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Rename Ibrox? Ask the fans first

ALLY McCOIST has admitted he is "open minded" about the prospect of Ibrox being renamed to raise finance but he hoped that supporters' views would be taken into consideration before any decision was made.

Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United owner, is thought to have held initials talks with the Rangers hierarchy over rebranding the stadium the Sports Direct Arena. That was the name given to Newcastle's St James' Park following an identical deal last year but that stadium has since reverted to its original name after the move proved extremely unpopular with supporters. McCoist acknowledged that some Rangers fans may feel similarly hostile to Ibrox being renamed but is willing to retain an open mind about it.

"I've got to look at every eventuality," the Rangers manager said. "We are going through this process of rebuilding and trying to raise cash and that's why I'm open minded. It would be wrong of me to say I'm dead against or totally for until I hear all the arguments. I can really appreciate the delicacy of the situation. It will split the support.

"From a business point of view the naming of the stadium can have a financial and business benefit. At the same time, history and tradition probably mean more to this club than any other in the world at this time. If it did go to the option where it was re-named, I would definitely be of the opinion Ibrox should still be in it.

"I think the fans should be heard. You saw the reaction of the Newcastle fans and there would be an equal reaction from some of our support. It's different with new stadia such as the Emirates but ours is more delicate than that because we're still playing at the same stadium."

Interview, Page 7

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