Ally McCoist hopeful over £16m Rangers investment

Ally McCoist's primary focus is on his team's efforts to complete their return to the top flight. Picture: SNS
Ally McCoist's primary focus is on his team's efforts to complete their return to the top flight. Picture: SNS
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ALLY McCoist is cautiously optimistic of a positive outcome to the ongoing funding negotiations between former Rangers director Dave King and the current Ibrox board – but does not anticipate it being implemented in time to support any January transfer window activity to assist his Championship title bid.

King remains in talks over leading a potential £16 million investment in Rangers who are still in a fragile position more than two years after their calamitous financial collapse.

Any deal is dependent on reaching agreement with football club board chairman Sandy Easdale, who controls over 25 per cent of voting rights in Rangers, and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley who recently increased his own shareholding at Ibrox and has called for an EGM to remove members of the existing plc board.

Senior Ibrox sources have indicated some form of announcement could be made before the end of this week.

While Rangers manager McCoist awaits developments which he hopes might restore stability at the club, his primary focus is on his team’s efforts to complete their return to the top flight of Scottish football this season.

They are currently nine points behind an impressively consistent Hearts side at the top of the Championship, albeit with a game in hand, and McCoist would clearly welcome any opportunity to strengthen his squad in January. But he accepts that is not a scenario he can plan for.

“It would be absolutely brilliant if there was some kind of funding solution before the end of the year but we’re not expecting it or relying on it,” said McCoist.

“One or two signings around January time can make all the difference when you are going for a title. I can go back to the first title I won as a Rangers player in 1987 – we signed Graham Roberts midway through that season and it gave us the spark we needed to become champions.

“Our club and the football side of the club definitely needs investment at some point in the future. We don’t have a timescale for it but it certainly will have to happen for the benefit of the team.

“I’m not holding my breath. We haven’t heard anything for three or four days now so I’m not hanging on with bated breath but, at the same time, I’m very, very hopeful that we could have some good news in the coming days or weeks.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone about any meetings so there’s no update that I can give you. But, like I’ve been saying for the last year and a half, I’m hopeful that there will be positive news in the very near future.”

Having recently raised just over £3m of urgently required short-term funding through an open share offer, it has been widely speculated that Rangers will run out of money before the end of the year if another significant injection is not secured.

But McCoist was keen to play down fears of the club being unable to meet their wage bill in the event of negotiations with King breaking down.

“I think that’s of great concern to everybody,” replied McCoist. “Not just to players, but the staff as well. But I haven’t had any indication of that.

“Nobody has told me that could happen or that I should fear for that and I would think that somebody would tell me if we have a major problem. So I’m not going to worry about it until someone tells me that it’s going to happen and, hopefully, that day won’t come.”

McCoist, meanwhile, is preparing himself for a battle to the wire in the Championship which he expects will feature Hibs as well as leaders Hearts.

“Hearts have good depth to their squad and they are doing well,” he said. “It looks as though the title race is going to go all the way. I also notice one or two of the Hibs boys making the right noises in the newspapers and they will still, quite rightly, see themselves as big players in the fight for the title.

“They have been unfairly written off before now, which we always thought was crazy. But after their performance at Livingston at the weekend they are still very much in it.

“It’s not just new for our boys doing the chasing, but also for the Hearts boys being up there. Hibs look like they are hitting a wee bit of form as well so I think we’ll find out a lot more about the teams who hope to be challenging once we get through the Christmas period and into the new year.”