• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

McCoist to Somer: I revamped squad while slashing the wage bill

Rangers boss Ally McCoist has defended himself against chairman David Somers' claims that the decision to sign nine new players last summer was unsustainable - insisting he revamped his squad while slashing the wage bill.

The Ibrox outfit's interim results were released on Thursday and showed a £3.7million loss for the seven months up to December.

At the start of that period, McCoist was allowed to agree deals for goalkeepers Cammy Bell and Steve Simonsen as well as defenders Bilel Mohsni, Stevie Smith and Richard Foster. Midfield duo Nicky Law and Arnold Peralta were also signed on free transfers, as were frontmen Nicky Clark and Jon Daly.

But in his statement in the interim report, Somers suggested the club could not afford that kind of influx.

He said: "Operating costs had been running at a rate that could not be sustained by the revenue being generated by the Club.

"For example, in the period under review, nine players were signed at a time when the Club already had the second highest wage bill in Scottish football whilst playing in the third tier."

But McCoist insisted his squad required fresh blood if it was to compete against sides in League One and the three domestic cup contests open to them.

Rangers won the third tier with nine games to spare and could yet land a treble if they beat Raith Rovers in next week's Ramsdens Cup final before edging past Dundee United in the last four of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

When asked if he agreed with Somers' assessment of the summer recruits, the manager said: "I don't know, I don't do the accounts, I don't do the finances.

"We felt we needed to bring a lot of players in to win the league, to get to the final of the Ramsdens, to get to the semi-final of the Scottish Cup. And we did that.

"I'm led to believe the wages came down from the previous year. So (whether it was sustainable) is something you would have to ask other people. I don't do the finances."

McCoist - whose side take on Arbroath on Saturday - was also quizzed on his plans for next season.

Chief executive Graham Wallace is 100 days into his review of the club's business which is expected to finish in the middle of next month but the boss is still unclear if he will be allowed to sanction another glut of new arrivals.

"I'm not sure," said the former Scotland striker. "We brought players in last year and that is evident.

"We have won the league, we're in the final of the Ramsdens Cup and semis of the Scottish. I don't think we would have achieved that if we had not brought them in.

"In an ideal world we have got to keep moving forward, progressing, and we are certainly looking to make changes to the squad if we can.

"Will we sign another nine? No.

"But Graham and I are in regular contact to discuss the obvious need for scouting and development, player recruitment, sport analysis, sports science. We are in constant dialogue to move the football department forward.

"I don't have a date for when we will be able to make final plans. As soon as I get told I will tell you guys and we will move on."

The losses reported for the second half of last year were 50 per down on the same period 12 months earlier but McCoist insisted he was not panicking about the fallen Glasgow giants' continued money worries.

He said: "Until Graham tells me they are going to affect my plans for next season, there is no use me worrying about them."

Somers also claimed that supporter plans to withhold season-ticket cash until the board issued a number of assurances about the club's future meant there was "material uncertainty" over Rangers' ability to continue as a going concern.

The Union of Fans - the coalition body representing the main supporter group - hit back, saying they would be "foolhardy" to trust the unpopular ruling regime.

McCoist, though, backed the Light Blues faithful to make the right choices, saying: "The supporters have done the right thing and supported the club for well over 140 years and that won't change."

Meanwhile, Ian Black will miss Rangers' trip to Arbroath on Saturday - but midfield colleague Nicky Law could feature.

The former Motherwell man suffered a back injury against Brechin last week and will be given a fitness test before the League One clash at Gayfield, but Black faces a race against time to be fit for the Ramsdens Cup final a week on Sunday after injuring his foot against the Hedgemen.

Forwards David Templeton (groin) and Andy Little (thigh) are also both out while midfield youngster Lewis Macleod is hoping medics will be able to get to the bottom of his viral issue soon.

Provisional squad: Bell, Foster, Wallace, Gasparotto, Faure, McCulloch, Hegarty, Halkett, Mohsni, Law, Peralta, Crawford, Aird, Daly, Murdoch, Clark, Perry, Shiels, Cribari, Smith, Simonsen, Telfer, Gallagher, Stoney.

Contextual targeting label: 
Football

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

222623