Smith signs new deal at Ibrox

Rangers boss Walter Smith has signed a new one-year deal with

the SPL champions for what will be the manager’s last season in the

game.

The forthcoming campaign will be the 62-year-old’s last before

handing over the reins to backroom team Ally McCoist and Kenny

McDowall.

All three – who had been working without contracts since January

– agreed new deals today and put pen to paper this evening at

Murray Park.

Smith has targeted a final season of success and is determined

to go out on a high when he retires from the game.

Smith said: “I have given this decision a great deal of

thought.

“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 will step aside at the end of the forthcoming campaign for

his assistant Ally McCoist to take over the hotseat after McCoist

and first-team coach Kenny McDowall both signed two-year deals.

Smith added: “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 has been forced to work under financial restrictions amid

the ongoing uncertainty which hangs over the club, as the search

for a new owner continues.

His inability to purchase a new player since August 2008 has

been well documented.

But club chiefs have revealed that Champions League money will

be re-invested in the playing squad following positive talks with

Lloyds Banking Group, the club’s bankers.

Chief executive Martin Bain said: “We are all delighted that

Walter, Ally and Kenny are staying on and we are pleased to be able

to inform fans more fully about the club’s position.

“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.

“We believe the outcome of our recent positive discussions with

the bank gives us a real platform for operational stability at the

club and we thank Lloyds for their support.

“We have a clear business plan in place and will continue to

maximise efficiencies and endeavour to increase our non-playing

income.

“I would also like to thank our supporters who have been

absolutely tremendous throughout this period of uncertainty.

“There is no doubt their efforts helped the team achieve its

success over the last few seasons and we would hope this fantastic

support will continue.

“At no time has the supporters’ backing been more crucial than

it is at present and it is never taken for granted. Everyone at the

club has to continue to earn their support every day.”