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Souness Says "Rangers Had to take their medicine"


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Graeme Souness helped launch the new Scottish Professional Football league yesterday and revealed that he would have been involved in this new era in the Scottish game with Rangers had events worked out differently last year.

• Graeme Souness says Scottish football has suffered by Rangers’ demotion to the Third Division

• Former manager backs Walter Smith and Ally McCoist to return Rangers to top flight

Souness has also urged the Ibrox club to move on after the ill-will generated by various sanctions imposed by the Scottish football authorities following their financial collapse last year.

He was happy to describe the SPFL as a “new start” yesterday, while he confirmed he would have been part of the new era in Scottish football had his friend Brian Kennedy succeeded in taking control at Ibrox last year. The former Rangers manager revealed he was prepared to work for free in a role similar to the one Walter Smith, who he brought to Ibrox as his assistant in 1986, occupies now. Souness stressed that he was not interested in coming back as manager. Rather, he was willing to return in an advisory role to current manager Ally McCoist.

However, Kennedy’s bid, after the Edinburgh-born businessman had joined forces with the Paul Murray-led Blue Knights group, was rejected by the club’s then administrators, Duff & Phelps, who conferred preferred bidder status on Charles Green’s consortium instead. Green’s stewardship of the club was controversial to say the least. Souness could not hide his dismay at Kennedy’s bid being overlooked in favour of the Yorkshire businessman, who was forced to step down as chief executive last season after allegations emerged of covert dealings with previous owner Craig Whyte and following controversial comments he made in the press.

“It’s not a case of holding regrets,” Souness said. “The administrator thought Charles Green was a better bet than Brian Kennedy, for whatever reason. And it didn’t happen. So I can’t have regrets. But I would only have been prepared to do it for Rangers. I would have done it for nothing. And I wouldn’t have done it for any other football club.”

Souness was keen to come in to act a bridge between the board and McCoist, someone who the former Ibrox manager had a sometimes troubled relationship with during their time together at the club in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“I would have been there to help Ally – a bit like Walter is doing now,” he said. “I would have enjoyed that. Would I have made a difference? You have to believe in your own ability and it’s a club I know. I was never going back as the manager. I would never have gone back as the manager. But that’s all water under the bridge now.”

However, Souness does believe Rangers would be in a far better position with Kennedy and himself involved than they are now, with ructions at boardroom level continuing to destabilise the club. There has been further disquiet among the supporters at reports that new chief executive Craig Mather is being paid an annual salary of £500,000. Souness said the club’s fortunes would “definitely” have been improved had Kennedy gained control.

“The right people would have been there,” he said. “Brian Kennedy would have been the right person. He understands sporting clubs, though his experience has been in rugby. Yes, he would have wanted to make a few bob at the end of the day. But that could have been in 25 or 30 years. It could have been money his kids got in 50 years. He would have been there for the right reasons – there were no quick tricks with him,” Souness added. “This was a long-term project and he knew how difficult a road it was going to be. The club would have been filled with the right people at that time.”

Asked whether the right people were assembled at the club just now, he replied: “I don’t know them. I only know one [smith]. I know he is right and I like to think he is having a big influence on what happens there. He is the best man you could possibly get.”

Souness described the new league set-up – where the four divisions will be known as the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Championship, Scottish League 1 and Scottish League 2, and play-offs will be introduced – as a “brave” move. “You now have fewer people making decisions and, in my experience of football, that’s good,” he said, of the merging of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League. “I think there have been some bold moves and I really hope this works out. We couldn’t just sit back on our laurels and wait for things to change.”

He hoped that the new set-up might help heal the rifts that developed after Rangers entered administration in 2012. The old company was then liquidated and the club forced to re-apply to enter the Scottish Football League.

Perhaps surprisingly, Souness agreed Rangers had to “take their medicine”. “Those were the rules. There was no witch-hunt,” he added, with reference to the vote by SPL clubs that condemned Rangers to the SFL.

Meanwhile, Souness dismissed a suggestion that he might have got involved with Hearts, after Kennedy was also linked with a consortium who were considering making an offer for the administration-hit club. “I wouldn’t rule out going back to a football club in some capacity,” he said. “But not in Scotland. It would only have been Rangers I would have been interested in getting involved in.”

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Souness still bleating on about his pals Kennedy and Murray. The people who would not spend the money required to buy the club.

This is the same Souness 'WHO DID WALKING AWAY'.

Quite happy that neither Souness nor Kennedy are now involved with the club.

Totally disagree with his assessment that, 'there was no witch hunt' so take your 20 pieces of silver from the Scotsman Graeme and spend it well.

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Was a young teenager when Souness came and started buying fantastic players / winning so much more than we had in previous years.

Thought Souness was solid for years but with hindsight (aka SDM latterly needing to off-load us to any fuckwit - ie whyte) he can stick his opinions up his arse.

He obviously convinced SDM money needed to be spent (not disagreeing it didn't) and contributed to the mother fucker of events.

SDM was gullible at the time, but not when he bailed out to shyte.

Souness, fuck off back to your rock

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Was a young teenager when Souness came and started buying fantastic players / winning so much more than we had in previous years.

Thought Souness was solid for years but with hindsight (aka SDM latterly needing to off-load us to any fuckwit - ie whyte) he can stick his opinions up his arse.

He obviously convinced SDM money needed to be spent (not disagreeing it didn't) and contributed to the mother fucker of events.

SDM was gullible at the time, but not when he bailed out to shyte.

Souness, fuck off back to your rock

A manager trying to get as big a budget as he can, imagine that.

Complete bollocks of a post.

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A manager trying to get as big a budget as he can, imagine that.

Complete bollocks of a post.

Thx for your thoughts.

Appreciate every manager wants dosh, but it wasn't just the manager that wanted something.

Ego's were involved by the owner and manager, which I feel overall culminated in our situation?

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If Souness thinks we deserved all that happened and it was all above board then he is more out of touch with Planet Earth than I thought.

He clearly bitterly regrets him and Kennedy didn't get Rangers for peanuts. They are both very wealthy and wouldn't have missed the money needed if they really wanted it.

Good when he was here but now sadly completely out of touch and irrelevant.

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He works for Sky does he not. Probably just saying what his employers want him to say. Trouble with footballers and football mangers is that while they may seem like big dominant personalities on the pitch, the truth is they are easily lead by smarter agents, lawyers, and journos off the pitch.

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It was Souness pal who he brought in to buy Rangers, Mr Murray who sold us To Craig Whyte then hid in his bloody bunker as everyone attacked our dying corpse. I for one will never forgive the people who sold our club down the river and the other clubs. As for the sfa and their handling of what's happened to us and the way they stood back and let it happen was a disgrace. I will never support the Scottish national team again, and if I had my way no Rangers player would play for Scotland ever again. Why should our money develope players for the sfa to get use out of them. They wanted a war, now they have a war they want peace. I say fuck them all, we know the clubs, hit them where it hurts.

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It was Souness pal who he brought in to buy Rangers, Mr Murray who sold us To Craig Whyte then hid in his bloody bunker as everyone attacked our dying corpse. I for one will never forgive the people who sold our club down the river and the other clubs. As for the sfa and their handling of what's happened to us and the way they stood back and let it happen was a disgrace. I will never support the Scottish national team again, and if I had my way no Rangers player would play for Scotland ever again. Why should our money develope players for the sfa to get use out of them. They wanted a war, now they have a war they want peace. I say fuck them all, we know the clubs, hit them where it hurts.

Dear oh fuckin dear.

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The comment is made at the end of the piece, would be interesting to see what led to it rather than the "drama" snap quote. Is he not saying what many have said, we will take the punishment and come back. Is that not why we wanted to start in division 3. I think some of the comments in here are a little naive and unfair.

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Dear oh fucking dear? ell is it not the truth, how dare he say that. why not say why hmrc attacked us so hard, why the sfa did nothing while contacted by the taxman in September. I like Souness, I think he is a good pundit but would have rather he never took the job on to promote our hell hole of a game. As a Rangers fan I feel he is out of touch with how we feel.

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Different spin same story ?

GRAEME SOUNESS last night claimed Charles Green was the wrong man to be given control of Rangers.

The former Ibrox manager, back in Scotland to help launch the SPFL, insists Edinburgh-born businessman Brian Kennedy should have been handed control instead by administrators Duff and Phelps.

And that would have brought Souness back to Ibrox to work with Ally McCoist.

The 60-year-old said: “If Brian had got the club at the time Green got it, I would have been involved.

“I would have been there to help Ally, a bit like Walter Smith is doing now. I would have enjoyed that.

“Would I have made any difference at From Back Page

Rangers? You have to believe in your own ability and it’s a club I know well.

“I was never going back as manager and I would never have gone back in that role.

“Ultimately, it was out of my hands but it’s not a case of holding regrets. The administrator thought Green was a better man than Brian for whatever reason.

“I would’ve gone back to the club for nothing and I wouldn’t have done that for any other club but Rangers.”

Green’s controversial spell as chief executive came to an end in April when he resigned after the club launched an investigation into his alleged links with former owner Craig Whyte.

He was cleared by that probe but still plans to sell his shares when a lock-in agreement ends in December.

Souness was asked for his opinion on Green but the normally talkative pundit only offered a terse refusal.

“I don’t want to talk about him,” he said.

But Souness expanded on the subject of what Kennedy might have done for Rangers.

He said: “Rangers would, most definitely, have been in a different situation now.

“The right people would have been there.

“Brian would’ve been the right person because he understands sporting clubs, even if his experience has been in rugby with Sale Sharks.

“He would have been doing it at Rangers for the right reasons and of course he’d have wanted to make a few bob at the end of the day.

“But that might have taken 25 to 30 years, or else it could’ve been money his kids got in 50 years’ time.

“He would’ve been there for the right reasons. There would have been no quick tricks with him.

“Brian knew it was a long-term project and a hard road to negotiate.”

But if Kennedy was the right man did that mean present members of the board were the wrong choices?

Souness replied: “I don’t know them. I only know one man there and that’s Walter.

“I know he’s right and I like to think he’s having a big influence on what happens there.

“He’s the best man you could possibly get.

“Walter says he’s not cut out for a boardroom. Is he having you all on? Of course he is.”

Souness concluded his flying visit to the country of his birth by revealing he won’t invest in any other Scottish club.

He said: “I wouldn’t rule out going back into a football club in some capacity one day but it won’t be in Scotland.

“It could only have been Rangers for me.”

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Graham,its the Rangers Support,Players and Management that had to take the medicine not the people that caused this i.e. SDM and CW.You helped to revolutionise this Great Club but you chose to leave so spare us the from your words of wisdom.

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Really disappointed in some of these comments. Looks like the Sky pound buys a lot nowadays and the process last summer has irked him somewhat.

Also there is nothing to stop him buying shares if he really really wants to get involved now...nothing stopping him at all.

...aye so he will.

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Different spin same story ?

GRAEME SOUNESS last night claimed Charles Green was the wrong man to be given control of Rangers.

The former Ibrox manager, back in Scotland to help launch the SPFL, insists Edinburgh-born businessman Brian Kennedy should have been handed control instead by administrators Duff and Phelps.

And that would have brought Souness back to Ibrox to work with Ally McCoist.

The 60-year-old said: “If Brian had got the club at the time Green got it, I would have been involved.

“I would have been there to help Ally, a bit like Walter Smith is doing now. I would have enjoyed that.

“Would I have made any difference at From Back Page

Rangers? You have to believe in your own ability and it’s a club I know well.

“I was never going back as manager and I would never have gone back in that role.

“Ultimately, it was out of my hands but it’s not a case of holding regrets. The administrator thought Green was a better man than Brian for whatever reason.

“I would’ve gone back to the club for nothing and I wouldn’t have done that for any other club but Rangers.”

Green’s controversial spell as chief executive came to an end in April when he resigned after the club launched an investigation into his alleged links with former owner Craig Whyte.

He was cleared by that probe but still plans to sell his shares when a lock-in agreement ends in December.

Souness was asked for his opinion on Green but the normally talkative pundit only offered a terse refusal.

“I don’t want to talk about him,” he said.

But Souness expanded on the subject of what Kennedy might have done for Rangers.

He said: “Rangers would, most definitely, have been in a different situation now.

“The right people would have been there.

“Brian would’ve been the right person because he understands sporting clubs, even if his experience has been in rugby with Sale Sharks.

“He would have been doing it at Rangers for the right reasons and of course he’d have wanted to make a few bob at the end of the day.

“But that might have taken 25 to 30 years, or else it could’ve been money his kids got in 50 years’ time.

“He would’ve been there for the right reasons. There would have been no quick tricks with him.

“Brian knew it was a long-term project and a hard road to negotiate.”

But if Kennedy was the right man did that mean present members of the board were the wrong choices?

Souness replied: “I don’t know them. I only know one man there and that’s Walter.

“I know he’s right and I like to think he’s having a big influence on what happens there.

“He’s the best man you could possibly get.

“Walter says he’s not cut out for a boardroom. Is he having you all on? Of course he is.”

Souness concluded his flying visit to the country of his birth by revealing he won’t invest in any other Scottish club.

He said: “I wouldn’t rule out going back into a football club in some capacity one day but it won’t be in Scotland.

“It could only have been Rangers for me.”

What a load of shite. He has a cheek.

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