Why Are Rangers Performing Poorly? Mr McCoist Blames Lack of Resources … Irony Is Dead

Sometimes I read a story which is nothing less than a comedic masterpiece. A story so ridiculous that you check the date on the newspaper to see if it is 1st April. A story which takes reality and twists it through 180 degrees, creating an alternative universe of the wonderful humour of Monty Python, or Chris Morris’ Brass Eye. A story which makes you realise that the person quoted has a career on the biggest stages performing comedy.

The new King of Comedy - *"It's the way I tell them!"

The new King of Comedy – *”It’s the way I tell them!”

Today I read such a story…


This morning’s Scotland on Sunday has the story which explains why Rangers league performances have tailed off recently, culminating in yesterday’s goalless draw with Stirling Albion.

Can you guess what that explanation is?

Is it that the players have lost motivation playing against those of a far lower quality, especially when the title is almost sown up?

Is it that the players are jaded as a result of all of their efforts this season possibly being for naught, as they may only be in the third tier of Scottish football next season, if there is reconstruction, rather than … in the third tier if there is not?

Maybe the cold weather affected them?

Perhaps they were down-hearted by the Scotland defeat on Friday, meaning that they see their chances of playing in the World Cup in Brazil fading fast?

Or, and don’t laugh, could it be that the richest football club in Scotland, with what is the second or third highest wage bill in Scottish football (depending on whose figures you believe), and which can easily afford monthly losses of £1 million as a result of its new and robust financial structure, does not have enough resources? No. That would be ridiculous.

Anyway – what did Mr McCoist have to say?

“I told you at the start of the season that we needed players.

“I’m not going to change my tune on that. We had seven or eight players out. I’ll probably go down in history as the only Rangers manager who has struggled to fill a bench. That’s where the club is at the moment.

“We spent Friday morning looking at our youth players – not because they deserved an opportunity, but because we needed to fill a jersey. I’m not sure too many Rangers managers have had that problem, but that’s where we are. We just have to get over that line. We have to win the title and get a team that will win the next title.”

“There was the option of putting Lee McCulloch on attack but he has made the defence a lot more solid in recent weeks. If I can take a positive, we’ve had a couple of clean sheets in the last two weeks, but in terms of making chances and taking them we are miles short.”

Mr McCoist’s team is playing in SFL3. The SFL has rules about how many players over 21 that can be registered. Rangers have, as far as I am aware, a full complement. The fact that they had a number of players unavailable is something that happens, and of course one of those players is suspended by the club.

The official Rangers website states that the Rangers starting 11 had seven players aged 22 or younger.

Rangers first team squad warming up before yesterday's game

Rangers first team squad warming up before yesterday’s game

Guess what the make-up of the Stirling Albion team was?

Five players aged over 23.

One 23 year old.

Five players under 23.

Their bench included a 21 year old, an 18 year old and a 17 year old.

The Stirling Albion players line up ahead of the kickoff against Rangers

The Stirling Albion players line up ahead of the kickoff against Rangers

Stirling Albion is not, as far as I am aware, a football club where its first team squad are full time players. Its youngsters will definitely not be full time.

Rangers operate a state of the art training ground, with high quality coaching and training staff, and all of its players train full time.

I suspect that the annual wage of Rangers goalkeeper Neil Alexander or of Lee Wallace, or Lee McCulloch would pay the entire annual wage bill for Stirling Albion, with change left over.

Rangers have a team, even where restricted, with international players. Stirling Albion does not.

Rangers have a top UEFA rated stadium, so we are told, with a crowd of loyal fans behind them, who have refused to “walk away” despite the events of the last year. That was not enough to drive the team forward.

Mr McCoist helpfully tells his young players that he was considering them to play, not because they were good enough, but to fill the bench! An interesting form of negative motivation perhaps? Clearly he cannot mean that. That would be an admission of failure, wouldn’t it?

As far as “filling a bench” goes, it was never an issue until the 1960s, as substitutes were not allowed until then. For much of the time since the bench was only two or three players strong. So he is correct to say that, with a five man bench to fill, few previous managers have had the problem. This is also, of course, the first time Rangers have played with a restriction on the numbers of players they can register (although they can have as many under 22s as they want).

It was disgraceful of the SFL to impose this restriction on Rangers when every other SFL team could register unlimited numbers … hang on … correct that … all 29 other SFL teams do work under the same restriction.

When asked about a banner complaining about players tweeting, not training, Mr McCoist said:-

“I am a fan of training. I would reassure the fans there is no problem in terms of the amount of training and the level of training. That hasn’t changed in 20 years. The important thing is getting players ready for a game. As for tweeting, it baffles me.”

I am sure that Mr McCoist is having a joke in everything he says above.

If he is serious then, with the greatest of respect to him, one would wonder why he is still in charge.

The most damning of his comments is, I suspect, the reference to the amount and level of training not having changed in 20 years.

There have been huge advances in how athletes train for sports over that time. Under Jock Wallace the training regime included running up and down the stadium steps, and running up and down sand dunes at Gullane.

A "state of the art" training session

A “state of the art” training session

Now training programmes are specifically tailored to individual players – to their body types – to their state of fitness – to the areas where training is needed. Diets are rigorously assessed to ensure the maximum and most efficient intake of food to allow the most effective use of energy during a match.

If Rangers, despite the state of the art training ground and despite the array of coaches, trainers and consultants, have not changed their training routines in 20 years … maybe that is where the problems lie.

All in all, and on balance, I cannot believe that Mr McCoist means any of what he is quoted above as saying. If he did, then he might as well ask Mr Green for his P45 right now.

Clearly too it is not intended to be taken seriously. If it was, then the press might point out some of the inconsistencies in the statement, wouldn’t it?

(And at far less length and far more snappily than I have done).

Of course Mr McCoist’s situation poses various problems for his Board. He is a great figure in Rangers history, being their all-time leading scorer, as the Share Prospectus mentioned four or five times.

He was a rallying point for his team and its supporters in the days of administration and of the takeover, by announcing that he would not “walk away”.

He is a shareholder, owning around 1 million shares.

He has led his team almost to the SFL3 title, but I am sure that, when the season kicked off, nobody thought that it would not have been sealed by now. (To be fair I suspect most observers thought Celtic would have won the SPL by now too).

So, on reflection, Mr McCoist must be joking, and I thank him for giving me a smile on a Sunday morning.


Posted by Paul McConville



Filed under Football, Press, Rangers

810 responses to “Why Are Rangers Performing Poorly? Mr McCoist Blames Lack of Resources … Irony Is Dead

  1. JimBhoy

    Read this earlier…. Another sanction created to penalise the rangers…. 🙂 Sally and Green on the warpath or will longmuir bail them with a wee sneaky rule bend..

    Rangers’ moves for two new signings could be scuppered by SFL rules – and their own players.
    Ally McCoist is reportedly keen on Honduran midfielder Arnold Peralta and Mexican striker Alan Pulido. Both are available on free transfers at the end of the season, but as the duo are non-EU nationals they will need work permits.
    The SFL only have 20 spots for non-EU players across the leagues, and limit these to three per club. If Rangers bring back American Carlos Bocanegra and Romanian Doran Goian from their loans it will put the Gers over their quota, and McCoist will have to give up the chase of one of his targets…

    Anyone know how many players in the current rangers team will be over 21 as of Jan 1st? It would include the 2 on-loan duds I would think too..

    • mcfc


      Oh – those pesky rules.

      Maybe Charles would sell more season tickets and stabilize his share price if he and TRFC just knuckled down and got the basics right through hard work.

      As it is – I hear the Chuckle brothers are suing for deformation for being compared to Chas and Ally – to me – to you – to me.

      • JimBhoy

        @MCFC Football will kill rangers (bad results, poor performances) as the majority of fans will not tolerate that for long, not the first time I have posted that.. 🙂 There will be some who hang around like a bad smell cos all they have in their sad lives are a crap football team and the rangers way…

  2. Geddy Lee.

    wow. Getting a bit low brow guys. Up your game please.

  3. Geddy Lee.


    You stated last night that “the rangers” want to work their way back up the leagues and don’t want to be fast tracked.

    Yet Charles “Foghorn leghorn” Green and his court jester have both been bleating this week that they should be parachuted back in to the top table.

    So what on earth are you havering about? Is this yet another case of Sevcovians refusing to accept reality in favour of their own alternative universe?

    Is this another case similar to “the rangers” fans refusing to question both Green and McCoist on their claims that not
    securing a CV meant the end of the club AND it’s history?

    Or the way you have all welcomed Jabba Traynor as your laughable “Head of Communications?
    ” (Splutter)

    He stated that Rangers were liquidated, along with their history, “No matter what Charles Green 0r Ally McCoist say”

    His words. Yet not one of you have taken him to task and demanded an explanation. Why is that?

    It’s this head in the sand mentality, that the majority of “the rangers” fans still suffer from that probably encourages Green to keep spewing lies to any laptop loyalist that will interview him.

    You must all up your game, and concentrate on trying to build a team capable of competing at a decent level.

    Something still light years away, especially with the “Court Jester” and his troupe of performing coaches in charge.

    Investing all your time and energy simply feeling sorry for yourselves, is childish in the extreme. Unlees of course the fans new motto is “We are all Ally McCoist. LOL

    Finally, I see your head physio has now jumped ship. Why is that?

    • Green’s Blues can’t go back up anywhere – they can be catapulted up, but they cant go back up.

      … and being ‘parachuted’ is the wrong metaphor (probably on purpose) – since it indicates coming down and landing gentler than gravity would ordinarily dictate. What they might get is ‘catapulted’, or maybe ‘boosted’ or ‘fired’ or something that signifies accellerated ascent.

      just sayin.

  4. Geddy Lee.

    Carson and Carntyne,

    Get a grip gentlemen. This is not the hootsman LOL

  5. Ref , bro walrus film ed, lily savage for bro walrus , Alan Carr for cardinal , Julian clary for bishop of Rome , and supporting cast / chorus line of , Mick, montit, carntyne, tykebhoy , the blessed Margaret ( intellectually mother superior ) …. I reckon it would have to be a over 21 with a late night only screening .

  6. GWG

    March 28, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Ed, I heard a wee story , from a source , that lily savage has been approached to play bro walrus”

    Appropriate dont ya think~~~~

  7. GWG


    I hear the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have written to complainants confirming they are investigating adverts run by Rangers International Football Club plc, in which they claim to be Scotland’s most successful football club. You and I know that’s not the case, Celtic are Scotland’s most successful football club, followed at a distance by Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hearts, Hibs, Queens Park, Motherwell, Kilmarnock……. and ultimately East Fife.

    The confusion has perhaps arisen following the demise of The Rangers Football Club plc, who laid claim to 54 Scottish titles before their failure to pay creditors ultimately led to liquidation. Rangers International Football Club plc have traded for less than a year and would be pushed to justify their claim in the face of Celtic’s magnificent domestic and European history. They cannot, of course, claim to be a now liquidated company.

    The Advertising Standards Authority will write to both the advertiser and advert broadcaster asking them to submit evidence in support of their claim. The ASA will then send a recommendation to the ASA Council for adjudication.

    In the event the advertiser accepts the complaint and agrees to change future advertising claims the ASA will write to complainers to confirm the matter has been resolved.

    Celtic’s claim is simple, we are the champions of Scotland, winners of more leagues and cups than anyone else still kicking a ball in Britain, Northern Europe’s first European Champions and we observe all football, tax and civil laws.
    from CQN

    • Monti

      PMSL How on earth can they claim to be Scotland’s most succesful club? Aren’t they only a few months old? I’m sure they are! This gift just keeps giving, the comedy never ends,this really is funny! THERE IS NO RANGERS! THERE IS A TRIBUTE BAND CALLED THE THE RANGERS! THEY ARE GONE,DEAD,DODO,POO POOD,OVER & OUT, GOODNIGHT,GOODBYE AND

  8. JimBhoy

    793 responses ffs and I bet a dozen relevant to the post…

  9. Monti


  10. GWG

    So~~~ the Masonic wagons have circled , the Gatling guns are out, the MSM swing into full back-up mode, and football supporters have been screwed AGAIN!! So what else is new!!

    Longmuir has got his “stay” of execution for HIS BELOVED club by delaying the agreed NEW reconstruction until NEXT SEASON so as the eternal bigoted club can JUMP up a division but not before they managed to spin a tale about John Daly the first Republic of Ireland player EVER to move to the cesspit. So a big Fuck You Dunfermline~~~ Fuck every other club that has problems it’s only the Institutional Club that can be helped to reinvent itself .
    Another sad day in the corrupted history of Scottish football only this time one of their own (Longmuir) has shown his true colours.

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