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No blame attached to Advocaat, insists Mols

Michael Mols believes it is wrong to blame Dick Advocaat for the spending spree that contributed to Rangers' financial troubles.

Michael Mols will play in the charity match between a Rangers Legends side and AC Milan Glorie
Michael Mols will play in the charity match between a Rangers Legends side and AC Milan Glorie

The Dutch manager spent around £80m building a new side after taking over from Walter Smith in 1998, including the £12m signing of Tore Andre Flo, but Mols insists that Advocaat is not responsible for the debt problems that Rangers suffered as a consequence.

Mols himself was one of the Dutch players signed by Advocaat, along with the likes of Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Arthur Numan and Ronald de Boer. Some fans have criticised Advocaat for the money that was spent trying to establish Rangers as contenders in Europe, but Mols considers the charge unfair, and that Sir David Murray was more responsible, having sanctioned the transfer deals.

"If the financial department gives money to a manager to spend, then he will spend it, but he doesn't know the consequences behind it," Mols said. "If I say to you 'there is money for you to spend' and then I don't have any money left then I can't blame you because I gave it to you. I can tell you that in Holland they blame us. They are all saying 'Dick Advocaat started it with all you Dutch guys'. Seriously, though, this isn't about the blame game, it's about looking to the future."

Feyenoord also suffered financial difficulties due to a tax bill and the Rotterdam club had to refocus on developing young players rather than operating in the transfer market. The team suffered mixed form, but is in a more stable state now, but Mols admits that the demands on supporters for clubs like Feyenoord and Rangers to remain successful whatever the circumstances make it difficult for managers to rely on young players.

"A lot of clubs have money problems and that has made them more creative by bringing in young players," Mols said. "The problem is with clubs like Feyenoord or Rangers, there is still pressure. People always expect them to win trophies and be at the top of the table. But the two can't always go together, if you bring in young talent they need time to develop."

Mols was at Ibrox on Sunday to watch the Old Firm game, but also because he is taking part in Friday night's charity match at Ibrox stadium between a Rangers Legends side and AC Milan Glorie. Mols will join other former Ibrox players such as Brian Laudrup, Numan, Richard Gough and Ally McCoist taking part in the game.

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