Posted on Apr 26
The financial crisis engulfing the 140-year-old Scottish football institution took a sinister twist Wednesday when the SFA revealed police had given security advice to the three-member panel after their names were published online and threats made against them.
Police also gave similar advice to SFA directors.
News of the police intervention came just a day after an angry McCoist, a former Rangers and Scotland striker, had called for the panel's identities to be made public, saying their actions could "kill" the club.
"Who are these people? I want to know who these people are," he told Rangers TV. "Make no mistake about it, this is an SFA decision.
"In terms of our supporters, again they have received another kicking and we just feel it's time to start fighting back."
But McCoist insisted Thursday his remarks should not have been interpreted as a "signal to engage in any form of threatening behaviour".
McCoist said: "I would not for one moment want anyone to interpret my remarks as a signal to engage in any form of threatening behaviour.
"Such activity disgusts me and anyone who engages in it does Rangers Football Club nothing but harm."
But panel member Eric Drysdale, a Raith Rovers director, said McCoist's remarks had led to the reaction that prompted police intervention, telling Sky Sports: "I think the answer to your question is yes, it may have antagonised some people.
"I have nothing whatsoever against Alistair, he's a good guy, I have always respected him. But I wish he hadn't said what he said, I must be honest."
Meanwhile Strathclyde Police Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: "I can confirm that we are investigating allegations of threats and it would therefore be inappropriate for me to comment in detail.
"However, what is clear is that we are still seeing far too many people using the internet and social media to issue offensive or threatening messages to people.
"This is totally unacceptable and, in many cases, a criminal offence.
"You cannot sit in your house or pick up your phone and make threats or offensive comments about people without there being consequences."
Rangers went into administration two months ago, prompting a raft of drastic measures including players agreeing to wage cuts of up to 75 per cent to avoid redundancies.
The SFA hit Rangers with a £160,000 ($260,000, 195,000 euro) fine and a 12-month transfer embargo on Monday after finding the club guilty of several financial offences.
They also issued a lifetime ban to Rangers owner Craig Whyte from any future involvement in Scottish football.
Rangers' administrators Duff and Phelps said the punishment could hinder attempts to sell the club and called for an immediate appeal hearing.
According to a Duff and Phelps report released earlier this month, Rangers' total debt could amount to £134 million, with the club awaiting the outcome of a tax tribunal case that could cost them £75 million.
Entering administration meant Rangers were docked 10 points -- a move that effectively conceded the Scottish Premier League (SPL) title they held at the start of the season to arch rivals Celtic, recently crowned champions.