Football - McCoist open to fan ownership

Rangers manager Ally McCoist says he is open to the idea of fans being involved in the running of the club.

PA Sport

Hearts supporters on Thursday took a step closer to a takeover of the stricken Edinburgh outfit when the Foundation of Hearts were granted preferred bidder status by administrators.

A fan ownership model is also in place at Portsmouth, after the Pompey Supporters Trust completed its purchase of the club in April.

Like Hearts and Portsmouth, Rangers also endured a difficult period off the pitch when they were forced to call in the administrators in February 2012, before being consigned to liquidation.

A consortium led by Charles Green then purchased the business and assets of the Glasgow giants for £5.5million last summer.

Following Thursday's developments with Hearts, McCoist was asked for his thoughts on whether a fan ownership model could ever work at Rangers.

He said: "I certainly think it's an option. I don't have a 100 per cent view on it but it would be wrong of me to say that the fans shouldn't have a say in the running of the club, especially in the modern times.

"It's something you would need to have a sit-down and a good think about but I certainly wouldn't be against it."

Green resigned as chief executive in April and has recently returned to the club as a consultant. His future at Rangers will be discussed at a board meeting on Tuesday, with the three main fans' groups calling for his removal.

The Yorkshireman has already been involved in a war of words with McCoist since his return, after claiming the manager would have a problem if he fails to win a cup as well as the league this season.

McCoist declined to be drawn on off-field issues at his pre-match press conference.

He said: "We will see what happens at the board meeting on Tuesday but Tuesday is miles off. We will look forward to tomorrow's game and concentrate on the football. That's my job."

Next up for Rangers is a visit to Stranraer in what will be just the fourth meeting between the two clubs.

McCoist - who netted a hat-trick in a 5-0 win the last time Gers faced the Blues in 1992 - is relishing the prospect of Saturday's Scottish League One trip to Stair Park.

He said: "We've had them watched a few times and it will be a good test for us. I'm really looking forward to it. It's not a team we have played on a regular basis.

"It took us longer last year to get accustomed (to the lower divisions) than we would have wished, that's for sure, with three draws in the first four away games.

"I would hope that shock to the players' systems isn't there this year as the vast majority of them are used to it and have become accustomed to it."

Meanwhile, McCoist is set to have talks with Steve Simonsen after the goalkeeper impressed on trial this week. The Rangers boss is keen for reserve goalie Scott Gallacher to go out on loan and to recruit an experienced campaigner to challenge Cammy Bell for the gloves.

McCoist said: "Steve has impressed in the week's trial and we are happy with him. We will have a chat with him and hear his views."

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