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SBD Global/August 10, 2012/Franchises

Ally McCoist Excited By Newcastle Owner's Bid To Buy Rangers Stake

Scottish Third Division side Rangers Manager Ally McCoist has "welcomed the prospect" of Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley buying a 10% stake in the Ibrox club, according to Brian Marjoribanks of the London DAILY MAIL. The billionaire is in talks with Rangers CEO Charles Green about "a joint venture to sell replica strips through Ashley's Sports Direct empire." While Ashley's stake "has not yet been sealed," McCoist liked the prospect of such a "cash-rich businessman" showing interest in Rangers. Green said, "If Mike Ashley is interested in investing in Rangers, then the fact of the matter is he looks to be a very successful businessman. It would be great to have people of that pedigree contributing to the club moving forward." McCoist's urging of fans to buy into Green's vision for the club, however, represents "a dramatic shift in his stance" from just a few weeks ago, when he "was ready to quit due to an apparent distrust" of his CEO. McCoist: "There have been a lot of questions asked about Charles and that will continue to happen but, if Mother Theresa had bought Rangers, I'd still have been sceptical" (DAILY MAIL, 8/8). The Scotland DAILY RECORD also reported that Ashley's potential investment in Rangers has been "hailed as a good thing by a man who wanted to string the controversial United owner up by the neck two years ago." Toon Talk fanzine Editor Steve Wraith told Rangers supporters "to embrace any potential investment in their club by Ashley with open arms" (DAILY RECORD, 8/9).

MCCOIST DEAL LOOMS: The DAILY RECORD reported that McCoist is on the verge of making "a long-term commitment to the Ibrox club." McCoist "has been in negotiations" with Green for weeks, but he is now "edging closer to signing a new extended contract" as he attempts to return Rangers back to the Scottish Premier League. McCoist said, “I am a firm believer that the most important relationship at a club is between manager and chief executive." Meanwhile, McCoist has "put his money where his mouth is" and revealed he has bought four season tickets for his family this season (DAILY RECORD, 8/9).

TAKING NOTICE IN U.S.: The N.Y. TIMES published a piece by Sam Borden about the state of football in Scotland under the header "Dissolving Scotland's Old Firm." In it, U.S. national team member and Rangers player Carlos Bocanegra said, "It means everything -- everything - to the city, and really the whole country. It's an institution. People live and die for the sport, they live and die for their team. Without Rangers being in the SPL, it's going to make a huge difference on the league, but also on Scottish culture" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/9).
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