Rangers have officially confirmed that Ally MCoist will replace Walter Smith as manager of Rangers, when he steps down at the end of the season. McCoist has agreed a one year rolling contract with Kenny McDowall as his assistant.
Rangers chief executive Martin Bain confirmed the announcement at a press conference at Ibrox today:
“We are delighted to confirm Ally as our next Manager when Walter Smith steps down at the end of the season.
“First and foremost Ally is a passionate Rangers supporter who has been a loyal servant to the Club both as a player and more recently Assistant Manager. He has contributed greatly to our success over the past four years and that is why we feel he is the right man to replace Walter.
“When Ally joined Walter as his assistant in January 2007 he was always being groomed as the next Manager. He is the unanimous choice of the Rangers Board to take the Club forward next season and when I offered him the position in December – during our Champions League trip to Bursaspor – he agreed immediately.”
Ally McCoist left us in no doubt in how proud he is to take on the role of Rangers manager:
“It was an honour to pull on the Rangers jersey during my playing career, I have enjoyed working with Walter, Kenny McDowall, Ian Durrant and the backroom team as Assistant Manager and to be confirmed as the next Rangers Manager is a dream come true.
“Over the past few years I have been privileged to learn from one of the greatest managers in world football and Walter’s record speaks for itself.
“The success he brought to Rangers during 9-in-a-row and the last four years in difficult times has been unbelievable and he has rightly gained the respect of everyone in the game.
“I am delighted to be following in his footsteps and I will do everything possible to bring further success to this Club. I have said it many times, Rangers is a special Club with a great history and tradition and this is the proudest day of my career.
“The fans have backed me for almost 20 years as a player and Assistant Manager and as a lifelong Rangers supporter myself I look forward to rewarding their loyalty by bringing silverware to our Club.”
It is no secret that Craig Whyte is currently mulling over an attempt to buy Rangers and he might have different ideas on who he sees as the man to take over next season. McCoist has been very public in the past that a new owner for Rangers comes ahead of his career, so I suspect that the today’s announcement might be up for review if Whyte does purchase the club.