04 August 2013

Is McCoist the priority?

by Garry Carmody | Contributor  

It really is telling that there is a somewhat familiar feeling surrounding the past 72 hours at Rangers Football Club. Plunge a returning CEO, a requisition of a General Meeting for the removal of three board members, a first-round cup exit to Forfar Athletic, and a war of words between the manager and the club’s largest shareholder into any other period, and it would be complete pandemonium.

However, to the loyal fans that have stuck by Rangers over the past two years, it all feels rather normal now. A numb feeling of disappointment and frustration echoes around the support – regardless of opinions. There is very little to take comfort in, with a club seemingly at war with itself and in many respects the fans are hardly much better. Just take the appointment of Charles Green as a consultant, for instance – some hailed it as fantastic news, whereas some felt it was the worst possible decision for the club at this time. 

The Rangers support encompasses such a broad spectrum of fans that finding a consensus amongst fans is nigh-on impossible, and in the cocoon that is the internet fans are coming to blows over the matter. It is extremely unfortunate that it has come to this, but with anger building up without knowing who to hold to account for it, fans turn against those closest to them.

Much of the fans’ frustration stems from the Forfar result that added insult to injury. Let’s not mess about here – after more than two years of trying to show us otherwise, patience has ran just about empty on Ally McCoist’s ability as a manager. Everything from tactics, line-ups, ability to change the situation, and his post-match comments sum up everything that has had the ‘Gers support tearing their hair out for quite a while now. Despite being given ample time to try and change this, his very basic managerial skills would still appear to be lacking in many regards. Could any fan honestly say that they expect McCoist to be the man to lift Rangers’ 55th top flight title? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

The problems with the playing side of Rangers are very real. It is a source of anger amongst many paying fans, and rightly so. What has largely been on offer over under McCoist’s reign has not been enjoyable at all, and only this unique situation dictates that he is still in such a job. However, this unique environment still exists, and if the second half of this week has shown anything, it is still as real as ever.

The realistic questions have to be asked – do Rangers have the funds to currently let go of the current coaching staff, and bring in a new set with a known calibre? Those that have a better knowledge of current finances would suggest that Rangers do not have those funds available.

Another poignant question; who in their right mind would willingly enter possibly the most hostile job in British football? What we see from the outside is a manager that would appear to be inept at his job, coaching a team that is severely underachieving. However, can any of us possibly imagine the background politics that currently surround a club at civil war? This isn’t just a case of training up a squad of players and sending them out at the end of the week, McCoist needs to be the cover for a club that is badly damaged to its very foundations. The next manager would have to be prepared to be a pawn being played in games by the likes of Charles Green – where is the incentive for any manager to go down that route?

Over the past two years, McCoist has been the one consistent rock for Rangers. Not Charles Green, nor any other boardroom member or potential owner. No matter what spin is put on it, these people will never care for the club in the way that McCoist does. He has been more of a leader than a manager, and I believe that history will show this to be the case. Whether fans like it or not, McCoist and his coaching staff departing would create more instability than the problems it would be likely to achieve, and if there is one thing that Rangers do not need, it is further divisions and chaos surrounding the team and support.

Before this club can begin to start repairing the on-pitch side of Rangers, there are far graver problems to be solved.