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DIVORCE FIGHT FOR COISTY'S pounds 5m FORTUNE; Allison's lawyers look for massive payout.

Byline: STEVE SMITH EXCLUSIVE

SOCCER hero Ally McCoist is set for a pounds 5million divorce showdown with wife Allison.

Lawyers have started drawing up papers for the case, likely to be heard early next year.

And the Ibrox idol's investment company has emerged as the key battleground for the couple.

When the pair split earlier this year, they claimed their separation was amicable.

But the signs of strain are beginning to show.

Last month Allison, 36, filed for divorce on the grounds of her love cheat husband's "unreasonable behaviour".

She also obtained a court order banning him from their pounds 800,000 Renfrewshire mansion.

The pain of ending their 12-year marriage is showing on Allison. The former beauty queen looks tired and drawn.

The pair can haggle over their home, possessions and Super Ally's massive wealth. But their company, Alistair McCoist Ltd, will be a key part of the divorce settlement.

The investment firm is where Scotland star Ally is thought to have banked much of his fortune.

Latest accounts show that on March 31 last year, the firm had pounds 1.6million in the bank - compared with pounds 400,000 the previous year - and net assets of pounds 2,240,333.

McCoist is the majority shareholder of the firm,with his mother Jessie, 75, owning a 21 per cent stake and Allison holding a 19 per cent share worth pounds 425,663.

The fortunes of Alistair McCoist Ltd reflect the striker's success after retiring from the game which made him an Ibrox legend.

McCoist, 40, is understood to have banked more than pounds 1million from the sale of Glasgow radio station Beat 106FM, which was snapped up by London-based Capital Radio in a pounds 33million deal.

He was one of three stars who invested in Beat 106FM. TV personality Carol Smillie and Texas star Sharleen Spiteri also cashed in.

McCoist's pounds 18,000-a-week salary at Rangers was boosted by another million during his testimonial season in 1994.

McCoist earns around pounds 100,000 a year from Question of Sport, topped up with pounds 150,000 a year working as a football pundit for ITV.

He is also thought to own property in Scotland and Portugal and shares in pubs in East Kilbride and Aviemore.

Personal appearances and a string of endorsements add to his fortune.

McCoist refuses to comment on his private life. But Allison's court order banning him from the family home shows it is likely to be a heated and very public divorce.

A legal expert said: "It is common in divorce cases for a woman to apply to the court for an interim interdict, which prevents the husband from entering the matrimonial home.

"An interim order is initially granted without hearing the husband's side of the story.

"He can later dispute it and if the court believes there are no grounds, the interdict will fail."

Allison still lives at the secluded family home in Bridge of Weir with the couple's three young sons, one of whom has a serious heart condition.

But she has been seen spending much of her time with hardman gardener Scott Crawford, 39.

Friends say nightclub bouncer Crawford, who has convictions for assault and breach of the peace, is never spotted at the McCoists' home. But he regularly meets Allison at her pounds 20,000 caravan near Saltcoats on the Ayrshire coast.

He has also been seen driving the McCoist family car and enjoying romantic meals with Allison near the pub and club where he works in Saltcoats.

Friends of Ally said he is deeply troubled that his children might be in contact with a man of Crawford's reputation.

Crawford is a serial womaniser, who has fathered at least four children to three women.

He is notorious in his home town of Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, for having a Union Flag and a Red Hand of Ulster flag flying from his window.

Friends say Crawford, who became a grandfather last year, has Allison wrapped around his little finger.

Allison and McCoist tried to patch up their marriage after he admitted a year ago to having an affair with actress Patsy Kensit.

After that scandal it was revealed McCoist also had a fling with air stewardess Donna Giblin.

Allison and McCoist finally split in August after it was revealed she was meeting Crawford at the Ayrshire caravan while her husband was on holiday with their three children.

ALLY'S ASSETS

Alistair McCoist Ltd pounds 3,800,000 Home in Renfrewshire pounds 800,000

Question of Sport pounds 100, 000

ITV football pundit pounds 150,000

Sale of Beat 106 pounds 1,000,000

What is up with Ally's wife?

THE stress of the past year seems to have taken its toll on Allison McCoist.

The ex-beauty queen stole the show with her new dyed-blonde hairdo when she stepped out with Ally for the premier of his movie A Shot At Glory last year.

But the strain of the 40-year-old soccer pundit's affairs with actress Patsy Kensit and air stewardess Donna Giblin and an imminent divorce have taken their toll on the former model.

Close friends are deeply concerned about Allison's health and her relationship with nightclub bouncer Scott Crawford.

One pal said: "Everybody who is close to Allison is really worried because she has changed so much.

"She's going through a very public and difficult divorce so she's obviously under an awful lot of strain.

"Allison just became besotted with Crawford and we were a bit uneasy about the whole thing because of his reputation."

Gone are the celebrity parties and public engagements which made the McCoists one of Scotland's most photographed couples.

Ally's successful career as a TV pundit and a team captain on A Question of Sport means he now spends much of his time in London.

However, the doting dad spends all his spare time with son Alexander, seven, and twins Mitchell and Argyll, four.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 12, 2002
Words:982
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