Green’s Sevco consortium would be paying players the kind of wages Hearts decided were unsustainable as they embark on a cost-cutting programme.
The Yorkshire businessman insists it is proof Rangers are emerging from the grimmest period of their history and hailed McCoist’s influence in persuading players to commit themselves to being in at the start of the recovery process.
“I think it’s testimony to the manager,” said Green. “Rangers is a name, but it’s also the manager that the players want to come and play for. I think people within Rangers have seen first-hand what Ally has had to do since February but the reality is the players who are looking to join the club have seen it from the outside and I think that’s recognition of what Ally has done to keep the club together.
“Andrew Little is coming back to the club. We’ve agreed terms with him and hopefully he will re-sign tomorrow. So I think people will see Rangers coming out of the mire, as it were, and there is a lot of confidence around the club.”
Black, the outstanding performer in Hearts’ 5-1 Scottish Cup final demolition of Hibs in May, is understood to have had options to join Championship clubs in England but the 27-year-old is instead willing to play in Scotland’s fourth tier.
Former Celtic and West
Bromwich Albion striker Beattie also has alternative options, including interest from abroad. The 28-year-old Scotland international has long been
admired by McCoist.
The return of Little to the club will be welcomed by the manager, the 23-year-old utility player having netted five goals in ten matches at the end of last season, when he was pressed into first team action.
Having seen a dozen players depart the club since the end of the season, and with the futures of others, such as Carlos Bocanegra, Dorin Goian and Maurice Edu, still uncertain, McCoist must try to assemble a squad before Rangers’ 12-month signing embargo, due to begin on
“Alistair has a list of players and he has been speaking to some of them,” added Green. “Obviously, until we have SFA membership, he can’t sign any of them.”
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