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Walter Smith reveals how long-running internal warfare at Rangers...

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...has kept him away from Ibrox.


Former manager, who will make rare appearance in stands for League Cup quarter-final against St Johnstone, says he is "better not going" because of club's problems.




By Ewing Grahame


10:00PM GMT 27 Oct 2014


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Walter Smith will make a rare appearance at Ibrox on Tuesday night for Rangers’ League Cup quarter-final against St Johnstone.


Smith, 66, led Rangers to nine championship successes and also won the Scottish Cup five times and the League Cup on six occasions during his two spells as manager.


Yet he reveals that the internecine warfare – which has been waged with increasing frequency and hostility in the boardroom since the consortium fronted by Charles Green seized control after the old club’s descent into liquidation in 2012 – has persuaded him to limit his attendance at matches following his resignation as chairman in August last year.


The increasing influence wielded by Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United owner, and the departures (which Ashley had called for) of chief executive Graham Wallace and director Philip Nash may yet bring stability to the club but, until the fighting stops, Smith’s visits will be collectors’ items.


“Before I left the board at Rangers I was going to few of the games,” he said. “I’ve been to one or two but I haven’t been to an awful lot since I left.


“I watch the TV coverage and read a lot about it but I don’t go along to many matches. At first I didn’t go because I didn’t want people thinking I was ... not interfering, but going to watch Alastair and the boys I’d left there. That was the main reason for not going back.


“When Charles Green asked me to go on the board I went back and going to games was another aspect of it.


“Since I left the board, the reason I don’t go back is because is everybody keeps saying to me: ‘You are supporting that side, your are supporting this side or the other side’.


“I think I’m better not bothering going. I miss going to the games. I’ll go to the occasional one and I’ll go on Tuesday night to see how they do against St Johnstone.”


Smith was at the national stadium on Sunday to see Davie Wilson, a childhood idol, inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.


“Wee Davie worked beside my old man when he was a boy, strangely enough,” he said. “I went to Ibrox and watched him play in that fantastic team of the late 1950s and early 60s. It was an enjoyable period to go and watch them.


“He was one of the main ones and the number of goals he scored for a winger was incredible. Nowadays we don’t have wingers of that type.


“Davie and Jimmy Millar also came to play at Dundee United when I was there and he was a fantastic professional. They could have tailed off at the end of their careers but they had a great attitude and it was good for a young player like myself to see that,


“It was a big thrill – I’d never have imagined I’d have played alongside him. He was terrific, down to earth. Davie was also assistant manager at Dumbarton when I went there for a year.”



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Walter is one of the few people that could be leading from the front on what's happening at Rangers.


Business acumen or not, a short and unsuccessful period as chairman should have given him the insight into some of the issues that remain problematic at the club. It's disappointing that he's decided not to challenge that and instead take a low profile during one of the most challenging periods in the club's history.


Yes, not everyone is an expert when it comes to business and the fans have no right to tell anyone to take a side but there are too many people, IMHO, more intent in protecting their own reputation rather than that of the club.


If John Greig, Walter Smith and Ally McCoist all stood up and said exactly what's going on then we'd perhaps get somewhere in terms of uniting the support. These three men are as big as they come when it comes to club legends that span the eras in which most fans have lived through. They command the respect and loyalty of the vast majority of fans (on and offline, politically minded or not) and would represent a genuine focal point for protest if the situation is as dire as we're told.


Instead they've chosen not to step forward while the latter has chosen to endorse the regime time after time. Not one person has been prepared to put their legend reputation on the line so it's no surprise the fans are more confused than angry.


It's this confusion that has cost the club millions and makes the future as uncertain as its ever been.

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