McCoist welcomes SPL support

September 24, 2012

Rangers manager Ally McCoist has welcomed the ongoing backing of the Scottish Football League.

One report on Sunday claimed the SFL refused to take part in calls by the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association in the summer for the Ibrox side to be stripped of titles, with Rangers yet to be found guilty of any misuse of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs).

An SPL-appointed independent commission will begin a hearing in November into alleged undisclosed payments made by Rangers to players in relation to EBTs during Sir David Murray's stewardship.

Rangers have refused to participate in the investigation - which could see them stripped of titles if found guilty - claiming the SPL has no jurisdiction over the Irn-Bru Third Division club.

Speaking after Sunday's 4-1 win over Montrose, McCoist said: "I'm absolutely delighted with the response from the SFL.

"I've said all along, they have welcomed us into the league with open arms and the vast majority of clubs who welcomed us in are all reaping the benefits - as we are from being in the SFL.

"It doesn't surprise me too much that the SFL have come out in support of one of their clubs to be honest with you. Long may that continue.

"The massive support we have had from within the SFL has been a blessing but it doesn't surprise me.

"To mention the crime for a punishment before the punishment has been proven guilty or not guilty would be rather strange.

"For example, you don't know if you are going to get 15, 20 years if you commit a heinous crime.

"I do find it strange that people want to strip titles or threaten to strip titles before you have been found guilty of any alleged offence."

McCoist is frustrated that alleged past crimes continue to overshadow his attempts to take Rangers forward.

He said: "I am dreadfully weary of the whole situation to be honest with you.

"I will continue to fight but the most important thing is the future of our club.

"The uncertainty from February 14 last year was bordering on catastrophic in terms of the club's future.

"Now that we have a bit of stability, the disappointing thing for me is that we don't seem to be getting the opportunity to move forward."

Rangers youngsters' stole the show at Ibrox on Sunday as they moved to within a point of Third Division leaders Queen's Park.

Dean Shiels' opener was cancelled out by an own goal from Anestis Argyriou, before goals from Lewis Macleod, Lee McCulloch and Robbie Crawford secured the win.

The strikes from Macleod and Crawford were their first goals for the club and there was also an impressive senior debut from Fraser Aird.

McCoist said: "It's really important that the kids get an opportunity.

"We have to get out of the division and we must win but if we are going to get the chance to rebuild, now would be an ideal time to blood the youngsters.

"We are asking these guys to come in and do men's jobs and, at this moment in time, they are doing it really well. These kids have been fabulous so far.

"We don't want to put too much pressure on them but they are certainly exciting myself and they are great to work with."

However, McCoist wants to see his side out of the traps quicker in future games.

He added: "You have to give credit where credit is due and the opposition, as you would expect, are coming out at a cup final tempo.

"What we are going to have to do is treat the first half as our cup final as well. I'm not sure we are doing that.

"Definitely, there is a level of criticism that should be levelled at our team in terms of not being dominant enough in the early stages of games but, at the same time, you have to give the opposition credit too."