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Smith is primed to salve wounds at Ibrox and beyond

Walter Smith will become the chairman of Rangers if the consortium he is fronting is successful in its attempt to buy the club from Charles Green.

Walter Smith will oversee the complete rebuilding of the club
Walter Smith will oversee the complete rebuilding of the club

Smith will be involved in the appointment of an entirely new corporate governance structure, but Ally McCoist would remain as the Ibrox club's manager.

The group, which includes Douglas Park, the transport tycoon, and Jim McColl, one of Scotland's richest men and the head of the worldwide Clyde Blowers engineering firm, hope that the influence of Smith and McCoist would persuade the majority of the club's players to agree to their contracts and registrations being transferred to the newco Rangers. That is unlikely to happen under Green, with many of the squad deeply unhappy at the attitude of the Yorkshireman and Duff & Phelps, the administrators.

Smith is fronting the £6m bid and would be the club's figurehead. He will have an influence in all appointments, with assistance from Park and McColl, two highly successful and connected businessmen. As a matter of urgency, a chief executive will be sought, and he would join Smith in negotiations with the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association on the newco Rangers' place in the game and all sanctions. It is hoped that the presence of Smith, in particular, would go some way to repairing relations that have been strained by the way Duff & Phelps and Green have been approaching issues such as the registration embargo and the transfer of oldco Rangers' league share.

While Smith will not be involved in the day-to-day running of the business, he will oversee the complete rebuilding of the club. The £6m is not a loan but a capital injection, with Park and McColl, who will become a non-executive director, and other Rangers-supporting Scottish businessmen prepared to fund any working capital needed until season ticket revenue is gathered. A share issue will also be launched.

"None of us have any confidence that this is a secure way forward," McColl said of Green's consortium. "I don't think he will get the fans' support, and the players' support. We wouldn't have come out with this if we had been comfortable it was being saved, everything was going to be hunky-dory. There is real concern about this being a rerun of what has happened before.

"The focus is to make sure this is stabilised and safe. Rangers is far too important for Scotland, Scottish football, and Glasgow to be messed up again. This [bid] is because the group that is involved want to make sure that it is in safe hands. The way it is going, it is not being transparent. There is just worry, with all the club has been through."

There was doubt that Green would even be able to pull together the funding to complete his bid, but the formalities appeared to be completed late yesterday afternoon. He was immediately caught out, however, when he said that Ian Hart, the Glasgow businessman, was one of his investors. Hart, who was part of the Blue Knights consortium, along with Park, that previously tried to buy the club, denied the claim immediately.

"A number of years ago, I invested in the youth development department and that money was lying in the youth development department," Hart said. "At the time when Charles Green was the preferred bidder and was going for the CVA, I allowed that money to be used in order to get a CVA, for the simple reason of trying to help to save the club. But I am not part of his consortium and I've been behind Douglas Park in the previous bid with the Blue Knights. I spoke with Douglas yesterday and today, and I was very happy to be involved in putting more investment into his bid."

Green, however, remained bullish, and claimed that he would not sell his own shareholding, although admitted other investors would. He did not deny that Rafat Rizvi, who was found guilty on corruption and money- laundering charges in Indonesia in 2010, and former Sheffield United chairman Mike McDonald are part of his Sevco consortium.

"I can assure you there are easier ways to make a quick buck," Green said. "Some of our investors have never been to Scotland. They saw this as a business opportunity. So, if you're offering a profit, they'll take it.

"This is not Charles Green and a few dodgy guys who came up in a bus from Yorkshire. I am the best chief exec this club has had in the last quite a few years. Now that might just be my ego running away with me but I know I bought this club without any help."

Yet Green does not have the money to fund the club's working capital needs, and season ticket sales will plummet now that fans are backing Smith's consortium. "We ask Charles Green to step aside from any deal to purchase Rangers and allow Walter Smith and co to lead us into this new era for our club," said a Rangers Supporters' Trust statement. "[We] call on all supporters' to hold off renewing season tickets until this situation is resolved."

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