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Stop offensive songs, warns Rangers manager Walter Smith

By Lisa Gray

Manager Walter Smith admits he sung songs as a young Rangers fan that he would not sing now as he called for an end to all sectarian chanting.

The Scottish champions are facing disciplinary action from UEFA following allegations of discriminatory chanting by their supporters during last month's Europa League game against PSV Eindhoven.

Smith was keen to stress the work the club has undertaken in recent years in a bid to eradicate the problem but expressed fears Rangers could suffer “drastic consequences” if fans do not stop singing offensive songs at matches.

He said: “I've sung songs, I've been there on the terracing as a youngster, I've done that.

“But, certainly, I wouldn't put myself in a position to do it now. That's what I would ask supporters to do.

“It's fine when you have a great club, with a great tradition, as Rangers have and people feel that's a part of it.

“But I think when there is a reaction, as there has been over the last few years, against those traditions then the people who do sing them — and I would stress that I don't think it's the majority of Rangers supporters — need to take into account that in a modern era it's maybe not acceptable for them to do so.

“Therefore they need to realise the club are going to suffer quite drastic consequences if they don't stop.

“So I would ask them, considering the problems that our club have, to take that into account and stop singing the songs that are offensive.”

Meanwhile, Rangers manager-in-waiting Ally McCoist could be handed a bigger than expected transfer budget for next season if Craig Whyte succeeds with his takeover.

A resolution is anticipated before the end of next week.

A source close to the deal has revealed: “Craig Whyte is determined that, if the deal goes through, as much cash as possible goes into the club and into the squad. That's been his goal from the start.”

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