GLASGOW (AFP) – Fallen Scottish giants Rangers have been rocked by more in-fighting after manager Ally McCoist launched a stinging attack on the club's former chief executive Charles Green.
McCoist awoke on Saturday to read a newspaper interview in which Green, who is set to return to Ibrox in a consultancy role, had warned the Rangers boss that he must win a cup this year and that simply delivering another league title would not be enough.
Hours later, Rangers, currently languishing in the Scottish third tier, crashed out in the first round of the Scottish League Cup after an embarrassing 2-1 extra-time defeat at Forfar.
Speaking afterwards at Station Park, when asked for his thoughts on Green's remarks, McCoist said: "I was appalled by them to be quite honest with you.
"The self-acclaimed straight-talking Yorkshireman has again let himself down.
"His contempt and total lack of respect for my players, for our football club, for our support and Scottish football in general is appalling - and he is an embarrassment.
"If it was a threat then the self-acclaimed straight-talking Yorkshireman should know that boys from the West of Scotland don't scare easily.
"If he does come back, I'll certainly go and pick him at the airport. I won't have a problem doing that.
"It's just more hot air that we've come to expect from Charles."
Green quit as chief executive in April but, in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Friday, the club confirmed his return as a consultant.
And McCoist, who was unhappy with Green branding his players "the worst Rangers team ever" last season, made it clear he did not welcome the Yorkshireman's return.
"After I've given him that endorsement it would be crazy of me to say 'welcome back Charles'," he said.
"I've got to be careful because Forfar deserved their win and well done to Dick Campbell and his players.
"But our players picked up the newspaper at breakfast to be reminded they're the worst team in Rangers' history.
"Instead of concentrating on the match, their minds are elsewhere and they're worrying about their jobs. Because, let's face it, if he's said we don't win a cup and we go, then some of the players would be under threat too."
The match was also played against a backdrop of fresh boardroom turmoil, with a group of Ibrox shareholders aiming to see the removal of key board members, including new chief executive Craig Mather.
Rangers were relegated from the Scottish Premier League in 2012 as punishment for going into liquidation and on a long, slow road back to the top-flight after winning promotion from the fourth tier last season.