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Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 17:49 UK

Prospective Rangers buyer Ellis would offer Smith deal

Ally McCoist, Walter Smith and Kenny McDowell
Smith (centre) and his management team are working without contracts

Rangers manager Walter Smith will be offered a new three-year contract if Andrew Ellis takes over the club.

The English businessman, who is exploring a possible bid, says any offer is still some weeks away.

But should he succeed, he would want Smith to remain as manager and would also offer current owner Sir David Murray a lifetime presidency.

Smith, in his second spell as Ibrox boss, has been working without a contract since January.

The Scottish Premier League champions, who retained their title last month, have been unable to buy a player for nearly two years as Lloyds Banking Group tries to control debts of around £30m.

And the club is also the subject of an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs over a tax issue.

Meanwhile, Rangers Supporters Trust spokesman David Edgar feels offering Murray the presidency could disenfranchise some fans.

If the bid goes through, it will take the club out of the bank's control, which is fantastic. But the Rangers support is suspicious; promises have been made in the past and not kept

David Edgar
Rangers Supporters Trust spokesman

"It's the equivalent of giving Freddie Goodwin the same role with the Royal Bank of Scotland," said Edgar.

"It's a reward for recklessness. I don't think the supporters will be pleased - certainly the ones I have spoken to aren't happy.

"There is genuine anger. We should never have been in the position we are in, a poor legacy has been left by Murray."

Edgar hopes Ellis will meet with the trust in the near future and says that, while fans are positive about the bid, a degree of caution remains.

He said: "The bid includes all the club's debt and I'm optimistic there will be serious developments in the next three to four weeks. I suppose you could say the news has been met with qualified optimism.

"We don't know a lot about him and we couldn't find out a lot about him during the due diligence process. We had informal discussions with his representatives recently but at this stage we simply do not know enough.

"Now we look forward to hearing answers to some pertinent questions, the first one, of course, being 'Why bid for Rangers?'

"He has no historical connection with the club, although that is not necessarily a bad thing. We also want to know where he sees the club in a few years' time, so there are concerns.

"But what I will stress is that Andrew Ellis has conducted himself perfectly through the negotiations. He has been doing all the right things.

"If the bid goes through, it will take the club out of the bank's control, which is fantastic.

"But the Rangers support is suspicious; promises have been made in the past and not kept. Andrew Ellis will have to deliver what he says he will deliver, and if he does, he will get the full support of the fans."



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see also
Rangers chair hopeful on signings
27 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Gers laud Smith for trophy haul
26 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Gers boss could stay without deal
07 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Rangers can handle debt - Smith
06 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Group mulls over Rangers takeover
11 Mar 10 |  Rangers


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