Glasgow (AFP) - Rangers manager Ally McCoist said he wanted the off-field "sideshow" enveloping the club to end, saying it was starting to affect the players after the Glasgow giants started the new Scottish Championship season with a 2-1 loss at home to Hearts on Sunday.
Rangers, the 54-times champions of Scotland, were kicked into the country's fourth and bottom tier of professional football in 2012 after entering administration.
But they have since been working their way back towards the summit and last season were crowned champions of third-tier League One.
However, their on-field progress has been accompanied by a series of boardroom wrangles.
The latest twist saw former chief executive Charles Green announce earlier this week that he was looking to lead fresh investment into the Ibrox club.
Green was a controversial figure during his time at the helm at Rangers and left Ibrox last year following allegations of business dealings with former owner Craig Whyte.
However, he re-emerged this week with claims he was close to a deal that would raise Â£10 million ($17 million) to invest in the club, which is struggling financially and looking to generate Â£4m through a share issue.
Fan groups have already said they will call for a boycott of matches if Green was to return to a position of power at Ibrox and McCoist felt the former chief executive's comments overshadowed an emotional day for the club as it renamed the Govan Stand in honour of late great Sandy Jardine, who played over 800 times for Rangers.
- 'Bad timing' -
"Whether he (Green) comes back or not it remains to be seen but I thought the timing of it again was bad," McCoist said.
"It was a big day for the players, a big day for the supporters and an even bigger day for Sandy Jardine's family and I just think the timing of it wasn't great to be honest."
Former Rangers and Scotland striker McCoist, also suggested Green's re-appearance on the Ibrox scene may be unsettling his squad.
"For the first time one or two of the players have talked to me about the timing of it," said McCoist.
"Everybody does their level best to keep players sheltered and away from it," McCoist said.
"We'll continue to do that because, with the greatest respect, all they can have a bearing on is results on the park and that's what they have to concentrate on.
"It is a little bit of sideshow we can do without."
Edinburgh side Hearts have had plenty of off-field problems as well.
Last season they were relegated from Scotland's top flight following an acrimonious campaign that almost saw the club go bankrupt.
Sunday's match was the first time the two clubs had met outside of Scotland's top division.
Hearts, relegated from the Premiership along with Edinburgh rivals Hibernian, took a 53rd minute lead through a Danny Wilson header.
They held their advantage until the first minute of stoppage time when Nicky Law slotted home an equaliser for last season's League One champions.
However, Hearts scored immediately from the re-start when Osman Sow fired a low shot past Cammy Bell to inflict Rangers' first league defeat since October 2012.
"To get back into the game when we did -- which I think we deserved -- and then to lose a goal straight from kick-off is not acceptable," said Rangers striker Kenny Miller, who is in his third spell with the club.
"It was a hard game against one of our main rivals for the league this year and it gives hope to Hibs and the rest of the teams in the league who will fancy their chances against us after seeing this result."
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