Ally McCoist: Title is no longer our priority

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RANGERS manager Ally McCoist today refused to concede the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title race is over but admitted it is no longer his or the club’s priority.

The Scottish champions were docked 10 points by the Scottish Premier League – leaving them 14 points adrift of leaders Celtic – after they were forced to call in the administrators on Tuesday over an unpaid tax bill of £9million.

Despite there being little realistic prospect of Rangers winning the SPL crown for a fourth successive campaign, McCoist’s message ahead of today’s sold-out home clash with Kilmarnock was a defiant one.

He said: “We have conceded 10 points. We have conceded nothing else.”

However, McCoist insists the potential for job losses at the club, as a result of any cost-cutting measures implemented by administrators Duff and Phelps, overshadows anything that happens on the pitch.

He said: “In terms of the administration, the worrying thing is for the staff because we are talking about people’s livelihoods, people’s jobs. That’s the biggest problem we are facing.

“Three points tomorrow is vitally important, the league campaign is still vitally important but, more importantly than that, we are dealing with people’s livelihoods and we are talking about the future of our football club.

“It’s very harsh on the players, unbelievably harsh on the players. But I would argue the fact that people losing their livelihoods is more important than us losing 10 points in the league.

“I genuinely mean that and I would stand by that. We are all faced with the 10-point deduction. There is nothing we can do about it so let’s get on with it.”

Rangers owner Craig Whyte said he remains “100 per cent confident” the administrators will prove all money that has come in and gone out of the club during his tenure has been properly accounted for. Whyte also said he would not be attending the Ibrox match against Kilmarnock, to avoid becoming a distraction to the team.

Later in the day, the Scottish Football Association confirmed they would launch an independent inquiry into events at Rangers, specifically a number of “potential breaches of the SFA’s articles of association”.

In a further blow for the club, Rangers were told the SPL board had refused to authorise the signing of Daniel Cousin.