Smith pays tribute to Murray

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Manager Walter Smith has hailed chairman Sir David Murray as the driving force behind Rangers' success over the past two decades as he celebrates his 20th anniversary at Ibrox this weekend.

Murray took over the club on November 22 in 1988 when he paid £6million to buy Lawrence Marlborough's shares. Since then he has witnessed a record-equalling nine consecutive championships, three domestic trebles and last season's UEFA Cup final in Manchester.

"I owe him a lot," said Smith, who has had two spells as manager under Murray. "It would have been easy for him to go with an experienced manager and I think it took a bit of courage for him to appoint myself."

He added: "That type of decision has been typical of how he has handled Rangers over the past 20 years.

"When you are the owner and the chairman of a club there is no hiding place. You are always under so much scrutiny in Scotland and it takes a certain individual to handle it. I don't think anyone could have handled it better over the years than he has.

"His leadership has been the main reason Rangers have had success. He wants to win at whatever he does.

"It hasn't been easy for any club owners outside of the big countries so I think he has to be be commended for the way he has handled that change."

Smith spent seven years at Rangers in his first spell as manager and returned to Ibrox in January 2007 after the ill-fated Paul Le Guen era.

"If you don't have a good relationship with the chairman or the owner it won't work," he added.

"He always tries to have a good relationship with his managers and if you are going to leave he always sacks you nicely."

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