Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish

McCoist ‘left to steer rudderless ship’ at Rangers

By Ronnie Esplin

Sir David Murray has expressed sympathy for Ally McCoist as the Rangers boss tries to steer a “rudderless ship” at Ibrox.

McCoist, his management team and his players, agreed to wage cuts ranging from 25-75 per cent on Friday in order to stave off redundancies at the administration-hit club.

Amid the recent chaos Rangers have dropped 21 points behind Celtic at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, been knocked out of the William Hill Scottish Cup and have no realistic chance of European football next season.

“I really feel sorry for Alistair McCoist at the moment,” said Murray, who sold the club to Craig Whyte for £1 last May.

“In the past there was always a spine of myself, Martin Bain, Walter Smith, Richard Gough and David Weir.

“I think it always gave a solidity at Rangers, and there was always a confidentiality there.

“Nobody leaked anything. And unfortunately that's not there just now.

“It's like a rudderless ship. And as soon as somebody, whether that be Paul Murray, gets their hand on the till and gives it solidity again — I hope that happens sooner rather than later.”

While administrators Duff and Phelps continue the search for a buyer for the Scottish champions, the prospect of liquidation remains.

Rangers are still awaiting the outcome of a tax tribunal centring on use of Employee Benefit Trusts from 2001-10, which could cost the club up to £49million.

Murray warned the rest of Scottish football about the consequences if Rangers go out of existence.

“If you're not a Rangers fan you want to kick Rangers, and I understand that,” he said.

“I'll just give you some facts: what you'd lose if Rangers go.

“People say Rangers tried to avoid tax. We've not done anything (of the sort) in my opinion.

“If you take Rangers' turnover of £50million a year, and we're paying an £18million wage bill with PAYE — which unfortunately Mr Whyte has not paid.

“But if you take any normal circumstance, in a normal, typical year with limited European football, Rangers would probably pay to HMRC £20million.

“And if you take 40,000 people watching Rangers every week, let's say 10,000 go and watch St Mirren, Partick Thistle, Falkirk and Kilmarnock. There's 30,000 people won't be in the industry.

“The Fraser of Allander Institute have given a report that says Rangers and Celtic bring £100million a year into the economy.

“If Rangers are not there, I don't think Celtic means £50million, because part of that comes through the Old Firm.

“Also I think it makes the game less competitive. I don't think the TV deal would be honoured. I think it would affect other clubs.”

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph