Former Rangers manager Walter Smith join board


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The Independent Football

Former Rangers manager Walter Smith last night declared his formal support for the new regime at Ibrox after being convinced they were “serious” about rebuilding the club.

Smith has accepted an invitation to join the Rangers board as a non-executive director - five months after trying to lead a bid to buy out Charles Green's Sevco Scotland consortium.

Green rebuffed those attempts in the wake of his company's £5.5million purchase of the ailing club's assets and business and instead tried to persuade Smith to join his group.

Those attempts have finally paid off, providing Green with a huge boost as he bids to sell at least £20million worth of shares to supporters and other investors.

In a statement issued by the club, Smith said: "Serious constructive efforts are being made to rebuild Rangers after a very difficult period in the club's history and if I can play a part helping that process, I am willing to do so.

"Apart from being a former manager of the club, I am first and foremost a supporter and am no different from the many thousands of other Rangers fans who have shown they're willing to do what they can to ensure Rangers rises again.

"The people who purchased the club have shown over the last few months they are serious in their intentions to rebuild Rangers and I am happy, as many other fans have done, to lend my support."

Manager Ally McCoist had been applying gentle pressure to his former mentor to get him to join the board and he welcomed the appointment.

McCoist said: "He brings tremendous experience, he has done it all and is a Rangers man through and through. His presence will be a huge benefit to the club."

Smith, who will not have a day-to-day role, has been joined on the board by retired Glasgow businessman Ian Hart, who had aligned himself with the failed takeover bid in June after denying Green's claim that he was part of his investment group.

Hart said: "The board felt there was a need to bring in people with background and experience in the West of Scotland and I am happy to play my part.

"I have been a supporter of the club and youth development programme, in particular, for a very long time and I think this is an area that will become increasingly important to all clubs in years to come."

The pair join Green, finance director Brian Stockbridge and non-executive chairman Malcolm Murray on the board.

Major investors Imran Ahmad (commercial director) and Craig Mather (director of sports development) also have influence in decision-making at Ibrox.