BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 19:25 UK

Walter Smith to stay at Rangers for one last season

Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist and manager Walter Smith

Smith to stay at Ibrox for another year

Manager Walter Smith has signed a one-year deal to remain at Rangers in what will be his last season in football.

The 62-year-old then intends to hand the reins over to his assistants Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall.

Smith, McCoist and McDowall had all been working without contracts since January as the club seek a new owner.

Smith has delivered nine championships in his two spells in charge at Ibrox as well as five triumphs apiece in the Scottish Cup and League Cup.

"I am wholly committed to managing the club next season and when it comes to the end of next season I firmly believe that Ally and Kenny would do a great job and I am glad everybody at the club shares that view," Smith told the club website.

"I have given this decision a great deal of thought.

We will invest some Champions League revenue and general profit from this year in the playing squad

Martin Bain
Rangers chief executive

"The next season holds many challenges for everyone at the club and I would hope that with the backing of everyone - supporters, management and staff - we can pull together as a club and continue to achieve at least the levels of success we have enjoyed over the last few seasons.

"We have big challenges ahead, on and off the field, but we are all Rangers men at heart and are looking forward to going for our third league title in a row and playing in the Champions League."

Smith returned to the Ibrox dugout in January 2007, having spent a little over two years in charge of Scotland.

He first arrived at the Glasgow club as assistant manager to Graeme Souness in 1986 and assumed control of the first team five years later.

Seven successive league titles followed under Smith's tenure, including a domestic treble in 1992-93, but he was denied what would have been a record-breaking 10th championship in a row for Rangers in his final season before his departure for Everton.

In his fourth season at Goodison Park he was sacked and had a brief period as assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United before taking the Scotland job.

Despite continued success, his two spells at Ibrox have been markedly different, with the club currently hamstrung by debt.

Smith has not been able to sign a player since August 2008, which is in stark contrast to the big-spending days of his first rein, which saw the recruitment of Paul Gascoigne and Brian Laudrup among many other highly-paid stars.


Smith had hinted at walking away, frustrated by financial restrictions at the club and the lack of progress being made to find a new owner.

However, talks have resumed with potential investor Andrew Ellis and that, along with the promise of funds for players, may have helped persuade Smith to stay and lead the team into the Champions League.

Chairman Alastair Johnston added: "Walter's continued presence within Rangers was something I was determined to make happen and (chief executive) Martin Bain was instrumental in creating the environment that encouraged Walter, Ally and Kenny to remain on board."

On the subject of the club's debt, Bain explained: "We have been engaged in direct and constructive discussions with the bank about how the club can operate in the foreseeable future, given the improved financial position since last season.

"We will, of course, continue to look for new investment in Rangers but, in the interim, there is a plan in place for the club to operate on a stable basis.

"The club recognises that Lloyds Banking Group is looking for structured debt reduction at the club. Equally, the bank recognises that the club needs to be managed at a level where it is in a position to deliver success on the field and meet supporters' expectations.

"In broad terms, we will invest some Champions League revenue and general profit from this year in the playing squad.

"We will be able to maintain our wage levels as they are and, if any players decide to leave, we will be re-investing proceeds back in the squad."

Print Sponsor

see also
Walter Smith's career in photos
26 May 10 |  Rangers
Gers boss irked by Ellis comments
07 May 10 |  Rangers
Ellis would offer Smith new deal
04 May 10 |  Rangers
Gers laud Smith for trophy haul
26 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Rangers duo win Clydesdale awards
19 Apr 10 |  Scottish Premier
Gers boss could stay without deal
07 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Rangers can handle debt - Smith
06 Apr 10 |  Rangers
Smith warns of Rangers dark days
03 Feb 10 |  Rangers
Rangers announce jump in profits
17 Feb 10 |  Rangers

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites