Football

Smith confirms tight rein on spending

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Walter Smith has confirmed what many have suspected for some time now - that the club's spending is being overseen by the HBOS bank.

Speaking after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, the Ibrox boss expressed concerns about running out of players after Lee McCulloch became the latest to join an ever-growing casualty list. However, hopes of bolstering his squad further in January appear unlikely after Smith's revelations that HBOS is controlling the club's spending.

"Is that not obvious to everybody?" asked Smith. "As far as I'm aware that's the case. David Murray has stepped down (as chairman) and they have placed a representative of the bank (Donald Muir) on the board so as far as I'm aware that's the situation."

He addded: "It's obviously not a good situation, it's not a situation that anybody wants the club to be in. It's been up for sale for a while.

"It's not the bank's fault, if the bank has to take over in these circumstances they are not going to invest in a football club, are they?

"I think we have been fairly honest about the situation. The players at the club have been up for sale since January and we haven't bought a player for what will be 18 months in this transfer window.

"These circumstances have been here for a while now and I've been perfectly aware of them and, despite some headlines, have never complained about it.

"I'm not complaining about it now. I'm just saying to you it's a fact and it's a fact of life just now for a lot of companies throughout the world who are having a struggle financially at the moment.

"When David Murray stepped away from the club, I felt that was a bad thing for Rangers in the sense that he tried as hard as he could over the 20 years to invest in the club and now we don't have that situation.

"The quicker that gets cleared up, the better it will be for Rangers."

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