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End to 'chaos' has McCoist's vote at club agm

ALLY McCOIST's wish for Christmas follows traditional lines.

Rangers' form has sustained Ally McCoist during the boardroom turmoil. Picture: SNS
Rangers' form has sustained Ally McCoist during the boardroom turmoil. Picture: SNS

Rangers enter the festive period in a state of turmoil, the two rival factions seeking control of the club immersed in a seemingly never-ending programme of mud-slinging, claim and counter-claim.

The hostilities will rush to a head this Thursday when the club holds what is expected to be a highly-charged annual general meeting. The outcome remains uncertain but the Rangers manager hopes it will precede an immediate ceasefire and an outbreak of peace, regardless of who emerges victorious from what has become an increasingly acrimonious struggle for power. It is difficult to imagine the two groups - those currently in charge and the band of requisitioners hoping to succeed them - linking arms for a spot of carol singing around the Ibrox Christmas tree, but McCoist, ever the optimist, hopes that by this time next week some sort of calm may have broken out.

McCoist, of course, will be more than an interested bystander in Thursday's proceedings. He has tactfully avoided taking sides as the verbal war of words has intensified but his minority shareholding entitles him to cast his votes, or not, for the various candidates seeking election to the board. "I haven't fully weighed up the options of which way to vote yet," he claimed. "I'm not sure I'll be making that public but I'll certainly be making my mind up very soon."

With off-field matters overshadowing his side's perfect start to the SPFL League 1 season - they travel to face Stenhousemuir this evening seeking their 16th league win on the bounce - McCoist hoped that, whatever the result of the agm, it will bring about a period of tranquility after several years of "chaos".

"After Thursday I just hope we can all move forward together," he added. "Graham [Wallace, the Rangers chief executive] has even said himself that we haven't been good at board level. We've been found wanting in that department. That we've had three chairmen and chief executives in the past year would indicate things aren't right.

"I don't get fed up with it, it just concerns me being a supporter as well as the manager. You want an end to it. It would be fantastic to walk in here next Friday morning and I don't have to worry about anything at boardroom level. When you think of the absolute chaos which has surrounded the club since Craig Whyte's takeover . . . and let's be honest, it has been chaos.

"As everyone knows, I'm an eternal optimist but that is really being put the test now. I just hope that optimism is vindicated come Thursday night or Friday morning."

McCoist was not so positive about the state of Scottish football as a whole, believing Celtic's heavy Champions League defeat by Barcelona taught him nothing new. "I don't think Scottish football is in a particularly great place," he added. "I look about at ourselves, Hearts and Kilmarnock - all with financial problems. I would accept that the international team is slowly improving but Scottish football as a whole is not in as good as place compared to what we once were."

McCoist has been sustained in dark times by the performances and results of his young players who have already all but ensured promotion to the second tier of Scottish football. "I'm buoyant because of the team's results and we have a brilliant set of boys who are doing exceptionally well for the supporters," he added. "That has kept me going. Results have been one of the most pleasing aspects of what's been happening here."

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