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Rangers v Celtic Scottish Cup semi-final: Gers big incentive for Old Firm clash says Walter Smith

By Staff Reporter

Former Rangers manager Walter Smith claims the club should always be bitter over the reaction to their liquidation - and has encouraged everyone at Ibrox to use that as motivation ahead of Sunday's huge Scottish Cup semi-final showdown with Celtic at Hampden.

Rangers have earned their place back in the top flight after a four-year journey ended last week, but the former Gers boss believes ill-feeling will linger forever.

A consortium led by Charles Green failed to win any votes in their application to join the Scottish Premier League after purchasing the liquidated club's assets in June 2012. The Rangers newco was subsequently admitted to the bottom tier, despite attempts by Scottish football chiefs to parachute them into the First Division.

Much ill-feeling remains among Rangers fans over those times, while many other supporters feel the club got off lightly for years of contentious tax arrangements, which remain the subject of legal action.

Smith, who led a group that tried to buy the club from Green immediately after the newco deal, said: "There was no necessity for Rangers to be put down into the Third Division.

"There will be a bitterness in the Rangers ranks. It will be a massive motivation for the club. It would certainly be for me.

"How can they forget what happened to them? Nobody could forget that.

"There is no doubt it was the wrong move: Scottish football has been worse off. And a lot of the teams happy to see Rangers going down there have suffered."

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