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Rangers count cost of Euro defeat

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Highlights: FBK Kaunas v Rangers

Rangers stand to lose millions of pounds after crashing out of European competition at the hands of FBK Kaunas.

Defeat in the Champions League second qualifying round means last season's Uefa Cup finalists miss out on a potential 12m windfall.

Rangers boss Walter Smith said: "It's a blow in every aspect, including the financial side and everything that comes with it.

"We still have to change the squad but there will be an impact on the budget."

Rangers' European quest came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday night when Linas Pilibaitis headed the Lithuanian side to a 2-1 victory four minutes from time.

The loss at such an early stage in the Champions League qualifiers means the Glasgow team will not even drop into the Uefa Cup.

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Last season, Rangers played 19 times in Europe as they marched to the Uefa Cup final in Manchester where they were beaten by Zenit St Petersburg.

But there will be no lucrative European run this season for the Gers, whose European foray is over before the Scottish domestic season has begun.

"Celtic are in the group stage of the Champions League so will now get all of Scotland's TV money for that tournament," commented BBC 5 Live's Roddy Forsyth.

"They are now a much more alluring prospect for transfer targets.

"Rangers must reinforce too but they may also have to sell the likes of [Spanish defender] Carlos Cuellar and [French midfielder] Brahim Hemdani to balance the books and neither are cup-tied in Europe."

Former Rangers defender Craig Paterson also believes his old club need new blood but concedes it will be harder to attract players after the result in Lithuania.

"It was a dismal night on every front," he told BBC Sport.

"Walter Smith obviously needs to bring players in but now he doesn't have the Champions League to dangle in front of these guys.

"The type of players Rangers want expect to be playing in the top European competitions every year.

"There might have been deals in the pipeline and these guys will be thinking 'maybe it's not the right time to be going to Ibrox'."

Smith admitted his summer transfer budget will be influenced by their European defeat, even though the transfer window is open until the end of August.

"We have been looking to bring in at least one, maybe two, midfield players," said Smith.

If the benefit of European football is that you get Champions League money to spend then - when you don't have it we will have to be careful with what we do

Rangers boss Walter Smith
"But we have to wait and see what transpires when we take into account the ramifications of not having European football.

"If the benefit of European football is that you get Champions League money to spend then, of course, when you don't have it we will have to be careful with what we do."

Smith will have to come up with some answers by Friday when he and the club's owner Sir David Murray and chief executive Martin Bain will take part in a pre-arranged question-and-answer session at the club's training complex.

Then he will be charged with lifting his players' morale for Saturday's SPL opener at Falkirk.




see also
Chick Young's view
06 Aug 08 |  Scotland
McCulloch blast for Gers display
06 Aug 08 |  Rangers
Smith concern at ragged Rangers
02 Aug 08 |  Rangers
Danes likely target for Rangers
01 Aug 08 |  Rangers
BBC Scotland to cover Gers tie
01 Aug 08 |  Scotland
Smith says Rangers can progress
30 Jul 08 |  Rangers
Rangers 0-0 FBK Kaunas
30 Jul 08 |  Europe


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