UNDER-FIRE Rangers manager Ally McCoist has tendered his resignation but the Ibrox club are set to reject his offer.
The 52-year-old had come under intense pressure in recent weeks with his side nine points adrift of Scottish Championship leaders Hearts and out of the Ramsdens Cup after spurning a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 against part-timers Alloa Athletic in the semi-finals.
The Glasgow outfit have declined to comment on the position of the former Scotland international, who has a 12-month rolling contract.
McCoist is understood to have become increasingly concerned and saddened by ground staff and administration losing their jobs. He will serve out the 12-month notice period, unless the board settle his contract or put him on gardening leave.
The Gers are scheduled to play Queen of the South at Palmerston Park this evening and McCoist – who gave no signal of his intentions during Thursday’s pre-match media conference – will still take charge of the team.
He told broadcasters BT Sport prior to Friday’s game in Dumfries: “I’ve been completely focused on the game tonight.
“I have no idea if this will be my last match in charge. I hope not.
“My job is to get a team ready. I can assure the Rangers fans I’m 100% committed to getting Rangers into the top flight.
“I’ll continue in my job and hopefully get them back into the top flight. We firmly believe we can put pressure on Hearts.”
The news first broke on Twitter at around 1:40pm from Scottish newspaper The Daily Record.
“I think it is a sad day for the club,” former Rangers keeper Andy Goram told Sky Sports News HQ. “The abuse he has taken is sickening and vile.
“I think he will see out the end of his contract unless Rangers want to pay him off. Some Gers fans would have got what they wanted with Coisty going.
“I don’t think any other manager in British football has had to put up with what he has had to put up with.”
Former Rangers striker Derek Johnstone – who also played alongside McCoist – added: “I think something horrific has happened over the past 14 or 15 hours since the press conference yesterday [Thursday].
“He was looking forward to taking Rangers back to where they belong in the Premiership so it has hit me very badly today.”
Another former Gers forward – St Mirren’s Steven Thompson – told the BBC: “I’m shocked. I know there has been a lot of criticism of Ally but I think the job that he has done in the last couple of years has been sensational in the face of unbelievable adversity.
“I know people criticise the way Rangers play but it’s very difficult to play attractive football when teams come and park the bus.”
There is no doubt that McCoist has presided over the Ibrox hotseat during – arguably – the most turbulent time in the club’s 142-year history.
McCoist – who earned legendary status at the club as a player and is their record topscorer – was promoted from assistant manager at the start of the 2010-11 campaign after Walter Smith stood down when the Gers were in the Scottish top-flight.
In his first season in charge, his side blew a 15-point lead to surrender the title to Celtic while, in domestic competition, Rangers’ loss at Falkirk in the Scottish League Cup and defeat by Dundee United in the Scottish Cup meant a first managerial season without silverware for McCoist.
The club were then plunged into administration and expelled to the fourth tier in the summer of 2012.
The Govan outfit achieved back-to-back promotions including an undefeated league campaign last term in League One but they lost to Raith Rovers in extra-time in the Challenge Cup final.
Despite taking the Gers to within one division from the Premiership, McCoist has been criticised by the club’s supporters for his transfer policy, tactical decisions and record in cup competitions while attendances have fallen dramatically.
As of 12 December 2014, McCoist has won 94 of his 125 matches in charge, overseeing 18 draws and 13 defeats with a win rate of 75%.
The Gers have won 10 of their 15 Championship matches so far this season and lie in second place in the second tier.
Here is how journalists reacted to the news on social media:
Gers supporters and fans of rival clubs, though, were inevitably divided: