WALTER Smith is the ideal man to be chairman of Rangers, according to Craig Brown.
The former Aberdeen manager, who is now a non-executive director at Pittodrie, is sure that Smith’s honesty and integrity are exactly the qualities needed at Ibrox as the club tries to restore some stability in the boardroom.
“That is the wisest thing I have seen Rangers do,” Brown – like Smith a former manager of the national team – said yesterday. “Walter will not hesitate in saying how it is in the boardroom.
“Walter has presence. He’s got stature and integrity.
“When there is so much talk about what is happening here and there, if you can trust someone to be as honest as Walter is, then that brings stability. You wonder about some other people after the stories that have emerged from the boardroom.
“Where is the transparency? Where is the integrity? Where is the honesty?
“But with Walter, what you see is what you get, and that is why he was so respected by players. He would get right into their face and tell them ‘you’re not playing because you’ve been s***’.
“There is no messing about with Walter. And I think it’s the integrity of the guy, the stature and the reputation he has for fairnness and honesty which makes him outstanding for that job.”
Brown is equally convinced that Ally McCoist, who succeeded Smith as Rangers manager, is the man to take the club forward on the pitch. “Keeping McCoist as the manager was a wise move, because I don’t think anyone else managing Rangers over that stormy period could have kept 46,000 fans going to a Third Division game,” he continued.
“I haven’t heard one Rangers fan calling for him to go, because McCoist is a hero. But any other manager with an indifferent result like losing the cup games to Dundee United and Inverness would have been under pressure. Not only is Ally a good guy, but he’s also a good manager. I saw him coaching down at Largs doing his A licence when I was working with the Scottish national team and he shouted across: ‘It’s your job I’m after!’”
Brown warned, however, that taking a seat on the board of a football club could be hard work, and said he had been surprised by how much he was expected to do in his new role at Aberdeen. “The day after I said I was retiring, [Aberdeen chairman] Stewart Milne phoned to ask if he could see me.
“So I went to his house and he asked if I would become a non-executive director and handed me an A4 sheet with the job spec on it. When I read down the list I said ‘I’m doing more here than I was doing as a manager’. It involved so many different duties, from sponsorship to training grounds.”