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Off-field turmoil having an effect on Rangers: Ally McCoist

By Ronnie Esplin

Ally McCoist claims the "sideshow" at Rangers is beginning to affect some players as he surveyed the 2-1 opening day defeat to Championship rivals Hearts at Ibrox.

The most recent development in the seemingly endless Govan saga involving finances and power came on Friday when former chief executive Charles Green re-emerged to claim he has investors ready to stabilise the club financially.

Gers fans subsequently threatened a formal boycott if Green was to return but there were over 43,683 at Ibrox on a momentous day for the Light Blues as skipper Lee McCulloch unfurled the First Division title flag before the Govan Stand was officially renamed the Sandy Jardine Stand in memory of the former Scotland player who had served both clubs with distinction, before passing away in April.

However, it all went wrong for Rangers.

Former Light Blues' defender Danny Wilson opened the scoring in the 52nd minute with a header from a Billy King corner and although Gers midfielder Nicky Law levelled as the game edged into six added minutes, Swedish striker Osman Sow grabbed a dramatic last-gasp winner for the Jambos.

Afterwards, Gers boss McCoist was asked about the prospect of Green returning to the club.

"Whether he comes back or not remains to be seen," he said.

"I thought the timing of it again was poor. It is a big day for the players, a big day for the supporters and an even bigger day for Sandy Jardine's family.

"For the first time, one or two of the players actually said to me about the timing of all that kind of stuff.

"Everybody does their level best to keep players sheltered and away from it and we will continue to do that because they have to concentrate on results on the park.

"Sometimes it is a little bit of a sideshow we can do without."

However, if Green has returned to be part of an unwanted sideshow then the main show might also worry Rangers fans after an uninspiring display.

McCoist blamed "extremely poor" defending for the loss of the two goals, and complained that substitute Darren McGregor had not been in the right-back position quickly enough after replacing Richard Foster immediately after Rangers scored.

"When we get the equaliser we are looking at a positive reaction for the last five minutes to win the game and it floored everybody," he said.

"They saw a gap because Richard Foster came off and Darren McGregor came on and he wasn't in his position.

"I will need to look at it again. I don't think he was on the park quick enough for them to take the centre."

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