Rangers manager Ally McCoist will not discover until mid-April whether the
cost cutting about to be implemented by chief executive Graham Wallace at
the financially-challenged Scottish League One club will affect his planned
summer recruitment drive.
McCoist argues that promotion from the Championship must be secured at the
first attempt and, consequently, he and his coaching staff have drawn up a
prioritised list of potential signings whom he believes would help achieve
However, with the club forced last week to accept an emergency loan of £1.5
million from shareholders Sandy Easdale and Laxey Partners for working
capital, McCoist is aware that his work might prove fruitless if Wallace
informs him he must freeze, or even reduce, his budget once the latter
completes his 120-day financial review.
“That might well be the case but if we’re doing our job properly then we have
to prepare the team for next season,” said McCoist.
Consequently, McCoist, who has several members of his squad coming to the end
of their contracts in June, cannot say which, if any, of them he may be
allowed to retain.
There may also be some he would prefer to let go but whom he may need to keep
should he be banned from signing new players.
“I haven’t yet spoken to our players who are coming out of contract but that
will have to be done pretty soon,” he said. “I would need to speak to Graham
about whether that will happen after his review because that will be a
“But in the interest of the players, it would only be fair to give them a
decision as soon as possible.”
McCoist, whose champions elect visit Stranraer on Tuesday night, has already
identified a host of targets he is convinced would improve their prospects
“I’ve started looking ahead,” he said. “I’ve spoken to [No 2] Kenny [McDowall]
and [coach] Ian [Durrant] and we have an idea of what we need and what we
would hope for next season,” he said.
“Everything will be determined by the outcome of Graham’s 120-day review. In
terms of us continuing to move forward, though, I have a fair picture of
“We have to win the league next season. We need to be promoted again next year
and, in an ideal world, you would be planning now to get back into the top
“It’s impossible to talk in those terms at the moment, though, because we
don’t know what’s in the review – that will have the
major bearing on what we’re allowed to do next year.
“I’m not sure exactly when that ends. The first time it was mentioned was at
the AGM [on Dec 19] so it could be sometime in April.
“I don’t know what’s happening regarding my budget. I’ll need to have a chat
with him because I don’t know what his views will be or how he’s seen the
“He hasn’t said to me that I’ll have a budget at the end of it. I’m in the
dark. But I imagine the way ahead, and what we’re allowed to do, will be a
“We’ll know then what we’re able to do financially on the football side –
scouting, medical and sports science stuff as well. That will all be in the
McCoist revealed that he and Wallace have yet to broach the subject of what
assistance the manager can expect for next season.
“Not at great length,” he said. “We’ve had one or two discussions but nothing
about the players we require or anything like that. As you would hope and
expect, Graham is aware of the fact that, for the team to move on we need
some new faces.
“Will I be restricted to Bosmans? That I don’t know, although I could hazard a
guess that that might be the case. Ideally, we would like to go and buy some
players as well but we’ll see.
“It’s not ideal that we have to start doing this before we have a scouting
staff in place but we’re doing all we can.
“We know the names of every player in Europe and the rest of the world who is
out of contract at the end of this season.
“So far I’ve spoken to one player [about joining the club] and I would be
hopeful of speaking to more. It’s difficult.”
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