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Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Rangers boss to work without deal

Walter Smith, Martin Bain and Alastair Johnston at Ibrox
Smith, Bain and Johnston address Rangers' annual meeting at Ibrox

Rangers manager Walter Smith has agreed to work without a contract when his current deal ends next month.

The 61-year-old had already indicated that he was happy to do so following financial problems being suffered by the Scottish champions.

And chief executive Martin Bain confirmed the arrangement when he addressed Monday's annual meeting.

Bain also said he was going to discuss a new deal with striker Kris Boyd, who is out of contract in the summer.

"It has been a difficult time for the club in the last few months and there wasn't the time to sit down with players' representatives and have properly-informed discussions," said Bain.

"Over the last fortnight, I have spoken to virtually all the representatives of players who are coming out of contract and I have been made aware of their intentions and those discussions have progressed.

"In particular with Kris Boyd, I spoke to his representative and I am aware of what Kris sees as acceptable as a contract. I have digested that and I'm in the process of continuing with discussions, but it has only happened recently."

Owner Sir David Murray is still seeking a buyer for the club and contracts for Smith, assistant Ally McCoist and coach Kenny McDowall would have meant they were due compensation should any new owner prefer to bring in his own management team.

Individual fans have demonstrated interest and ability to move towards participation and ownership and we have been in discussions with certain of those

Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston

Smith had rejoined Rangers after a spell as Scotland boss and, although he has stated he is not interested in succeeding the sacked George Burley, the Scottish Football Association is to sound him out about a possible return to the national job.

Bain said: "To clarify the position of Walter Smith and his assistants with regard to contracts, we are lucky to have a management team who are all true Rangers supporters.

"Walter, Ally and Kenny have agreed to work without contracts to protect the club from having a management team that new owners might not want."

Smith recently stated that the club's banker, Lloyds, was running Rangers, although that was later disputed by the club and the bank.

And, with only loan signing Jerome Rothen arriving at Ibrox in 18 months, Smith has concerns about the limited budget at his disposal.

Rangers crashed out of the Champions League before their final Group G match, against Sevilla on Wednesday.

Smith and his players have admitted they are struggling with form despite sitting second top of the Scottish Premier League.

The manager has stated that he is not under pressure to sell players in January, but fears remain that they could be tempted to accept offers for some of their top performers.

An overwhelming majority of supporters at the agm backed a challenge to the re-election to the board of directors of Donald Muir, a Murray group employee who some have claimed is effectively Lloyds representative within the corridors of power at Ibrox.

Following the show of hands, a card vote was taken but Murray's block vote is expected to ensure the retention of Muir.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

A lively meeting was ensured given Rangers' debts stand at more than £30m and shareholders probed chairman Alastair Johnston about potential investors and about what influence the bank holds.

Johnston said he has had talks with individual supporters interested in a takeover of the club.

"Individual fans have demonstrated interest and ability to move towards participation and ownership and we have been in discussions with certain of those," he said.

Johnston received generous applause from shareholders when he ruled out the re-naming of Ibrox Stadium, insisting they would not follow the likes of Newcastle by selling the naming rights for the club's home.

"One thing we will not be putting in this business plan, or in future business plans, there is no plan to sell the naming rights to this stadium," he said. "Ibrox is non-negotiable."



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see also
Gers chairman cool on fans buyout
07 Dec 09 |  Rangers
SFA to sound out Gers boss Smith
04 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Gers coach fears talent drought
04 Dec 09 |  Rangers
Clarity required for Rangers sale
27 Oct 09 |  Rangers
Smith admits he could leave Ibrox
26 Oct 09 |  Rangers
Rangers' Sale of the Century
28 Oct 09 |  Rangers
Johnston reveals Gers objectives
28 Sep 09 |  Rangers
Murray relinquishes Rangers role
26 Aug 09 |  Rangers


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