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Ally McCoist 'shocked' to hear Rangers debt revelations

By Lisa Gray

Rangers manager Ally McCoist admits he was "shocked but not surprised" by revelations that owner Craig Whyte used money for future season-ticket sales to complete his takeover of the club.

Whyte himself, and Rangers administrators, this week confirmed that the £18 million debt owed to Lloyds Banking Group was paid using some of the £24m from investment firm Ticketus, who bought rights to the club's future season-ticket sales over several years.

Whyte, who purchased Sir David Murray's majority shareholding last May for £1, had previously indicated otherwise. Asked for his reaction to the latest developments, McCoist said yesterday: "My reaction was shock but not surprise. Shock because it's obviously not a good situation but I would have to say not a surprise because all the journalists and newspapers were heading in that direction."

McCoist has not spoken to Whyte since before Rangers went into administration on 14 February over an unpaid tax bill of £9m accrued since the takeover. The manager was asked for his opinion of Whyte now and added: "Until I speak to Craig – if and when – I'll keep my own counsel. The most important thing is that I've got a job to do here and I'll continue to do that to the best of my ability."

The administrators have reassured fans Rangers will fulfil their home fixtures after some doubts were raised over the payment of policing bills.

Strathclyde chief constable Stephen House was yesterday quoted as saying the force would not police more matches at Ibrox unless the bill for the previous game was paid. However, joint administrator David Whitehouse said: "We have had a number of constructive and positive meetings with Strathclyde Police and we can assure fans that matches will continue to be played at Ibrox."

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