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Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 17:46 UK

Rangers' Walter Smith irked by Andrew Ellis comments

The Rangers management team pose with the SPL trophy
Smith (centre) shows off the Scottish Premier League trophy with coaches Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowell

Rangers manager Walter Smith is urging potential new owner Andrew Ellis to buy the cash-strapped Scottish champions before making plans for the future.

Ellis, who is exploring a possible bid, has said that he hopes to keep Smith on if he does take control at Ibrox.

But Smith said: "For anybody thinking about buying the club to make public that they are going to offer contracts without speaking to us is not right.

"Buy the club first. If that's what they want to do then do it."

Smith, whose team defended the Scottish Premier League and won the Co-operative Insurance Cup final this season, has been working without a contract since January.

And London-based property developer Ellis has said he would offer the former Scotland and Everton manager a three-year deal, as well as giving current majority shareholder Sir David Murray the role of lifetime president.

My situation is probably the least important. The club's situation has to be sorted more than any individual's

Walter Smith

"You get frustrated when things like that happen because the individual part, whether someone wants to offer me a three-year contract or not, it doesn't really matter," added Smith.

"The most important thing is the football club. I stress that to you - that is the most important thing in our mind.

"Myself, Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall, we are supporters and we are fortunate enough to be able to work at a club we love working at.

"You don't have to use my name or anybody else's to try and buy the club. Rangers Football Club should stand on its own and if he wants to buy it then make an offer for it.

"He's had plenty of time to make an offer, so it's down to him."

Smith has not bought a new player since the summer of 2008 as the club seek new owners to help ease the club's debts and the manager faces losing some of his current squad under freedom of contract.

Chairman Alastair Johnston flies into Glasgow from his United States base this weekend for talks with Smith.

"We've got a fair number of things that we need to chat about, so we will do that," added Smith. "I've said this quite consistently that we have to get this clarity, regardless of what it is.

"The main thing is just to try to get a situation where the club is sorted out and, given a bit of direction, regardless of what that is, whether we carry on under the bank's rule, or new owners, supporter buy-outs or anything like that.

"I don't think you are going to have a situation where the chairman appears, has a couple of meetings and then everything is clarified. It's not going to be quite as simple as that.

"But the close-season is an important time for the footballing side of things, so hopefully the sooner things get settled down the better."

Smith knows fans are keen to learn whether he will still be at the Ibrox helm next term.

But he stressed: "My situation is probably the least important. The club's situation has to be sorted more than any individual's.

"Whether I'm in the Rangers dugout at the start of next season or not is really not the most important thing. That's just the way it is.

"Since January, everybody seems to be preoccupied by the fact that we are without contracts but we still get paid. There is no problem for myself, Ally McCoist, Kenny McDowall - there is still no problem for us working without a contract.

"If the club gets a new owner and he wants me to stay on, he will indicate that. If he wants us to leave then we will leave.

"There is not a problem with that situation, but it would be wrong of us to mislead people and say we are going to do one thing or another and then find out that we are not."



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see also
Ellis would offer Smith new deal
04 May 10 |  Rangers
Gers laud Smith for trophy haul
26 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Group mulls over Rangers takeover
11 Mar 10 |  Rangers


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