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Football: 'Drunken players' forced Le Guen exit.

Byline: By IAIN CAMPBELL

PAUL Le Guen's former boss last night launched an astonishing attack on Rangers - claiming the Ibrox manager quit because players were often drunk.

Bernard Lacombe was director of sport at Lyon when Le Guen led the club to three French titles.

And he alleged the off-field refuelling habits of some of the Rangers squad were behind his exit on Thursday.

"We know pretty well about the problems certain players have with the levels of alcohol they consume," said Lacombe after his compatriot became the shortest-lived manager in the club's history, departing after just seven months.

He will be replaced by Scotland manager Walter Smith, but Rangers will have to wait until next week to unveil him after SFA president John McBeth yesterday revealed they were still waiting for a formal approach from Ibrox to secure his services.

Lacombe added: "I think it was difficult for Paul to accept certain things that went on at Rangers.

"Certain players would turn up for training in the mornings in states that are inconceivable for professional footballers to be in.

"I think the time came when he felt these excesses had become intolerable."

With chief executive David Taylor on holiday, Rangers' attempts to secure Smith have been delayed.

Smith, who will be joined at Ibrox by Ally McCoist, will not turn down Sir David Murray's SOS for him to return to the club.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 6, 2007
Words:239
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