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
The forthcoming campaign will be the 62-year-old’s last before
handing over the reins to backroom team Ally McCoist and Kenny
All three – who had been working without contracts since January
– agreed new deals today and put pen to paper this evening at
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
“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
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
“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
“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.”