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Page last updated at 23:25 GMT, Monday, 26 October 2009

Chick Young's view

Chick Young
By Chick Young
BBC Scotland football correspondent

How could it have come to this? All these years living high on the hog, strutting the transfer markets of Europe and plucking their finest produce from Butcher and Woods to Gascoigne and Laudrup.

These days, Glasgow Rangers couldn't do business at a car boot sale.

At least it's not just bar-room gossip any more or whispered asides about the Ibrox club being deep in the financial manure.

It's official. The bank is keeping the club on a tight leash and all fittings and fixtures are for sale. Have a player if you want, the whole club if you have the inclination and the Nelson Eddies.

Rangers manager Walter Smith
Smith will be out of contract in January

I know because Walter Smith told me himself.

The manager brought the whole affair cascading into the front line when he chose to paint the picture in his post-match interview with me on BBC Radio Scotland at the mouth of the tunnel at Ibrox around twenty past five on Saturday.

His confession launched a thousand headlines and a million theories.

Some claimed that he is a sly old fox, wily in the ways of manipulating the media and that I'm his stool pigeon. One correspondent even called me his "long-time confidant."

Very good. But it wasn't like that at all. The man just needed to get something off his chest. And there sure has been some fiction written since.

Here's the truth. Rangers will not go into administration. As a ballpark figure they are about £30m in debt, but I am certain that their accounts will be signed off at the next annual general meeting.


Donald Muir, the new director appointed by Lloyds bank, is an expert in crisis management… and he has a crisis to manage here all right. He played his part in nursing Northern Rock from its deathbed; that might be shootie-in compared to the job he has on his hands now.

But the irony - as viewed by some - is that it his very presence that has scared away the saviour Rangers need most of all, a new owner.

Sir David Murray hasn't just taken a back seat, he has been bundled into the boot by the bank whose recent bout of bad publicity has scared them from being painted as the bad guys all over again.

Dave King - the leader in the clubhouse as far as potential purchasers are concerned, although there are others - is having a nightmare dealing with the bankers. At least I think that is what he said.

Once upon a time he would just have given a cheque to Murray and life would have moved on.

Kevin Thomson and Nacho Novo
Rangers have not been able to invest in any fresh talent

But things have changed. Big time.

Smith nearly walked in the summer and frankly I don't think he will be about much longer. Unless the new owner sweeps in soon.

And the grand plan of shoehorning Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall into office looks like going down the river without a paddle.

With Rangers now wallowing in disarray, they may be ill-advised to hang around, even if they are given the invitation.

Eighteen months have gone without a player being signed, while ten have been flogged.

Meanwhile, the current crop has to perform with 'for sale' signs pinned to their shirts. That'll motivate you every time.

I'm no financial expert. I have no idea how it came to this, save to say Rangers shrunk with the other elements of Murray's financial empire.

You can see now why they were jumping for the lifeboats of Atlantic and English Premier Leagues. Panic. Blind panic, that's what that was.

If Rangers could sell rumours they would be solvent in jig-time. My phone rings every ten minutes to tell me that Martin Bain has been sacked or Walter has thrown a wobbler and walked.

But I would suggest to the banking chaps that the aforementioned gentlemen - with a little help from someone jingling around £50m in his pockets - are the very key to the survival of Rangers Football Club.

Trust me. I'm Walter's long-time confidant, apparently.

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see also
Clarity required for Rangers sale
27 Oct 09 |  Rangers
Smith admits he could leave Ibrox
26 Oct 09 |  Rangers
Johnston reveals Gers objectives
28 Sep 09 |  Rangers
Johnston arrives with global pedigree
29 Aug 09 |  Rangers
Murray relinquishes Rangers role
26 Aug 09 |  Rangers

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