THE Rangers Supporters Assembly has expressed its delight at the appointment of Walter Smith as non-executive chairman at Ibrox.
The 65-year-old former Light Blues manager has moved from his role as a non-executive director to take on the leadership role in Glasgow and the Assembly today tipped the switch the bring “much needed stability” to the club.
The announcement followed weeks of turmoil at board level, following a difficult season in which Rangers found themselves competing for, and winning, the Irn-Bru Third Division title under manager Ally McCoist.
Speaking at the North American Rangers Supporters Association (NARSA) annual conference in San Francisco, Assembly president Andy Kerr said: “Walter Smith becoming chairman of Rangers is fantastic news for everyone connected to the club.
“We know he has the best interests of Rangers at heart and we all hope that his appointment will finally bring much needed stability to our great club.
“Now is the time to move forward and get back to talking about football. The last couple of years have been a major test of fans’ loyalty but we have risen to the challenge and proved we are the most loyal fans in world football.”
Smith succeeds Malcolm Murray, who agreed to step down from the position, and his elevation to the role was a unanimous decision of the board.
“The fans showed their loyalty last season with 38,000 buying season tickets and record attendances at Ibrox, giving Rangers the fifth highest attendances in UK football,” Kerr added.
“It would be tremendous to repeat that feat next season and I would encourage as many fans as possible to show their loyalty and commitment to Ally and his team by filling Ibrox again.
“The support of the fans is a major factor in attracting the new signings that have come in already and it would be fantastic if these players could experience full houses next season.
“All of us have the love of Rangers Football Club in our blood as I have witnessed so vividly here in San Francisco where fans have gathered from all over the world - we are ready for the next stage of the journey.”
Confirmation of Smith’s new role came on the same day an independent investigation commissioned by the Rangers board found no evidence that former owner Craig Whyte invested in the current Ibrox set-up.
The inquiry, carried out by law firm Pinsent Masons and overseen by Roy Martin QC, investigated claims made by Whyte of his involvement in the Charles Green-led consortium’s acquisition of Rangers’ business and assets last summer.
The allegations were denied by Green, who subsequently resigned from his role as chief executive of the club last month.