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Walter on us in Europe now & on our financial situation


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By ROGER HANNAH

Published: Today

Walter Smith says skint Rangers will chase cash not glory in next season's Champions League.

The new SPL champs could discover tonight if they have landed a £12million passport into the group phase.

And Smith says money will be their only goal in Europe if the future of the up-for-sale club isn't resolved.

He said: "The thing about the Champions League is, if we don't strengthen and don't get any extra players in, we're basically going in for the money. That's how it is.

"We're not going to win it anyway.

"It would be a folly to consider that.

"But the year that we had the big European games, challenged for the championship, won a couple of cups and got to the final of the UEFA Cup, we had 26 players on the staff.

"We're now down to roughly 16, taking away the younger ones.

"I'm talking about boys with reasonable experience - and six of them are out of contract. You start to see the problems that can occur."

Smith's squad has been savaged by cutbacks since Sir David Murray put the club up for sale 18 months ago.

He hasn't been able to buy a player in the last three transfer windows and fears losing more stars this summer.

But, in an ironic twist, the Gers gaffer believes their on-field success has made it tougher to find a buyer.

He says the bankers will remain happy with the status quo as long as the trophies and earnings keep rolling in.

He said: "What would have happened if we'd not won the titles?

"The club would maybe have been sold. There you are.

"Why? Because they're sitting back looking at two lots of Champions League money, aren't they?

"That's 24 million quid, dead easy from their point of view.

"We have been disadvantaging anybody buying the club by winning. That's what we're doing.

"From the other side of things, they are elated aren't they?

"They've got an opportunity of the Champions League money again. They're rubbing their hands."

Gers had a Champions League nightmare last season as they finished bottom of their group with just two points and conceded ten goals in home defeats to Sevilla, Stuttgart and Romanian rookies Unirea Urziceni.

It's all but certain the two-in-a-row champs will land automatic entry to next season's group phase.

Gers would only face two rounds of qualifiers if Lyon were to win the Champions League.

They are currently outside the qualifying places from France and would take the last place in the group phase as defending champions. But if they are knocked out by Bayern Munich tonight, it is all but certain that Gers will be among Europe's elite again - even if they are again relegated to the role of whipping boys.

Smith has history with the Champions League, taking Gers to within 90 minutes of the first-ever final in 1993.

He also led the Light Blues to the 2008 UEFA Cup Final before the real cash problems kicked in.

Now he fears the financial collapse at Ibrox will leave the SPL title winners as Euro also-rans. He added: "I say quite clearly that clarification of exactly where the club is going is necessary.

"If that doesn't happen, Rangers as a team will suffer.

"That's the only thing I can point out to them.

"I can't determine finance, I can't determine anything else." Smith can't even begin extension talks with his out-of-contract stars.

He's been working without a contract since January, as have No2 Ally McCoist and coach Kenny McDowall. Chief executive Martin Bain expects a decision on the manager's future within days.

And Smith has repeated his plea to the bankers to give him a clue about what the future holds for the newly-crowned champs.

He said: "Do I have any direct access to the money men? No, I don't.

"They just tell me what they want to tell me, which is very little.

"The over-riding problem we have is completely out of the hands of the football people.

"It's going to be left to others to decide. There has to be a situation, for the sake of the football side, never mind me or my position, that clarifies exactly where the club is going.

"If we don't get clarification, that leaves me with a decision.

"I'll need to say to them 'If nothing is going to change in the short term, then what is happening?'

"It has to settle down so people know where the club is going in the future whatever is going to happen.

"If it's going to be the bank's plan, if it's going to be a new owner, if there is something else which comes along, a supporters' buy-out or whatever, we don't need it in a month's time.

"I can only have an opinion on how long it can be allowed to drift.

"And I'm saying to you that, if something doesn't happen shortly to let us know exactly where everybody stands at the club, then we've got a major problem.

"I'm the manager. I can only point it out from the playing side of things."

Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/2948755/Europe-is-about-cash-for-us-now.html#ixzz0mFedaybJ

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Honesty, dignity, pragmatism, frustration. I feel so bad for him as he is in the dark and he's the manager. He deserves better.

We Deserve better, nice to see him having a dig at the board members on sunday. in his interview he said it was a great achievement for everybody involved in the footballing side of the club :praise:

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Honesty, dignity, pragmatism, frustration. I feel so bad for him as he is in the dark and he's the manager. He deserves better.

We Deserve better, nice to see him having a dig at the board members on sunday. in his interview he said it was a great achievement for everybody involved in the footballing side of the club :praise:

The footballing side is all that matters, but yeah good to hear him say that. You can hear the frustration in what he is saying and to be fair at his age and with money in the bank, he doesnt need this hit. However, I get the feeling he relishes the challenge or put another way, welcomes the chase, albeit one he could do without!

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Honesty, dignity, pragmatism, frustration. I feel so bad for him as he is in the dark and he's the manager. He deserves better.

We Deserve better, nice to see him having a dig at the board members on sunday. in his interview he said it was a great achievement for everybody involved in the footballing side of the club :praise:

The footballing side is all that matters, but yeah good to hear him say that. You can hear the frustration in what he is saying and to be fair at his age and with money in the bank, he doesnt need this hit. However, I get the feeling he relishes the challenge or put another way, welcomes the chase, albeit one he could do without!

I get the feeling he is close to snapping, you can only fire so many warning shots without taking action, Walters talking plenty, the deafening silence from everyone else is the wind up, more so for him, we have a chance to push on now Laudrups and Gazzas are off the menu but a freshen up is required, a stagnant or even weakened Rangers will be hard pushed to repeat this next season.

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Wattie knowa the next six weeks will see

a) A takeover where budgets will need to be agreed sharpish

OR

b) No takeover and bank agreeing the budget

I think he is just drummin up support to ensure he gets some money because things have moved on in last 18 months. Bank is not owed what they once were and we have complied with everything they have asked.

Time to loosen the strings a wee bit is basically what he is trying to enforce.

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Wattie knowa the next six weeks will see

a) A takeover where budgets will need to be agreed sharpish

OR

b) No takeover and bank agreeing the budget

I think he is just drummin up support to ensure he gets some money because things have moved on in last 18 months. Bank is not owed what they once were and we have complied with everything they have asked.

Time to loosen the strings a wee bit is basically what he is trying to enforce.

Have a look at the UEFA co-efficients for future years. That is the problem which we face as a club. Non participation in the Champions League leads to a loss over the season, something which we cannot afford to gamble on again. We need to learn our lesson from previous years.

"We're now down to roughly 16, taking away the younger ones.

This, to me anyway, is the most telling part of that interview. The years of big spending are over Walter, we need to look at rearing these young players and making them the base for the team in years to come.

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I'd be astonished if the club didn't have a variety of strategies in place to deal with the three different outcomes I posted earlier in the month (i.e. CL participation, key player sale income or no CL participation).

As such, I think Smith's comments are simply to maintain focus on the bank so they don't attempt to absorb all monies from the CL and/or any transfer income.

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Have a look at the UEFA co-efficients for future years. That is the problem which we face as a club. Non participation in the Champions League leads to a loss over the season, something which we cannot afford to gamble on again. We need to learn our lesson from previous years.

This is a very important point that few are taking into account yet. We're not just looking at next year and (probably) CL football. We need to look further than that. What if, in 2011/12 and 2012/13 we don't have CL football but we've still got the wages to pay of players we already have or buy this summer? We'd be back in the position of increasing debts.

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This is a very important point that few are taking into account yet. We're not just looking at next year and (probably) CL football. We need to look further than that. What if, in 2011/12 and 2012/13 we don't have CL football but we've still got the wages to pay of players we already have or buy this summer? We'd be back in the position of increasing debts.

I'd hope the current board (or prospective new owner) would be well aware of that by now and be making changes to the club to ensure efficiency therein.

Obviously the squad (and wages) have been cut drastically in recent times so that is a necessary evil as part of this efficiency drive. We need to get as close as possible to making a profit/breaking even without CL participation.

I'd like to think that is possible while still being able to buy new players via any income that does come in such as player sales. However, we also definitely need a 'rainy-day fund' to avoid the boom-and/bust scenario we've experienced in the modern era. As such, as an example, even if we do bring in £5million+ for Bougherra this summer, it is unrealistic to expect all of it to be re-invested. Conversely, I'd hope the bank wouldn't absorb all of it to the detriment of our competitiveness.

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Have a look at the UEFA co-efficients for future years. That is the problem which we face as a club. Non participation in the Champions League leads to a loss over the season, something which we cannot afford to gamble on again. We need to learn our lesson from previous years.

This is a very important point that few are taking into account yet. We're not just looking at next year and (probably) CL football. We need to look further than that. What if, in 2011/12 and 2012/13 we don't have CL football but we've still got the wages to pay of players we already have or buy this summer? We'd be back in the position of increasing debts.

The years of speculating on future revenues are, hopefully, over. The Murray Model has been shown to be an unmitigated disaster, and we must not allow anyone to repeat it. We need to be run the way we are at the moment, however painful that may be. Once we are back on an even keel we can assess our finances and use them wisely to develop for the future. The Scottish set-up is a busted flush, and whilst the titles are great, they are meaning less, in a financial sense, with each passing year.

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Have a look at the UEFA co-efficients for future years. That is the problem which we face as a club. Non participation in the Champions League leads to a loss over the season, something which we cannot afford to gamble on again. We need to learn our lesson from previous years.

This is a very important point that few are taking into account yet. We're not just looking at next year and (probably) CL football. We need to look further than that. What if, in 2011/12 and 2012/13 we don't have CL football but we've still got the wages to pay of players we already have or buy this summer? We'd be back in the position of increasing debts.

That's a great point at the end there.

CL participation will become harder from now on in, which is why us getting there automatically in the last two years has been so important.

It won't be AS hard as everyone has said though. If we win the SPL, we'll go through the 'Champions Route' which should be a lot easier than the route Celtic will hopefully be getting used to.

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I have long ceased to second guess what the money men will do because all it does is nip my head.Walter makes it quite clear that he is in the dark just as much as the fans regarding the direction the bank will take and his frustration at not being able to make any short or long term plans regarding players for next years campaign is starting to boil over.

All he wants is clarification one way or another, but it seems the powers that be are unable or unwilling to put their cards on the table to Alistair Johnston or Martin Bain, which leaves Walter very much helpless.

Time is running out fast for decisions to be made or we will have no chance whatsoever of being prepared for next season.I find it incomprehensible that Lloyds Bank would rather shave us to the bone to the point where we are not able to compete in the SPL never mind making progress to the next round of the CL, because it just doesn't make sense as a business plan to my way of thinking.

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I find it incomprehensible that Lloyds Bank would rather shave us to the bone to the point where we are not able to compete in the SPL never mind making progress to the next round of the CL, because it just doesn't make sense as a business plan to my way of thinking.

There is no evidence that they will do what you stated above.

Until we know whether we have qualified for the CL direct, we can't make any decisions on the way forward. Smith knows this, or he should do, and his often contradictory interviews in the press are not helping matters.

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We still could still do with blooding more youngsters, ones that Walter has mentioned and haven't really played infact, like Wylde and Ness.

One never knows, Gregg could be some way to our left-sided dilemma and then not need to buy perhaps.

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AS i have said on this board many times that money has killed the game.Then i get told to move with the times, but my answer is we were a successful club in the past when we won things and were sespected al over the world for our traditions and history. But now greed has taken over football and money is the name of the game, and if this is what the modern world has done to our club the money men should be ashamed.

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The likes of GCL and other Murray fans must be confused about this.

Surely David Murray, the Club's owner, could tell his friend Walter Smith what is going on and what sort of budget he'll have next season? Worst case he tells the man he appointed (Muir) to pass the message onto Walter?

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