Walter Smith's parting message to Rangers owner: Invest in team

WALTER Smith has called on new Rangers owner Craig Whyte to invest in the team to continue the club's success.

• Walter Smith with the SPL trophy at Rugby Park yesterday. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Smith, who announced his retirement earlier this season, led Rangers to a third successive Clydesdale Bank Premier League title, a 5-1 win at Kilmarnock yesterday seeing his side beat Celtic to the trophy by a point.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And Smith then instructed Whyte to entrust new boss Ally McCoist with funds to strengthen the squad.

Smith said: "Unless there is a significant investment then the team will stagnate. They just can't continue to do what they have been doing at the present moment.

"That is regardless of if I was the manager or anybody. Next season will be a problem.

"Hopefully, that will be looked at by the owners.

"But I don't think the new owner would have bought the club unless they were happy to put money into the team.

"The team needs a boost. He would be blind if he didn't realise that."

Smith has been operating with a smaller squad and tighter budget than during his first spell as boss at Ibrox, during Rangers' run of nine straight SPL titles.

However, last summer he spent 4million on Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic - a player who missed much of the season through injury but has provided a "different dimension".

Smith added: "I don't think Jelavic will leave this summer.

"I don't think it would be the brightest thing for the new owner to sell one of our best players - especially when everyone expects him to spend money.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"He just gives us something different up front - something we've never really had before.

"Kris Boyd could score, Kenny Miller could run through defences and, in the later stages of his time at Rangers, he was scoring a lot of goals as well, but Jelavic gives us a mix of everything. He can run through, he can link up, he can score and it has brought a different dimension to the team."

In the aftermath of the title triumph yesterday, three of Rangers' key players who had been linked with moves away - Madjid Bougherra, Allan McGregor and Sasa Papac - appeared to signal their desire to remain at Ibrox.