Taxing times as Rangers go out

Rangers 0 Dundee United 2

Ibrox

Ally McCoist, the Rangers manager, says an ongoing tax dispute, rather than his team's results, is more likely to plunge the club into crisis, after they crashed out of the Scottish Cup yesterday to Dundee United.

The champions' only hope of silverware lies in the league, where they are a point behind leaders Celtic, who have a game in hand.

First-half goals from Gavin Gunning and Johnny Russell secured victory for United, but McCoist said: "The players are fine. They just get the sleeves rolled up and get on with it. That's the only way we go. The players are disappointed but we'll get back into training and go ahead.

"This club has had problems in the past but it's determination and grit and a lot of qualities that we have in that dressing room that will see us through this."

McCoist said the wait for a verdict in a tax tribunal with Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs, that could land the club with a bill of £49m, remains the biggest problem. Asked if the club was in crisis, he said: "I think the crisis point comes with the tax case more than anything. That's the biggest problem the club faces. What we all need is clarification on what's happening so that we can move forward. The uncertainty regarding this tax issue is the biggest problem that we have."

Rangers' need for new players was highlighted when they ended yesterday's fifth-round tie with a front pairing of Salim Kerkar – who has never started a game – and Andrew Little, whose injury problems meant he had not featured for the club since October 2010. McCoist added: "We have injury problems in that department. We're going with two not really recognised strikers for the last 15 or 20 minutes but that's where we are."

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