Belfast Telegraph

Rangers director Gordon Smith blasts money chasing stars

By Lisa Gray

Rangers director of football Gordon Smith is baffled as to why players would choose the npower Championship over the opportunity to play in the Champions League.

Crystal Palace midfielder Neil Danns today agreed a move to Leicester despite interest from the Scottish champions, while another target, Craig Conway, opted for Cardiff.

Reports suggest Conway's former Dundee United team-mate David Goodwillie could also make the move to the Bluebirds, with Rangers yet to make a formal bid for the striker.

However, former agent Smith insists players who choose finances over football are no great loss to Rangers.

He said: "I believe it shouldn't always be about money. My own opinion is that players should be making decisions which are football decisions, rather than financial.

"I tried to do that myself when I was an agent, I tried to say to the player to make the right football decision.

"If I was a player coming through, would I go to a club playing in the Champions League or go to a club that's playing in the Championship? I know where I would go.

"It's a shame because you lose players who don't quite see it that way. But we move on.

"If a player decides not to come to us, we have to take the attitude that maybe it's not such a bad thing.

"He's maybe not got the right attitude that we want because what we really want is people who see us as the place to come to."

Smith added: "It is a different world these days. We have budgets here, we have a certain amount of income and we have to be sensible spending the money.

"I'm very aware of salary levels at Premiership level, but the Championship level salaries have also rocketed.

"There are clubs coming down from the Premiership into the Championship and they are keeping the wage scales going.

"Clubs are getting new owners and deciding to compete to try to get into the Premiership because they know there is big money. So that's the market."

New Rangers boss Ally McCoist has yet to make his first signing but Smith urged fans to be patient.

He said: "I would tell them not to be frustrated. It is early on.

"We're trying to do it in June now and we're trying to get up and running because there are games coming up.

"We have a good set of players just now, it's not as though we are short of a team.

"But we are looking to strengthen the squad and that's what we are working on just now.

"I would say to the fans not to be too worried or frustrated. We are working on it, we've got targets and ultimately we will be bringing players in."

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