McMinn: Ally will have last laugh at Rangers

TED McMinn left Rangers 27 years ago and currently lives hundreds of miles away from Ibrox in the heart of England.

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Metal as anything … McMinn laughs with a fan dressed as his Tin Man namesake at his 2006 testimonial in Derby

But his interest in the club's fortunes has never waned and his desire to see them flourish is still strong. So it has pained, but not surprised, him to see the once-mighty Glasgow giants lurch from one crisis to another in recent years.

Even from his home in Derby, where his two former clubs will play today, he had suspected trouble lay ahead after Charles Green took over two years ago.

McMinn said: "When he went to Rangers a Sheffield Wednesday fan I know told me 'Green isn't going there for nothing. There has to be something in it for him. He's certainly not going for the sake of Rangers.'

"Clearly this guy knew of Green from the short time he spent as chief executive of Sheffield United. I did sit up and take notice when he told me that. Of course, he was subsequently proved right.

"That is what has really disappointed me about the Rangers situation, all these names coming and going but none seemed to have the best interests of the club at heart. They have all seemed to be in it for themselves.

"It seems to me nobody has been running Rangers for the sole benefit of Rangers. Yet all the fans are interested in, all they care about, is the club doing well and prospering."

McMinn added: "I'm now reading stories of ongoing unrest off the pitch and of supporters being concerned about the future of both Ibrox and Murray Park. Many have refused to renew their season tickets as a result.

"It can't have been easy for Ally McCoist to manage the team with all this going on in the background. He is in his first managerial job but has had to put up with so much off-the-field stuff.

"But he has taken Rangers up the leagues and I am sure he will take them back into the top flight this season. He will have the last laugh.

"The chief executive now, Graham Wallace, is like me a Dumfries boy and is about the same age. Hopefully, he can get the club moving in the right direction again."

THIS afternoon McMinn will be guest of honour at the iPro Stadium when Derby County, where he is a cult hero, take on Rangers in a pre-season friendly.

Around 10,000 Gers fans are expected to make the journey to the East Midlands to see McCoist's side play their last match before the competitive campaign gets under way.

The huge travelling support will come as no surprise to The Tin Man, as he was lovingly known in his playing days due to his unorthodox running style. He feels it once again underlines the potential of the Govan club.

"People in England don't appreciate the size of the Old Firm teams," McMinn said. "The Rangers followers are so passionate about their club. They are fanatical.

"When a Derby legends side played the Rangers Nine-in-a-Row boys eight years ago in a testimonial match for me they got a record crowd of more than 33,000 in Derby.

"The fans of both clubs were fantastic that day. Since then the Derby supporters have always looked out for the Rangers result."

McMinn, who had part of his right leg amputated and a prosthetic limb fitted in 2005 after getting a foot infection, is looking forward to seeing Rangers after getting a special invitation from Derby.

He joked: "They must have been struggling for someone to invite. My name must have come out of a hat! But it will be nice to be at the game and see some old faces."

TWO of those old faces will be his ex-teammates Ally McCoist and Ian Durrant, now the manager and assistant boss at Ibrox.

McMinn admits that during his time at Rangers he never envisaged either of the pair occupying such lofty roles.

"Ally and Ian were always the life and soul of the party in the dressing room in my time at Ibrox," recalled the 51-year-old former winger.

"If you'd asked me 30 years ago if I thought they would be managing and coaching at Rangers one day my response would have been: 'No chance!'

"However, Ally and Ian are both Rangers through and through. They know the club inside out and have done well to win two league titles.

"I think it is important for the club to have had guys like Ally, John Greig and the late Sandy Jardine working there behind the scenes.

"Ally has picked things up from every Rangers manager he's worked under, from Jock Wallace and Graeme Souness to Walter Smith.

"Now he's brought his own strengths to the job. Last year his defence of Ian Black, when he stuck up for the lad when he was being attacked on all sides, was typical of Ally.

"Players really appreciate that from their gaffer."

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