Ally McCoist in show of solidarity with Mather

Rangers manager Ally McCoist spent the early part of the match alongside Chief Executive Craig Mather. Picture: SNS
Rangers manager Ally McCoist spent the early part of the match alongside Chief Executive Craig Mather. Picture: SNS
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A YEAR ago he bestrode the stage at Ibrox Park as the hero who had rescued Rangers from oblivion. Last night, as Rangers drew 1-1 with Newcastle United in a glamour friendly, Charles Green was the object of vitriol from many fans who chanted his name in tones which a family newspaper cannot reproduce.

In the stands and around the pitch, the continuing melodrama that is Rangers FC was played out in public, not least after the match when there was a sit-in by fans at the Broomloan Road stand and supporters’ protests against Green outside the 
main door of the famous Ibrox frontage.

During the game, fans chanted their love of beleaguered manager Ally McCoist, and he responded with acknowledgement of their support. More importantly, in an astonishing show of solidarity with under-pressure chief executive Craig Mather, McCoist sat beside him in the directors’ box just feet away from Green, whose appointment as a consultant to 
the board has caused the latest ructions within the club.

McCoist has nailed his colours to the mast, and with Green yesterday sticking to his word about the present team being the worst in Rangers history, you could have cut the atmosphere with a blue laser.

Adamant that he would only talk about football, McCoist nevertheless made telling comments in his post-match press conference, especially about Mather.

“He is the chief executive of the club so I am in regular discussions with Craig,” said McCoist, “certainly on a daily basis, and normally a good few times daily. We speak and meet regularly, and obviously I have been speaking to him [in recent days] as you would expect.

“I wouldn’t really discuss what I do discuss with Craig, but as I have said all along, I think the chief executive and the manager is arguably the biggest working relationship in the club.”

Referring to his decision to sit beside Mather, McCoist added: “It is safe to say, and see, that we are absolutely getting on fine.”

Asked if he had spoken to Charles Green, McCoist said: “I have not had a chance.” He also refused to comment on Green’s assertions that departed chairman Walter Smith had originally made the ‘worst ever team’ claim. Asked about his mentor Smith’s resignation in wake of Green’s return and the various boardroom machinations, McCoist said: “I am very disappointed, that goes without saying, I am very disappointed indeed.”

He did not think it left him beleaguered, however: “I don’t think there’s an awful lot more Walter could have done. He obviously has his own reasons for his departure, and I respect that. There’s no doubt that once again it will have been with the club’s best interests at heart.”

McCoist did give his verdict on Rangers’ performance which merited at least a draw against the English Premier side and was chalk and cheese compared to the Scottish League Cup first-round loss against Forfar on Saturday. “I am thrilled with the game,” he said. “I thought from start to finish against a top team, we played really well. We kept the ball well, our work rate was excellent, our passing was good, we created chances against one of the best teams we’ll play this year, so I’m delighted.”