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McCoist 'gives agm votes' to anti-board fans faction

Ally McCoist is believed to have given the voting rights for his shares in Rangers International Football Club to members of a supporters club in East Kilbride, where he grew up.

Ally McCoist
Ally McCoist

By giving the proxy to an organisation that is part of the Rangers Supporters Association, which has campaigned against the board, it could be interpreted as the Rangers manager registering a vote against the current directors at this week's annual meeting.

McCoist owns more than one million shares in RIFC, less than 3%. The board - chairman David Somers, James Easdale, Norman Crighton, chief executive Graham Wallace and finance director Brian Stockbridge - are confident of being re-elected on Thursday but, by giving his shares to fans, McCoist has made a symbolic gesture.

The manager has been in an awkward position, and has said it would be "suicide" if he voted against the directors, who effectively employ him. McCoist will not now be voting in Thursday's agm at Ibrox, but some board members may still consider that he has not supported them. The directors are backed by at least 44% of the shareholders, but their supporters insist that the figure is higher, leaving the nominees seeking election to the board - Paul Murray, Malcolm Murray, Alex Wilson and Scott Murdoch - needing all the institutional shareholder votes and significant backing from the fans, who effectively hold around 12%.

Feelings are running high, with fans having protested against the current regime. With a new board in place, and a highly regarded chief executive in Wallace now running the club, the board's supporters believe a corner has been turned.

McCoist has now made a choice that will enhance his popularity with the fans who are against the board, but could jeopardise his standing with the directors and their backers.

McCoist agreed several weeks ago to take a pay cut while Rangers are in the lower leagues, but that has not yet been implemented. The manager had agreed the terms with Craig Mather, the previous chief executive, but despite further discussions no agreement has been signed off. McCoist has, though, spoken warmly of Wallace, and said that all their discussions have been promising.

The team has a 100% record in the league this season, is in the Scottish Cup fifth round and the Ramsdens Cup final, but lost in the Scottish Communities League Cup first round to Forfar Athletic. McCoist remains an iconic figure with the support, and pleaded on Friday for the agm to be a "line in the sand", while hoping for a period of "unity" afterwards.

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