Sport : Football


27th April 2012, 12:28pm

Ally McCoist: No regrets

Ally McCoist: No regrets

Rangers manager Ally McCoist insists he makes no apology for demanding transparency over the Scottish Football Association's judicial panel.

McCoist called for the three members to be named after they hit the club with a £160,000 fine and a 12-month embargo on registering players over 17, mainly for bringing the game into disrepute since Craig Whyte's takeover.

Strathclyde Police later confirmed they were investigating alleged threats made against the panel after the SFA said their identities had been "compromised".

One of the panel members, Raith Rovers director Eric Drysdale, spoke out and disagreed with McCoist's assertion that they should be named.

The Rangers manager released a statement on Thursday morning defending his calls for transparency, while claiming his remarks were not a signal for fans to engage in threatening behaviour.

Asked 24 hours later if he had any regrets over his original comments, McCoist said: "Not at all. I think a lot of people have misinterpreted my statement as some form of apology.

"It's anything but an apology. I stand by everything I've said. In fact, I was delighted to see Mr Drysdale come out and disagree with my comments.

"I've got nothing but the utmost respect for him now because I know who the gentleman is.

"I still disagree with the panel and their decision but I fully appreciate the fact that I know who the gentleman is now.

"I respect him and I respect his decision - although I don't agree with it."McCoist was adamant that he should be able to voice his own opinions without being held responsible for the actions of the "lunatic fringe".

When put to him that he could have chosen his words more carefully, the Light Blues boss said: "So you want me to make my comments with a view to how the lunatic fringe will react?

"Is that what you're telling me to do?

"Anybody with a sane brain would know that I abhor violence and would be dead against it.

"This lunatic fringe, who hide behind the internet, do not interest me in the slightest.

"I've got absolutely no time for them. I don't go on the internet and read it.

"I wouldn't dream of having a discussion with somebody on a computer when I don't know who it is.

"Why do we have to take them into account? We don't have to take them into account.

"We don't know who they are. They have daft names and make comments like school kids to annoy people.

"I've got no interest in that."

McCoist added: "I do have a responsibility to do the right thing.

"I also have a responsibility to tell the truth to the Rangers support and, indeed, the Scottish football public."

Rangers would have made representations to the panel but McCoist argued it was not enough for club officials to be aware of the identity of the members.

He said: "Why should we know and not the general public?

"Everybody should know. There should be clarity. There should be total transparency."

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