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Rangers hope Walter Smith will remain at Ibrox.


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Rangers chief executive Martin Bain hopes manager Walter Smith will clarify his future within the next few days.

Smith, 62, has guided Rangers to their second successive league title but has been working without a contract at the cash-strapped club since January.

The club are seeking a buyer and Bain told BBC Radio 5 Live that he hoped Smith would remain at Ibrox.

"But that's a decision for Walter and I'm sure he'll make it in the few days to come," the chief executive said.

Bain praised the impact of Smith, who has now won nine titles as Rangers manager.

"Walter Smith, his assistants and the whole team have performed tremendously well," said Bain.

I think that depends on a number of factors not just for Walter but for many others at the football club

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain on Walter Smith's future

"A second championship in a row, six trophies and a European final in three years.

"I don't think you can get any better and I don't think there's a club in the world that wouldn't take that if offered them so all testament to Walter and his team. It's just been fantastic."

Bain remains unsure about what the future holds for Smith, who is in his second spell at the Ibrox helm.

"I think that depends on a number of factors," the chief executive said. "I think it depends not just for Walter but for many others at the football club.

"We've had our critics this season. We know that we've got great spirit and determination.

"We know that we can go on to further success but there's a number of factors that have to be discussed and until we get answers to some of those factors then we won't know what's happening."

Smith gave no hints about his future after Sunday's win over Hibs secured a second straight SPL championship win.

"I don't know. I'll just enjoy this evening," he told BBC Scotland.

"It's a tremendous feeling. I think our players thoroughly deserve it for the work they've put in over the season."

Thomson on title success

Kyle Lafferty's solitary strike was enough to give Rangers the win they needed, with the Ibrox side now 11 points clear of nearest challengers Celtic with three games to play.

"It's always nice to win, especially back-to-back championships. You can win one. I think the sign of a good team and a good spirit is that you can go on and win at least another one and we've managed to do that. Our players are tired, they're feeling it but they got there in the end."

The title win could take Rangers straight into the group stages of the Champions League, with only the advent of Lyon winning that trophy likely to force the Ibrox side into the qualifiers.

And with participation in this season's premier European tournament helping Rangers to a substantial financial turnaround, more cash will ease the debts of about £30m the Glasgow club have built up in recent years.

In February, Rangers, who are seeking new owners, announced half-year profits of more than £13m, thanks mainly to Champions League involvement.

"It's huge, it's absolutely huge," added Bain.

"It's where our team wants to be, it's where the supporters want to be and as Scottish football finds itself in times when maybe it's not so easy to qualify, to actually qualify for it this season is hugely important to the football club."

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