Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Rangers legend Goram backs Smith to oversee changes

Andy Goram

Walter Smith is the only man who can steer Rangers' players through the financial crisis enveloping the club, according to Ibrox great Andy Goram.

Smith has lifted the lid on the extent of the money problems facing Rangers, who are around £30million in debt and have not bought a player since the summer of 2008.

The manager's situation is also highly uncertain, with his contract due to expire in January and no guarantee his services will be required after majority shareholder Sir David Murray finds a buyer.

Smith has won four trophies and taken Rangers to a European final in the two full seasons since Murray implored him to steady the ship following Paul Le Guen's tenure.

Goram, a key member of the team Smith led to their ninth successive title in 1997, would fear for the club's future without him.

However, he insists the 61-year-old will not walk away if still needed by Rangers.

“It's difficult times at Ibrox, but if there is one man you want there to lead us out of it it would be the gaffer,” said Goram at the launch of his autobiography, 'The Goalie'.

“He took over when we were 21 points behind Celtic; he has won two doubles and got us to the UEFA Cup final with a team that has not played too well.

“I don't think any other manager could handle it. I don't think anyone else has got the mentality of the gaffer. This has just come to the surface, but I think it has been going on for a while.

“He will take on the challenge. He certainly won't walk away from it.

“Knowing the gaffer as I do, there is no chance he'll leave the club in that situation to somebody else.”

Goram believes Smith's decision to highlight the extent of the financial restrictions facing Rangers is an example of his good sense.

Smith revealed Lloyds Banking Group were overseeing the club's spending following last weekend's 1-1 home draw with Hibernian, which followed their 4-1 Champions League humiliation at the hands of Unirea Urziceni.

Smith's decision to speak out mobilised the Rangers support into threatening a boycott of the Lloyds group and may well cut his team some slack.

“For it to come out in the papers, I think it's a good thing that now the fans understand exactly the situation at the club,” added Goram.

“I didn't see too many other people stepping forward. We had a bad result the other week and it was the gaffer that stepped forward and said 'it's my fault'. He deflects all the rubbish away from the players.

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