McCoist open to name change
Ally McCoist is open-minded about Rangers selling stadium naming rights, but admits he would like to see Ibrox incorporated into any new title.
According to reports, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is in talks with Light Blues chief executive Charles Green regarding a lucrative deal that could see the venue renamed the Sports Direct Arena to promote his retail firm. Rangers are also reportedly considering other stadium rebranding proposals. McCoist can understand the attraction of following in the footsteps of some English clubs from a business perspective, but would be reluctant to see the Ibrox name scrapped altogether. He said:
"With Arsenal moving from Highbury and Manchester City moving from the old Maine Road, they were going to new premises and I can understand that.
"But, when you're keeping the same stadium, it's a slightly different scenario.
"If it does happen - and at this stage it's still a big if - I would definitely like to see Ibrox still in the name.
"I can appreciate it's a really delicate issue and I would imagine it would split fan opinion.
"My own opinion is that I'm neither for or against it - I'm reasonably open-minded."
A similar move proved to be unpopular with Newcastle fans and McCoist believes the Rangers support should have a say in any plans to rename Ibrox. He said: "I definitely think the fans would certainly have to have a voice and an opinion on the final decision.
"We saw the reaction of the Newcastle fans when it happened down there and I'd imagine a good percentage of our support would feel the same way.
"I do understand the business side of it but I do understand, more than anything, history and tradition.
"It really is a difficult situation in terms of finding the balance. I can see both arguments.
"The decision will be taken by Charles and the businessmen within the club and I can understand that but I think Charles would agree that the fans should have a voice and it should be heard."
Rangers are back in action this weekend and McCoist says Elgin will be welcomed "with open arms" for Sunday's William Hill Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox despite the ticket fiasco that saw last week's league clash between the two clubs postponed. The Irn-Bru Third Division fixture was called off after it emerged too many tickets had been sold for the match at Borough Briggs - resulting in Elgin being hit with a £25,000 fine by the Scottish Football League. McCoist said:
"These things happen. I would congratulate the League for dealing with it swiftly and fining Elgin.
"We got no satisfaction out of what happened and we didn't feel we were demanding justice.
"We were just disappointed primarily for our own supporters, who travel long distances.
"It's over and done with now and we can all move on.
"We will welcome Elgin on Sunday with open arms again and look forward to a good cup tie."
Meanwhile, Dorin Goian could be back at Rangers sooner than anticipated if his season-long loan deal with Spezia is terminated, with the Italian outfit reportedly unhappy with the defender. McCoist said:
"I don't know 100% but I believe it is the case that Dorin can come back if he was released from the club in Italy.
"I know he has had a tough time in terms of bookings and red cards.
"It's an option we would certainly explore if it came to be but there is nothing concrete there.
"I haven't spoken to Dorin in the last two or three weeks so we will touch base with him and see how he's doing, as a courtesy call more than anything."
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