Ally McCoist opens up about Rangers sanctions

Rangers manager Ally McCoist last night gave an explosive interview in which he demanded to know who handed out the SFA’s punishments and admitted dropping down three divisions “might be the right thing”.

McCoist was reacting to the football governing body’s independent inquiry which handed the Ibrox club a £160,000 fine and a 12-month ban on signing new players.

Asked on Rangers TV about dropping down to the fourth tier of Scottish football, he said: “Some fans have been suggesting this and I am leaning towards it myself.

“Make no mistake about it, it would be an unbelievably drastic measure and it will have an incredible impact on Scottish football – and not for the good.

“But if they are going to continue to impose sanctions on us and make things extremely difficult for us to defend ourselves then maybe, just maybe, it might be the right thing.

“We are hanging by our fingertips. We’re really at the do or die stage and I can’t reinforce that opinion enough.”

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McCoist also said Rangers had a right to know which individuals made the decision by the SFA’s independent inquiry to punish the club so severely.

He said: “Plain and simply, I think it is an absolutely shocking decision.

“I found out the decision last night and I was shocked and absolutely appalled by the way this supposedly independent judicial panel was coming down on us in this form.

“Who are these people? I want to know who these people are.

“I’m a Rangers supporter and the Rangers supporters and the Scottish public deserve to know who these people are, people who are working for the SFA.

“Make no mistake about it, this is an SFA decision. They have appointed the panel so therefore they are working for the SFA, but who are they?

“I think we have a right to know who is handing out this punishment to us, I really do.

“Like everyone else involved – our team, our supporters, our staff and a lot of neutrals – I am staggered at the severity of the punishment.

“This decision could kill our football club, simple as that. Make no mistake about it.

“This panel is not totally to blame for the death of our football club if it happens but this particular decision could kill our football club.

“You would hope there would be sympathetic ears within the SFA over an appeals process, but you just don’t know what is coming next. It is complete and utter guesswork.

“In terms of our supporters, again they have received another kicking and we just feel it’s time to start fighting back. You can guarantee we will be fighting back.”

The Rangers boss also said he wanted answers on outstanding issues surrounding the club’s administration and its sale to Craig Whyte.

McCoist added: “This is unbelievably serious. We do not have any time and we now have a problem where we must appeal this but that again is going to take time which we don’t have.

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“The people within the club – the supporters and the staff – deserve answers and I believe there is a police inquiry going on into the purchase of our football club.

“As a supporter, I want to know about that. I want to know the results of the inquiry and about the dealings with Ticketus, Craig Whyte and Lloyds Bank.

“I certainly want to know about the dealings with one or two members of the previous board and what their involvement was.

“We need answers, we deserve answers and it’s time we got them.”

In his Rangers TV interview, McCoist also pointed the finger of blame at Whyte, who was fined £200,000 and banned from Scottish football for life by the SFA’s independent inquiry.

He said: “I think Mr Whyte had been fined £200,000. Call me an old cynic but I would like a phone call from Mr Regan when he receives it.

“He has also been banned for life from being involved in any Scottish football club. Again call me an old cynic but I don’t think he will be taking any sleeping pills to get to sleep tonight.

“We are suffering from the actions of an individual – the playing staff, the workforce within this great football club.

“That’s the reason we are being punished – there is no other reason.

“It seems as though the non-payment of PAYE is the main bone of contention.

“None of us were aware that this was not being paid, everyone was stunned when we learned this.

“Deductions were made from the salaries of everyone at the club and no-one at the club did anything wrong, to my knowledge.

“But we have been made to suffer for it – it’s an incredible situation.”