sport

McCoist relaxed over speculation

Ally McCoist will treat talk of Rangers joining the Blue Square Bet Premier League "with a pinch of salt".

The debate over whether the Light Blues should seek to quit Scotland was reignited by chief executive Charles Green last week as he hit out at league reconstruction plans.

Conference chairman Brian Lee on Tuesday refused to rule out the possibility of Rangers joining his division, with the issue set to be discussed at a meeting of clubs on Monday.

McCoist said: "We will just wait and see what happens.

"I take a lot of it with a pinch of salt because doors get closed in your face and other ones are half-open and other ones open up.

"Until there is anything concrete, I wouldn't really comment on it.

"But it's nice to see that they're not slamming the door in our face."

Rangers revealed today they have now sold more than 38,000 season tickets - higher than their last two campaigns as a SPL side.

And, despite their Third Division status, they currently have the highest average attendance in Scotland, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Newcastle the only clubs in the UK drawing in bigger crowds.

McCoist can understand why some English clubs would be keen to see Rangers join their ranks.

He added: "We are where we are at the moment but the teams in the SFL would hopefully back us up and say we are still a very big pull and a massive club.

"It's understandable that perhaps some of the clubs in the Conference would welcome us.

"I'm sure they would welcome us as much as the teams in SFL3."

As far as Football League chairman Greg Clarke is concerned, there are simply too many obstacles in the way of Rangers playing their football in England.

He told talkSPORT: "If there was a serious move to bring a major Scottish club into English football, that would be under the purview of the Football Association as the national governing body and would require a discussion with UEFA and FIFA.

"So I don't think the Conference would be able to invite them in, and I don't think the Football League would ever invite them in without a major conversation.

"Those conversations will only ever take place league to league, FA to FA, because we can't be negotiating with each other's clubs.

"They would have to take place at the highest levels of English and European football before such a big decision can be taken."

He added: "The thought of undermining Scottish football by stealing their best clubs and bringing them to England, and undermining the financial model which supports the professional game across many clubs - Scotland is better than that.

"We should be working together to create a business model in Scotland that supports professional football rather than stealing their big clubs and leaving the rest in a mess.

"We should be helping Scottish football through a difficult period rather than cherry-picking their best clubs."

McCoist's own preference is to find a solution within Scottish football which suits all.

He said: "Until anything happens, it is our target to continue to progress and re-establish ourselves within Scottish football and get back to where we want to be, which is the top league.

"We want to progress and we want to flourish - and that's within Scottish football.

"Hopefully that will be replicated by Scottish football flourishing as well.

"The vast majority of people do think we need change and hopefully it can prosper again and us with it."

Green has proposed three divisions of 14 as an alternative to the 12-12-18 restructuring which has been agreed in principle by the SPL and the SFL and could be in place as early as next season.

McCoist added: "I am pretty open about change but the one thing I am opposed to, more than anything, is the change for the start of next season.

"My biggest problem is with moving the goal-posts within the season - that's what I've got a big problem with.

"I don't think it's fair on our team - if we are lucky enough to earn promotion - to stay and play against teams that we have played already in the bottom league.

"The 14-14-14 certainly appeals to me more than the 12-12-18.

"It looked as though the deal was done last week but there are one or two clubs coming out and rightly raising concerns so hopefully it can open dialogue with everybody."