ALLY McCoist believes Rangers may need to spend as much as £30 million on strengthening their squad if they hope to mount a serious challenge for the Premiership title in two years’ time.
Speaking on the second anniversary of the Ibrox club entering administration, the manager expressed his hope Rangers are finally emerging from the darkest and most turbulent period in their history.
With his team’s projected return to the top flight of Scottish football for the 2015-16 season on schedule as they close in on the League 1 title, McCoist insists significant funding will be required to restore them to pre-administration standards on the pitch. “Whether we are contenders again in two years will depend on a number of things,” said McCoist. “One of them will be investment in the team, along with stability at boardroom level which is vitally important.
“If we get that, then I’d be very hopeful we’d be back in the top league and have a better chance of bringing in the quality of player to enable us to compete at the top of that league.
“It’s difficult to put a figure on how much investment we need. But if you lose in the region of £30m worth of players as we did because of administration – players like Nikica Jelavic, Steven Davis, Allan McGregor, Steven Whittaker and all those boys – then I would think that standard of player needs to get replaced.
“I’m not saying £30m is the exact figure, but that’s roughly what we’ve lost. Some will argue it might be more than that, some might say a little bit less.
“But my point is that you can’t lose that, not replace it and then expect to compete at the top level.” McCoist’s playing budget will be determined by recently appointed chief executive, Graham Wallace who is half-way through his 120-day review of Rangers’ business operations and cost structure.
Among McCoist’s priorities is the reinstatement of a scouting network at the club which has been completely dismantled over the past two years.
“Graham and I speak a lot and we will be having another meeting today at Ibrox,” added McCoist. “He hasn’t indicated to me where he is with it at the moment, but I don’t have any doubt once he’s done his review we will sit down and look longer term, in terms of players for next season, in terms of budget for next season, in terms of our scouting, in terms of Murray Park and development of football.
“There is a lot of work to be done and a lot of things to be discussed which I know he’s looking forward to and I certainly am as well. I haven’t mentioned a figure to him yet – you’ve dragged that out of me! But it will have to be mentioned at some point, absolutely.
“I’ve been invited to board meetings, which I look forward to, to discuss the first team, the under-20s and the youth system. It will all be brought up, as will the scouting which needs to be addressed immediately.
“Scouting is an immediate concern, particularly now as we are heavily into the rebuilding process for the club – short, middle and long-term. If we’ve not got a scouting department, which we don’t have, then that is plainly far from ideal.
“It’s absolutely staggering that we don’t have a scouting department. That’s through no fault of Graham Wallace or anyone on the current board – but it is our problem which needs addressed.”
With short-term funding an obvious concern for Rangers, rumours have persisted regarding the possibility of another insolvency event, but McCoist remains comfortable with the assurances to the contrary he has received from Wallace.
“He has categorically told me that will not be the case,” said McCoist. “He told me once and if that changed he would have told me otherwise. He told me that’s not the case and that’s good enough for me and I’d fully expect in the relationship I have with him, if the goalposts had moved in that direction he’d have told me.”