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Rangers are nearing the business end of the season

GRAHAM Wallace, the Rangers chief executive, hasn't been doing much in the way of public speaking engagements of late.

Ally McCoist says he hasn't had a preview of Graham Wallace's review of operations Photograph:SNS
Ally McCoist says he hasn't had a preview of Graham Wallace's review of operations Photograph:SNS

When the plea went out for season ticket renewals, an issue so thorny that it has the potential to leave terrible scars on an already disfigured club, it was Lee McCulloch who was pushed, somewhat unfairly, in front of the media and forced into confessing he was under orders not to talk about Dave King's plan to use that particular revenue stream as leverage in the ongoing battle for control of Ibrox.

Wallace was not available for interview that afternoon. Requests from the Union of Fans supporters' collective to be honoured with an "amicable" meeting and establish whether or not he is working with the promise of a generous bonus appear to have been bodyswerved in similar fashion.

He has been terribly busy, after all, piecing together his now- infamous 120-day business review. So busy, in fact, that we will be looking at 127 days having passed before its findings are eventually published on Friday.

To suggest the Rangers-supporting man in the street is salivating over its contents is possibly a little misleading.

Frothing at the mouth, in some cases, is more accurate, considering there will only be three days left in which to cancel for those whose season books are in line to be paid in instalments through the process of auto-renewal.

Manager Ally McCoist insists he has not been treated to a sneak preview of the contents of Wallace's report. However, he already appears to be on a different page from the man he will, ultimately, have to sit down with in working out his budget for the challenges of next season.

Wallace emerged into the sunlight earlier this week, you see, to conduct an interview in the safe embrace of the club's in-house internet TV channel.

Providing what was essentially a PR piece promoting a new, three-year shirt sponsorship deal with online gambling company 32Red.com, he stated that particular agreement was tangible proof the club are "planning for the Championship with with one eye very firmly on the seasons beyond that."

Whatever information he is privy to, it hasn't filtered down to the manager's office. McCoist may yet get the most pleasant of surprises when he reaches the forward planning' section of the business review, but, in an admission likely to increase exasperation levels within the fanbase, he believes he is already in a situation where he can think about nothing more ambitious than simply trying to get his much-maligned team through the SPFL Championship campaign unscathed.

"Circumstances are dictating that we can't get moving yet," said McCoist. "We'll be ready to go, but my gut feeling is that it looks as though we'll just have to try to get a team to win the league next year.

"That is, obviously, the main thing, but what I mean is that it doesn't look as though we'll be able to plan longer-term.

"I don't know how many players we'll need to win the Championship, but we need to strengthen in certain areas, particularly in defence and up front."

Wallace, when revealing his blueprint for the future, could certainly do with generating some positive PR for an Ibrox board that can best be described as under-fire.

King, a former director of Rangers, has certainly scored the majority of the early points in this contest for the confidence of the faithful with a flurry of headline-grabbing press releases, the capture of the iconic Richard Gough as a trustee for the bank account intended to safeguard season ticket funds and hard-hitting interviews.

McCoist took a vow of silence on the matter some weeks ago and has, wisely, maintained his position.

He does, however, expect the publication of the business review to mark some kind of turning point.

"I have no doubt that will be the case," he said.

"I've got meetings arranged with Graham and I'd expect everyone to be in a better, clearer place after that with what can be done, should be done and will be done in the immediate future.

"I certainly haven't had any sneak previews.

"I hope the summer will be busy, though. Having the players, staff and pre-season plans sorted would be a big bonus for us because we're nowhere near that right now."

WITH Hearts close to emerging from administration with what appears a solid, supporter-backed plan for the longer-term, it must be tempting for many Rangers followers to wonder what might have been had they been able to create a vehicle aimed at taking over their club and get involved in the bidding process that eventually saw the Charles Green-led Sevco consortium take over.

"I don't know if our fans missed a trick," said McCoist.

"At the time, a lot of people such as The Blue Knights made noises. Whether they regret not taking the big step and see it as a missed opportunity, you'd have to ask them.

"However, Hearts look like they'll come through it in a far better shape than we did. I would see them as a serious threat in the Championship next season."

McCoist insists he is still identifying signing targets from across the globe to make sure the Tynecastle club don't pip his side to the one automatic promotion place. However, he claims he is not planning, at the moment, to travel to the World Cup finals in Brazil in search of fresh talent.

"I'll watch it and I haven't totally ruled out going, but I need to spend time with the family," he said.

Time will tell whether Wallace's pet project will give him reason for a more personal review of his intentions.

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