McCoist Departs Ibrox
Scottish League 2 champions Rangers have today announced that the clubs former star striker and manager Ally McCoist has departed the club by mutual consent. McCoist, who has been in charge of the troubled club since 2011, and has been under scrutiny from the clubs fans for the way he has been running the team under his guidance in terms of training methods, tactics and transfer signings, although it is safe to say it has not been an easy two years for him with the club entering administration in 2012, and then the club ended up being re-formed as The Rangers and were placed in the old Scottish Third Division, now known as the Scottish League 2, with a new board and the prospect at starting a fresh while keeping all of their history of past success.
McCoist’s managerial career came after a very successful playing career, where he started out at Perth based St. Johnstone in 1978, after being rejected by then St Mirren manager Sir Alex Ferguson for being “too small”, but failed to score in his first two seasons at McDiarmaid Park. During the 1980-81 season, McCoist managed to break his scoring duck and went on to score 23 goals in 43 appearances. His prolific form for St. Johnstone and Scotland U18’s sparked interest from English clubs such as Sunderland, Wolverhampton Wonderers, Tottenham Hotspur and Middlesbrough, but he stayed with the Scottish outfit for the start of the 1981-82 season and netted 4 goals in 5 league cup games before moving south of the border to join Sunderland for a then club record fee of £400,000. McCoist did not have a very successful stint with the Black Cats, scoring just 9 goals in 65 appearances in English football. During the 1981-82 season with Sunderland, he only managed to score two goals, the first against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest and the second against Southampton. Pre-Season of the 1982-83 season made it look asif good things were to come of McCoist, after he scord 3 goals against Dundee, Dunfermline and former club St. Johnstone, and then a goal against European Champions Aston Villa, but he failed to live up to the early season hype as he bagged the last 5 of his 7 goals that season in October, failing to score for the remainder of the season before moving back north of the border to Rangers for a fee of £185,000. McCoist spent 15 year at Ibrox, scoring 251 goals in 355 games in all competitons, making him the Glasgow based sides all time top scorer. He won an array of honours, which concluded of 10 League Championships, 3 Scottish Cups and 9 Scottish league Cups. His time at Rangers saw him collect the nickname “Super Ally”, but in 1987 was charged with assault and was fined a fee of £150, before being fined £1,500 by Rangers. Under the guidance of Walter Smith in the dugout at Ibrox, he won two consecutive European Golden Shoes, as he proved his true form of his career was always going to be while he was playing in Scotland, but from 1996 he was also juggling his playing career along with being a team captain on BBC’s Question of Sport. In 1998, his Rangers career came to an end, where he moved to Kilmarnock, making 53 appearances and scoring just 9 goals before retiring in 2001. During his career, McCoist made 10 appearances for the Scotland U18’s, scoring 7 goals, whilst also making a single appearance for Scotland U21’s, but made his mark known at the highest international level with the Scotland senior squad, making 61 appearances and scoring 19 goals, including playing at the 1990 world cup.
His managerial career started in 2011, taking over from Walter Smith after previously being the assistant manager of the club, although Smith did credit McCoist for managing the team during the clubs Scottish Cup triumph that season. His first season in charge of Rangers was looking bright in the 2011-12 season as his Rangers side sat top of the table after just 5 games and his side had also conceded just one goal. His first Old Firm Derby as a manager came in a home match against Celtic, where Rangers came out as 4-2 winners, but then his side lost to Falkirk in the Scottish League Cup a few days later with a scoreline of 3-2. In February, McCoist had led rangers to within 4 points of table toppers Celtic, although they were 15 points clear of their rivals at one point in the season, Rangers’ title challenge was virtually over after the club were slapped with a 10 point deduction after entering administration, but McCoist did manage to become more popular with the Rangers faithful after declaring his future to the club in the middle of a financial crisis. In 2012, the club were taken over by Yorkshire businessman Charles Green, even with the takeover the club entered liquidation, and after initially being rejected in their attempt to remain in the SPL under the new company structure, they were allowed to join the Scottish Football League in the Third Division. During that season, Rangers struggled to recruit a few players due to a transfer embargo, but on March 30th 2013, they were confirmed as the League Champions, and winning promotion into the Scottish Second Division, one step closer to returning to the SPL.
McCoist has refused to speak to any media sources on his departure, which makes everyone think something has happened between him and the board for his position to have come under scrutiny. The SFA have offered their support to him in the meantime, but Rangers’ search for a new manager will not be easy considering the financial mess the club are apparently still in, although a return for former manager Walter Smith is rumoured to be in the pipeline although the club have refused to comment on the situation regarding who could become their new manager.