At a time when the Rangers board are looking to cut costs, manager Ally McCoist has defended his players’ pre-match stay at the plush Carnoustie hotel the night before the Ibrox side’s 2-0 win over part-timers Forfar.
The stay at the four star hotel came days after chief executive Graham Wallace saw a proposal for the players to take a 15% wage cut to help reduce losses at the club reportedly around £1 million per month.
However, it seems that while his player budget is destined to be cut and some key players sold off, Ally McCoist is making sure his charges are treated to the lifestyle that the Rangers players of old were accustomed too rather than a side from League One.
McCoist said: “I can understand people questioning it but it’s my job as the Rangers manager to give our players the best opportunity we can to perform. We are still Rangers Football Club and have always attempted to be as professional as we can. That will never change as long as I’m manager.
“To give the players the opportunity to play as well as they can you have to prepare as well as you can. We’ll continue to do that until I’m told otherwise. If we do get told we can’t prepare in the manner we’re accustomed to then we’ll alter it.
“It would be disrespectful just to turn up. The Forfar players were away for a pre-match meal as well. I know the gig but you have to appreciate our situation. You do what you think is right – and that is eating and resting and being totally professional. That will continue. If there are cuts in certain areas then we’ll adjust but we’ll continue to be as professional as we can if cuts are made.”
McCoist is correct in that their opponents Forfar had a pre-match meal also – however it was not in a four star hotel, but the local golf club and Dick Campbell’s charges didn’t stay overnight in a plush hotel with fancy linen, but their own homes as they had to work the next day, working through their own lunchtime so as to get a few hours of preparation in before the game kicked off.
Carnoustie charges £100 per might for Dinner, Bed & Breakfast for a standard twin room, while £60 per night for Bed & Breakfast. If you want a view of the golf course you would pay a supplementary fee of £30 per room. A nice wee pretty penny paid out by Rangers so that the players could have a meal in the fine dining restaurant and a sleep before their game with Forfar.
Will the Rangers fan groups question Wallace this week on the club’s extravagant pre-match routine?
It seems that Rangers – be it McCoist or the board – have not learned from their recent financial demise.
As one journalist wrote yesterday, if Rangers were not heading towards administration, why should the players take a wage cut?