Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

McCoist calls for end to Rangers 'punishment'

Rangers manager Ally McCoist

Rangers manager Ally McCoist does not want to play in the Irn-Bru Third Division - but admits it would give him a better chance to rebuild the club.

McCoist fears the Ibrox newco may have to start life in the First Division under transfer embargo - a situation he called "madness".

The club say they lost 11 players who refused to transfer their contracts after Rangers went into liquidation and McCoist called for an end to the "punishment".

Scottish Football League clubs will vote whether to accept the newco club next Friday with the First Division looking the likely destination after Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said he could not allow the financial consequences of the Govan club relaunching in the Third.

McCoist told RangersTV: "I have had something in the region of six players turn up for pre-season training. Two of them would be considered regulars last year.

"We have to rebuild, so SFL3 would give us a better chance to rebuild.

"They might want to put us into SFL1 with more sanctions. I don't know if that's the case but we've got a transfer embargo hanging over us.

"It's impossible. How can I have a transfer embargo with six players? That is just absolute madness.

"All I would ask for is to be treated the same as everyone else."

McCoist says he will accept whatever the SFL decide but pointed out that most Rangers fans want the Third Division.

"The vast majority of SPL chairmen have been listening to their supporters, which is great - I'm all for it," he said. "We had a meeting with our supporters last night and the vast majority of them - in the region of 75-80% - have said, 'enough is enough, let's go to SFL3'.

"Our good friends at Celtic across the city issued a statement that stated that integrity was of paramount importance to Scottish football and we totally agree with that, and I would imagine the vast majority of all SPL chairmen agree with that statement."

Regan has insisted he cannot let the new Rangers kick off in the Third Division or the game will face a "slow, lingering death".

McCoist responded: "Is the financial situation more important than the massive integrity and honesty of the Scottish game?

"Stewart is entitled to his opinion. Short term we don't want to be in SFL3 but we will accept the punishment."

But McCoist continued: "We have been deducted 10 points, we were fined £160,000, we had our Champions League place taken away from us, we are out of Europe for another three years. That's quite a lot at the moment.

"I think now is perhaps the time to say 'okay, we have been punished'.

"We have all suffered enough. Everyone in Scottish football has suffered."

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