RANGERS chief executive Graham Wallace will sit down with manager Ally McCoist tomorrow morning in an attempt to reassure him that he can provide the tools he requires to take the club out of the Championship at the first time of asking.
McCoist will be told the playing budget for next season is comparable to his current wage bill, while the threat of supporters withholding season ticket monies could be offset by a potential windfall of up to £8 million from a contingency plan to offer 43.4 million ordinary shares to existing shareholders.
McCoist said last night he would reserve judgment until he sees the fine detail of what Wallace is proposing. Although the release of Emilson Cribari should free up around £7000 in weekly wages to finance signing targets such as Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller, the Rangers manager pointedly insisted on the need to "strengthen the squad" for next season and refused to answer questions about the proposed creation of the post of chief football operations officer, apparently envisaged to head up the club's long-term recruitment policy.
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"I wouldn't say I am encouraged or that I am not encouraged," said McCoist. "I wouldn't go that far, I will just wait and see until I am fully told.
"I have had a brief indication that [the budget] won't be too dissimilar to this year so straight away that tells me that we can perhaps juggle about and make one or two changes here and there."
For his part, Wallace warmly praised his manager, and insisted the new post was very much a supporting role. "I never even had a thought about the manager's future," said Wallace.
"He's been extremely supportive in terms of understanding that some of the tools you'd expect him to have, he hasn't had. He's obviously interested in the financial budget. He knows we're going to make funds available for the summer, but doesn't know the magnitude, the number.
"We will sit down over the weekend and agree that. The football operations officer is very much a support role.
"The hunt for this person begins now and it's about getting the right person."
l Peace in our time? Pages 2-3