Ally McCoist plans in limbo as Rangers war goes on

Ally McCoist has had no one to discuss transfers with since Craig Mather quit three weeks ago. Picture: SNS
Ally McCoist has had no one to discuss transfers with since Craig Mather quit three weeks ago. Picture: SNS
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Rangers manager Ally McCoist claims that the current state of play at Ibrox, where financial director Brian Stockbridge and non-executive director James Easdale are the only members of the board, is preventing him from planning for the future.

McCoist revealed that he has had no-one to discuss the signing or offloading of players with since Craig Mather stepped down as the club’s chief executive three weeks ago.

With the January transfer window approaching, McCoist, who volunteered to forego half of his annual £850,000 salary when the publication of the annual accounts last month, revealed that the club had lost £14 million in just over a year, is anxious to know whether or not he can strengthen his squad with a view to a run in the Scottish Cup.

They were drawn away to Championship side Falkirk in the fourth round of the competition but McCoist believes that, should they prevail in that tie, Rangers will be considered as second-favourites to win the competition.

He would like to supplement his squad in the new year but admits there must first be a ceasefire between warring shareholders when the club finally holds its annual general meeting, which may – or may not be – held on 18 December.

McCoist, whose League One leaders face Dunfermline at Ibrox tonight, wants it to take place sooner rather than later.

“Absolutely. I’m the same as every supporter, staff member [and] shareholder,” he said. “Let’s just get it done and move on. Let’s get the club moving forward again.

“I think it is clear that everybody wants it to happen and it will happen. All we can hope for is we get a [definitive] result and Rangers can move forward again. Everybody would like a clear resolution. The future of the club is of paramount importance to everybody. It would certainly help if we could move on from that day.”

McCoist admits that it has been much more difficult to do his job properly while the club continues to operate with a makeshift board.

“It is not ideal, although I did speak with Brian [Stockbridge] yesterday,” he said. “There is contact but it is difficult and not ideal working without a chairman and chief executive.

“I haven’t spoken to Brian about possible future signings because, to be fair to him, he is [only] the financial director. It would undoubtedly help if I had someone to speak to about that.”

McCoist, though, praised the contribution of Jon Daly, whose brace in Friday’s 3-0 Scottish Cup victory over Airdrieonians took his tally to 14 goals from 13 games since joining from Dundee United.

“Jon was brought in to score goals,” he said. “He scored goals when he was in the top flight and he’s continuing to do so here. He will be around a long time if he continues to score goals.

“He’s one of those boys that I believe, no matter what league he’s in, he’ll score goals. He’s different to Nicky Clark and Andy Little, more of an old-fashioned centre forward. Jon is aggressive and, if you put the ball into the area, he’ll score against anybody. He demonstrated that with two goals against Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final last season.

“He’s so important to us off the pitch as well. He’s a proper man and he’s exactly what we need. Where we are as a club right now, we need good people in the dressing room for the younger lads to look up to.

“We have that with the skipper [Lee McCulloch] and Lee Wallace and I believe we have that with Jon, too.”

McCoist also rejected suggestions that the Dubliner was a short-term fix, signed only with a view to helping Rangers reach the Premiership before being jettisoned.

“Jon gives us plenty of options,” he said. “In terms of holding the play up, he takes pressure off the back four. He can spin defenders and you can hit him with a diagonal ball.

“We have players who can pass the ball and, at this moment in time, he definitely gives us something different.

“I kicked my last ball for Kilmarnock when I was 39. Jon will only be 32 if things go to plan and we return to the top flight on schedule.”

Rangers will move 14 points clear of third-placed Dunfermline with a home win tonight but McCoist refuses to take anything for granted, claiming that Jim Jefferies’ Pars are beginning to gel. “I think tomorrow’s game is against the team that a lot of people thought would be up there with us,” he said. “I can sympathise with them in many ways because we know exactly what they have been going through.

“Hopefully, it looks as if they have turned the corner as well, which is great. They have got a really young team and their results so far, over the piece, have been fine. However, what they lack in experience on the park they will certainly make up for with experience in their dugout with the auld yin [Jefferies] there. We are looking forward to seeing him as well.”