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Whyte's selling of Arsenal shares 'a really sore one for a Rangers supporter' admits McCoist

ALLY McCoist has described the pain of discovering owner Craig Whyte had sold some of Rangers' family silver by offloading the club's historic shareholding in Arsenal.

Ally McCoist
Ally McCoist

Whyte ended a 102-year connection between the clubs by selling 16 shares in Arsenal for £230,000, with the money lodged in one of his own companies rather than Rangers' accounts. McCoist said it had been particularly sore to learn that a link with Arsenal which began in 1910 had been severed by Whyte, whose chaotic regime led to Rangers plunging into administration last week.

McCoist did not criticise the absentee chairman by name but he gave a withering assessment of the decision to cash in on the Arsenal shares.

"There is an awful lot unfolding," said the Rangers manager. "Things are coming out almost daily now. But I'm exactly the same as everybody else, I'm extremely dis-appointed in some of these things, not least the situation with the Arsenal shares.

"That's a particularly sore one for a Rangers supporter. But I don't think me voicing any opinions at this moment in time – pointing fingers of blame or saying this, that or the other – is going to help anybody. With that in mind, I'll keep my own counsel on my own views.

"But selling the Arsenal shares was a really sore one. Something like that is your history, your heritage. Not only that, it's a great story between the two football clubs. So that was really sad."

McCoist has not spoken to Whyte all week and "really didn't know" if there was a way back at Rangers for the chairman who has not been in Glasgow for the past 10 days.

McCoist and others, notably Duff and Phelps' joint administrators Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, have had to pick up the mess as Rangers faced probable redundancies, growing tax liabilities and investigations by Strathclyde Police and the Scottish Football Association.

Fraser Wishart, the PFA Scotland chief executive, met with Rangers players, McCoist and Clark yesterday. There have been no clues on how many, if any, redundancies will be required nor exactly when any announcement will be made. Next week will have the complication of several players being away on international duty. It would be preferable for all of them to be present for any announcement or a vote on deferring their wages.

Rangers have released Daniel Cousin after deciding it would be inappropriate to appeal to the SFA against the SPL's decision not to approve his signing.

Given the prospect of making staff redundant, McCoist will not push to land Cousin on a £5000-a-week contract. No appeal was lodged before yesterday's 5pm SFA deadline.

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