Ally McCoist will be rewarded with the Rangers manager's job if he helps Walter Smith wrest the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title from Celtic.
McCoist, who became the Ibrox club's record goalscorer during his glittering 15 years as a player there, gave up a lucrative television career to return in January 2007 as Smith's assistant.
And chairman Sir David Murray has revealed: "I would have thought, all things being equal, that he will become manager."
Murray, who celebrates the 20th anniversary of his acquisition of Rangers this weekend, added: "I hope he gets it. It hasn't been talked about, but it is an understanding among us.
"Walter and I discussed it when he came back, that McCoist would come in, hopefully we would get back to a successful period and then he would get the chance.
"It will be success driven. If we are successful, if Walter is successful then the natural successor would be McCoist. But if we go another two or three years without winning the league then we will all be under pressure."
Murray admits he did not regard McCoist, 46, as a potential manager when he bought the club on November 22, 1988.
But he believes beneath the light-hearted public persona lies a fiercely ambitious individual.
"He didn't come back to Rangers for the money," Murray said. "He came here for a lot less than he was earning. You wouldn't have thought of him as a manager 20 years ago, would you?
"But he has a very strong mentality. He is bright and makes a good coaching team with Kenny McDowall, so why shouldn't he become manager?"
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