McCoist: Relegation would hit SPL
Ally McCoist believes Rangers dropping down to the Third Division might be "morally" correct - but warned such a scenario would damage the SPL.
The Light Blues boss revealed earlier this week he was leaning towards the idea of a move to the bottom tier of Scottish football after the club were hit with a £160,000 fine and 12-month embargo on registering players over 17 by the Scottish Football Association's judicial panel.
The administration-hit Glasgow giants are not yet able to rule out the possibility of liquidation and a 'newco' Rangers could also face tough new financial fair play regulations, which the SPL clubs are set to vote on next week.
On the prospect of a move to the Third Division, McCoist said: "It's a tough one. It might be the right thing to do morally.
"People will have their own opinions on it. The differences in opinion will be far and wide and definitely varied.
"There is an argument that morally it's the right thing to do, that Rangers should go into Division Three.
"Morally that might be the case, if it's a 'newco' or liquidation. It might be the correct thing to do.
"Is it the right thing to do for Scottish football? Probably not.
"Everybody has got a dilemma and that's why there are so many different opinions.
"Whether people like it or not, Rangers and Celtic are different because of the magnitude of the two clubs.
"Supporters of other clubs, and some supporters of the Old Firm, say you can't have rules for some and rules for others.
"In an ideal world, that's correct. I totally agree with that.
"But the fact of the matter is, would it be good for the rest of the SPL if Rangers went down to Division Three? That answer has to be no."
Walter Smith warned Rangers could face relegation from the SPL if the SFA implement their sanctions, which are subject to appeal, especially if a number of current players leave the cash-strapped club in the summer.
McCoist agreed with the former Rangers boss, saying: "I think it's a distinct possibility, absolutely. There is a big fear.
"The effect of the ban, for me, has far greater ramifications than a lot of people think.
"You would look at it and think 'well, they can't sign players for 12 months.' But there is a far bigger picture than that."
He added: "I made the statement, and I stand by it, that it could kill our football club and it could.
"I have to qualify that by saying the people on the panel who made the decision are nothing like fully responsible for killing our football club, if it happens.
"We are in a mess. What I'm saying is, that decision might be the final nail.
"I am not in any way, shape or form blaming those people at all for what could be the death of our football club. But I would definitely say it's a possibility."
McCoist famously claimed he "didn't do walking away" when Rangers were forced into administration in February and he stood by that statement on Friday even if his side find themselves battling to retain their top-flight status.
He said: "This is our football club and you can't pick and choose situations. You're either in it or you're not.
"It would not be an ideal situation. But, if I'm lucky enough to be the manager of the club at that particular time, then it's a challenge that we'll certainly face."
Rangers fans' groups have discussed boycotting SFA sponsors and will march to Hampden on Saturday in protest against the sanctions.
McCoist said: "I absolutely stand by the Rangers supporters' right to protest and appeal. Absolutely 100%.
"I'm not saying I'm in total agreement with whatever sanctions or plans they have because I don't really know yet.
"I know Sandy Jardine will be sitting down with sections of the Rangers support and have discussions with them and see what their plans are.
"I've said all along that I think the Rangers supporters, particularly in the last couple of months, have been unbelievable in their support for the club.
"The least we can do is give them that support back in the right circumstances."
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