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Smith admits he could leave Ibrox

Walter Smith
Smith admits his era at Ibrox could come to an end under a new owner

Walter Smith has warned that any takeover at Rangers could end his second spell as manager at Ibrox.

Smith's current contract expires in January and he is prepared to work without one until a buyer can be found.

Rangers claim "tentative enquiries" have been made concerning the club's sale but no formal offer has been made.

"If a new owner comes in, he might want to change the manager," said Smith. "There's no point me doing anything until the situation has cleared up."

Rangers are estimated to be about £25m in debt and are currently being run by Lloyds Bank.

The Ibrox outfit has also been put up for sale following Sir David Murray's decision to step down as chairman.

if the board ask me to stay on, I would consider it if the club's circumstances have not changed.

Rangers manager Walter Smith

In a statement on Sunday, Rangers also said they would not have to sell any players in the January transfer window.

Smith admitted on Saturday that the club faces a period of stagnation and now insists he would be willing to leave Ibrox if his departure was in the best interests of the club.

"We said in January that the players were up for sale, so how can the manager then say he's in a safe position when the club are in this situation?," said Smith.

"Would I work without a contract? Well, I would if I'm asked.

"They would need to ask me first. There's no point me saying anything about it.

"My contract expires in January and, in the normal run of circumstances, someone would leave then.

"So, if the board ask me to stay on, I would consider it if the club's circumstances have not changed.

"The club have been quite straightforward on the situation and that applies to management as well.

"My contract runs out in January because I signed a three-year deal when I came in, simple as that. If the people running the football club just now ask me to stay on because they've not got a buyer, I would consider that.

"If there's a new buyer and they want someone else to take charge then I'd be happy to go, as long as it's the best thing for Rangers."

Smith, 61, told BBC Scotland on Saturday that Rangers were facing difficult times after Sir David Murray stepped down as chairman.

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"Now the bank have taken over the running of the club. They'll have their own ideas and obviously investment isn't one of them," Smith said.

"I just think there's a stagnation about our club at the present moment."

Smith's contract, and that of assistant boss Ally McCoist expire in January, midway through the current season.

However, with the current financial uncertainty at the club it is unclear whether new chairman Alastair Johnston will offer them new deals before the turn of the year.

Rangers drew 1-1 with Hibernian at Ibrox on Saturday and lost heavily to Unirea Urziceni in the Champions League in midweek.



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see also
Clarity required for Rangers sale
27 Oct 09 |  Rangers
Rangers 1-1 Hibernian
24 Oct 09 |  Scottish Premier


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