McCoist convinced most SPL clubs will welcome Rangers back into fold

Ally McCoist believes many of the Scottish Premier League’s clubs would be happy to welcome Rangers back once their progression through the Scottish Football League is complete.

Ibrox chief executive Charles Green suggested earlier in the week that the Ibrox club may not seek re-entry to the top-flight, saying: “Unless the SPL welcome us with open arms, why would we go back there?”

Ten clubs voted against his newco Rangers being granted entry to the top division, while Kilmarnock abstained from the voting process, with the Glasgow giants subsequently voted into the Irn-Bru Third Division.

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McCoist can understand Green’s comments but believes Rangers still have “very, very good friends” in the SPL and also suspects some may now regret their decision to block his club’s application.

He said: “I can totally see where he [Green] is coming from. Nobody would want to go back to a home that they’re not welcome in, no matter what walk of life you’re in.

“I firmly do not believe that the ten who voted against us were totally against us. I think a few of them were maybe railroaded into that decision.

“That’s only my personal opinion. It might be wrong but it’s the way I felt at the time, being at one or two of the meetings. I certainly don’t feel that all the SPL clubs are against us – far from it.

“We’ve got some very, very good friends in the SPL and that will continue in years to come.

“One or two clubs within the SPL were well within their rights to vote us out of the SPL for their own reasons but I firmly believe we’ve got some very good friends in the SPL.

“I don’t have a crystal ball but I would say a lot of the clubs would welcome us back.

“I’ve got my own personal views on one or two that maybe wouldn’t be too keen on us coming back but they will remain with me because that’s just my own opinion and I don’t think it would do any good naming them. I’ve got my own views on who our friends are in the SPL and who are maybe not so friendly.”

Asked why “one or two” would not be keen to see Rangers back in the SPL, McCoist added: “They’ve got their own reasons for that. You would have to ask them.

“I just feel there was maybe a knee-jerk reaction and a decision that some of them said they took from their fans, which I can understand. But, was it the best for their own clubs and, indeed, Scottish football? I’m not so sure it was. They’ll never admit it but maybe one or two of them made a mistake.”

It was confirmed this week that an SPL-appointed commission will proceed with its inquiry into alleged undisclosed payments by Rangers, with a hearing set to commence on 13 November.

The probe centres on Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) transactions to Rangers players from 2000 to 2011 under the previous Ibrox regime and, if found guilty, the club could be stripped of titles.

On the decision to push ahead with the inquiry following preliminary hearings, McCoist said: “Listen, there is nothing they will do that will take away those titles from our players over the years. We won every one of those on the football park and every one of them has been 
deserved.”

Green has refused to co-operate with the SPL on the issue, claiming the football body has no legal authority over his Third Division club. McCoist said: “The newco has got absolutely no 
reason to answer any claims from the SPL as we have effectively never been a member of it. I don’t see why we should 
answer to it at this particular time.”

Meanwhile, Lee McCulloch has welcomed the prospect of extending his stay at Rangers.

Lee Wallace penned a new five-year deal yesterday and 
McCoist has expressed a desire to secure the futures of utility man McCulloch and goalkeeper Neil Alexander.

McCulloch, 34, said: “That would be great news for me. I’d love to stay for another year anyway. It would be great but as far as I’m aware talks haven’t started yet, but I would be keen to talk.”

McCoist and his players will aim for their first away win in the Third Division against Annan today.

The manager said: “I think we will get a similar game to what we’ve had in most of the away games. I just hope we play a bit better than the last game [at Berwick]. Maybe standing up and being counted is required in greater detail tomorrow.”