WALTER SMITH is the figurehead of a new consortium which today launched a £6million bid to take control of Rangers.

The legendary former manager is fronting a group that contains multi-millionaire businessman Jim McColl, and other wealthy Rangers supporters in the local business community.

At lunchtime today they lodged a counter-bid to Charles Green’s offer for the stricken club with administrators Duff and Phelps and the soon to be appointed liquidators, BDO.

It now remains to be seen if the Smith-led consortium can snatch control of a newco Gers at the very last minute - or whether Mr Green will try and press ahead and try to get his deal over the line even though he is potentially going head to head with one of the club’s legends.

Duff and Phelps have said they have a binding contract with Mr Green for a £5.5m asset sale, which kicked in after today’s £8.5m CVA offer was formally rejected.

But that asset sale has yet to be finalised and Mr Green could still walk away, leaving the Smith led group in pole position to step-in.

Even if Mr Green does proceed and complete a deal inside the next 24 hours, the £6m offer now on the table would present him with a quick £500,000 profit to move the assets of a newco on straight away and he could depart the scene.

If he tries to resist the counter-offer from the local consortium, Mr Green could find himself battling to receive any kind of fan-backing, given that the legendary Smith is offering an alternative.

Should that be the case, and if supporters refused to back a Green newco in terms of purchasing season tickets, he would be left with little option but to stand aside or sell the newco’s assets on right away.

Smith released a statement today that read: "I can today confirm that following talks over the last few weeks I am leading a new bid for Rangers Football Club.

"I have been assisted by Jim McColl, Douglas Park and other prominent Scottish businessmen with a shared objective – that Rangers Football Club should be in the hands of Rangers people who will stabilise the club and protect it from future situations like we find ourselves in today.

"With this in mind, representatives have, on behalf of my group, made representations to BDO, Duff and Phelps and indeed Charles Green, notifying them of our willingness to offer on the 'Newco' basis on which Mr Green is proceeding.

"We would call on Mr Green to step aside and allow us to proceed with our deal which is in the best interests of the creditors, the employees, the fans and the various other stakeholders of Rangers Football Club.

"None of our group has any desire to own Rangers Football Club but we have put this deal in place to save the Club.

"However, our overriding objective is to ensure that the stadium, the history and everything else magical about Rangers Football Club is protected and nurtured back to good health and provide a platform for Rangers for generations to come.

"Let’s be clear, this is an acquisition designed to stabilise the Club and ensure history does not repeat itself.

"We are not in this to take money out of the Club but more so to do whatever it takes in a turnaround plan to ensure within a few years the Club can be passed on intact and to the right people.

"The supporters should be under no illusion that it will be extremely hard but with their support we can overcome financial hardship that lies ahead by lending their support to what we feel is the correct way forward – for Rangers people who know the Club inside and out to control its destiny.

"The prominent Scottish businessmen involved have agreed to provide acquisition funding to allow myself and a management team to take on Rangers Football Club and make the business self-sufficient with long term sustainability being essential.

"I would hope that this offer is fully supported by everyone in the Rangers Family as without them the Club cannot and will not survive.

"We therefore want to ensure honesty and transparency in everything we do. We want to rebuild Rangers Football Club and in doing so return the institution to the standards it is known for.

The Herald understands that phase one of the Smith-led plan would be to achieve stability and then establish which league Rangers will be playing in. The club would then be rebuilt from scratch.

That would be followed by the injection of future revenue down the line, most probably in the form of an open to all share issue in the newco.