Rangers chairman aims to build on success despite tax probe

RANGERS chairman Alastair Johnston is hoping to fund summer signings at Ibrox and wants Walter Smith to remain as manager.

• Alastair Johnston (left) would like to secure the services of manager Walter Smith

Smith captured his second Clydesdale Bank Premier League title in succession at the weekend amid uncertainty about his future and while the club searches for a new owner.

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"I am very much on record saying that the absolute ideal outcome is that Walter stays with Rangers and stays in the position he is in," Johnston told BBC Scotland.

"I feel confident that we'll have some money to spend."

USA-based Johnston will fly to Scotland next week and hopes that Smith's future will become clearer once he has had talks with parties who have expressed an interest in taking over the Govan club.

Rangers' debts are around the 30million mark and it emerged yesterday they are being investigated by HM Revenue and Customs over alleged offshore payments made to players.

Johnston said: "I have meetings with the bank, got meetings with the rest of the board and meetings with other interested parties and talking to Walter Smith and chief executive Martin Bain is high on my agenda with respect to how we deal with things.

"So I would hope to have a clearer picture within the next two weeks as to what the circumstances will be and allow Walter to make that decision.

"There are a lot of moving pieces that have to be addressed and Walter needs to be satisfied that he is making the right decision whatever that is when he makes it."