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Walter Smith confirms intention to buy Rangers

ESPN staff
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Might Walter Smith be Rangers' saviour? © PA Photos
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Former Rangers manager Walter Smith has confirmed he is heading a bid to buy the stricken Scottish club.

Smith led Rangers to ten Scottish league titles, five Scottish Cups and six Scottish League Cups during his two stints at the club, before handing over the reins to current boss Ally McCoist at the end of the 2010-11 season.

The club are in dire financial straits after a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposal was formally rejected at a meeting of creditors on Tuesday, with prospective owner Charles Green trying to push a deal for Rangers' assets.

But now Smith has asked Green to step aside to allow the consortium he is fronting to complete a deal for the Glasgow giants.

"I can today confirm that, following talks over the last few weeks, I am leading a new bid for Rangers Football Club," Smith said in a statement.

"I have been assisted by Jim McColl, Douglas Park and other prominent Scottish businessmen with a shared objective - that Rangers Football Club should be in the hands of Rangers people who will stabilise the club and protect it from future situations like we find ourselves in today.

"With this in mind, representatives have, on behalf of my group, made representations to BDO, Duff and Phelps and indeed Charles Green, notifying them of our willingness to offer on the "Newco" basis on which Mr Green is proceeding.

"We would call on Mr Green to step aside and allow us to proceed with our deal which is in the best interests of the creditors, the employees, the fans and the various other stakeholders of Rangers Football Club.

"None of our group has any desire to own Rangers Football Club but we have put this deal in place to save the club.

"However, our overriding objective is to ensure that the stadium, the history and everything else magical about Rangers Football Club is protected and nurtured back to good health and provide a platform for Rangers for generations to come.

"Let's be clear, this is an acquisition designed to stabilise the club and ensure history does not repeat itself. We are not in this to take money out of the club but more so to do whatever it takes in a turnaround plan to ensure within a few years the club can be passed on intact and to the right people.

"The supporters should be under no illusion that it will be extremely hard but with their support we can overcome financial hardship that lies ahead by lending their support to what we feel is the correct way forward - for Rangers people who know the club inside and out to control its destiny.

"The prominent Scottish businessmen involved have agreed to provide acquisition funding to allow myself and a management team to take on Rangers Football Club and make the business self-sufficient with long term sustainability being essential.

"I would hope that this offer is fully supported by everyone in the Rangers Family as without them the club cannot and will not survive. We therefore want to ensure honesty and transparency in everything we do. We want to rebuild Rangers Football Club and in doing so return the institution to the standards it is known for."

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