DJ: McCoist right to stand up for fans over fixture overload

I think the rumpus over Rangers' three away games in six days the week after Christmas is one that has some merit … and that Ally McCoist was right to raise his feelings over it.

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DJ reckons Ally McCoist handled the situation over John Gemmell's comments well
DJ reckons Ally McCoist handled the situation over John Gemmell's comments well

Ally did so to support the most important people in the game, the fans, and sometimes it seems to me that the governing bodies can forget about them.

Although the number of away and home games will obviously even themselves up over the course of a season, it does seem a bit unfair to be asking any one side and its support to be doing so three times on the bounce around Christmas.

At that time of the year fans have already had to shell out for presents and the last thing they need is to be having to pay for travel, tickets, food and drink, game after game, at a period of the year when cash is already tight.

At least if you have one home game in there then you are getting that on a season ticket book, while you don't need to worry about two or three hours' travelling time at a period where you may have many occasions to attend.

Rangers have by far the biggest support in the domestic game outside the top flight and the clubs that are hosting them look forward to the big payday that comes with the arrival of the red, white and blue legions.

However, if you look at the gates in these three away games then they were very poor and that was because fans are not stupid.

When they are asked to go to the well once too often they will give you short shrift and then everyone loses out - including the opposition.

So I think Ally had every right to fight the fans' corner.After all, if the manager hadn't done it, then who would have?

Which brings me on to Stenhousemuir's John Gemmell and his Twitter rant over McCoist's comments.

There is no doubt that he had a point in everything he said but, for me, the way he went about it was totally unacceptable.

Yes, we all know that the Rangers players are paid big money, that they have the best training facilities and are looked after in a way that lower-league players can only dream about.

Clearly, that is something that can get up players' noses, but there is a way to make your point and using the type of language Gemmell did and the platform he chose was not the way to do so.

He was also missing the point, which was that McCoist was fighting his fans' corner.

But I felt that Ally handled the whole issue really well by seeking Gemmell out, putting an arm around him after the game and laughing the whole thing off.

Whether he is a Rangers supporter or not, Gemmell has not done himself any favours and I have no doubt he has taken pelters for it.

It was silly and a bit unsavoury but I am sure the big Stenhousemuir striker will not make the same mistake again in a hurry, given the backlash he has suffered from the Rangers support. He will have learned his lesson.

The game has a habit of making passions run high and sometimes when that is the case emotion gets in the way of reason.

But I really hope the lad does not have the book thrown at him.


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