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Ally was right and SFA have missed the point ... the biggest victims of Whyte takeover are RANGERS; Daily Record Friday, April 27, 2012 Daily Record Friday, April 27, 2012 THE WALTER SMITH INTERVIEW.

Byline: DAVID McCARTHY

THERE are times when Walter Smith must have regretted hauling Ally McCoist out of the TV studio and into the madhouse that is Scottish football.

If he hadn't, McCoist wouldn't be going through the anguish he is suffering at the moment. Then again, if he hadn't Rangers might not have someone who cares so passionately about the club.

Smith knows his protege went off on one the other day after the SFA slapped Rangers with a yearlong transfer embargo that all but cripples the club unless an appeal is successful.

And although McCoist has been criticised for demanding to know the names of the three-man panel that exacted such tough justice on Rangers, the man he took over from believes his successor was right to complain so long and so loud.

The current manager yesterday released a statement which said: "Rangers FC was a victim of what happened during the tenure of Craig Whyte. The club was not an accomplice, a co-conspirator nor a perpetrator of wrongdoing. We suffered from it and still are.

"I hope our appeal can be dealt with by the SFA as quickly as possible as the situation for the club and the possible ramifications for Scottish football are very serious."

Smith agrees with all of that and launched a stout defence of McCoist's actions. He said: "People have to remember Ally has been a supporter, he has been a player and he's now moved into a new career in management.

"He has seen this dismantle in front of him and he's had to handle it, which he's done brilliantly because there has been nobody there to help him.

"There are no directors, it has only been Ally and the administrators at the club.

"He has had to handle an awful lot and when he has seen something he has perceived as an injustice against the club I think he is quite right to speak out.

"People also have to remember Ally gave up an awful lot to come into football management.

"In his first opportunity he finds himself in this so there is an obvious frustration. I think he was quite right to come out and express his disappointment in the manner he did."

The punishment meted out to Rangers has angered Smith as much as any other fan and he believes the SFA have paid no attention to the circumstances surrounding the club's move into administration. He said: "Normally, clubs have gone into it because of a general inability to pay their bills.

"What happened here was an individual chose not to pay the bills, so it wasn't the club's inability to pay their debts that has put them into the administration, it was the fact one individual didn't want to pay the bills.

"Last season, had Rangers reneged on a bill to anybody? They hadn't. We went nearly three years without signing a player.

"It wasn't as if we were gaining a major advantage over the last few years by spending money we didn't have, winning league championships, going into administration and walking away.

"The club was living within its means. It needed a bit of investment at the end of last year, I'm on record as saying that, and you'd have thought with a new owner we'd have got that but we didn't.

"Never mind the other clubs needing our supporters' money or the kudos Rangers bring to the league in terms of TV deals - the action that one individual alone has taken makes it, in my mind, a completely different case.

MOOTED "What could the club have done? They had an independent board which warned people against selling the club to Craig Whyte. The club couldn't have done any more."

McCoist mooted on Tuesday the prospect of taking Rangers into the Third Division but Smith doesn't go along with that. He said: 3AT "There is an element of it where you think they're effectively making us non-competitive in the SPL, but I don't think any of us would like to see that (Third Division football) happening.

"What does it mean to the guys who work here? Could Rangers afford to keep the level of staff they have if they're playing in the Third Division? "Would a new owner keep that level of staff in place? The club, the supporters, the staff, the football staff - they don't deserve what's happened to them. That's the bottom line. That's what the SFA are forgetting.

"It's because it's Rangers, and there is an element in Scotland where people look at the two bigger clubs and if one of them is having problems the other fans enjoy it. Celtic had it in the 1990s and Rangers supporters were pleased that that happened. No doubt this will be the same. But there are also others who like to see the boot being put in.

"But there's nothing productive comes out of this, nothing productive for Scottish football. It only destroys Scottish football. That's all we're doing."

Irrespective of where Rangers play next term, Smith knows most of the current squad will be thinking of moving on. He added: "The guys who have been put into this situation played for the club, including many who played for it under my management, they all wanted to play for Rangers.

"But who would be happy with the circumstances they are in at the present moment don't know what's going "The players have where their agents reduced fees and if matched they can leave. those fees would be English clubs. So unless circumstances are and they have a and a clarity brought situation, then who blame a player for 'I'm going to go'.

nt when they oing to happen? ve a situation nts negotiated f those fees are eave. I'd imagine e attractive to nless Rangers' e different new owner ght to the o could saying, "It's a situation think anyone really the answer to, but think there would a better chance keeping t h o s players if the ownership of the club was clearer." I don't y has ut I be of e e

CAPTION(S):

NO HELP ALL Smith believes McCoist, far right, has had his job made more difficult by Whyte, far left, the SFA under Stewart Regan and the fact Martin Bain, left, and the rest of the Ibrox board are no longer operating at the club FIGHTING FIT Z Walter Smith joined Sandy Jardine at Ibrox yesterday to help promote a sponsored walk on behalf of the Rangers Fighting Fund
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 27, 2012
Words:1088
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