Gordon Smith defends Ibrox transfer policy

Gordon Smith has hit back at criticism of Rangers' transfer dealings this summer
Gordon Smith has hit back at criticism of Rangers' transfer dealings this summer© SNS Group

Rangers director of football Gordon Smith has defended the club's approach in the transfer market and insists "unrest" will disappear when results on the park improve.

The Govan club are still licking their wounds after being dumped out of the Champions League qualifiers by Swedish side Malmo as new manager Ally McCoist battles with mixed success in the transfer market.

McCoist has seen four players come in but there have been highly-publicised failures to land targets such as David Goodwillie and Kenny Miller.

A mood of uncertainty around the Scottish champions was not helped by the news that Sheriff officers visited Ibrox earlier in the week regarding a debt over a tax liability of £2.8million.

However, Rangers today won a work permit for Orebro winger Alejandro Bedoya, who has signed a pre-contract deal, and only a work permit is needed to tie up the signing of Australia midfielder Matt McKay.

Smith told TalkSport: "I think the unrest comes to a degree with results. I think going out the Champions League was a major factor and that was a disappointment.

"But there are a lot of positives.

"I have heard people saying that 'they are not spending any money, they are not supporting the manager' and that's not true.

"We have spent almost £3million on players. There has been four signings plus a loan signing.

"One of the players, Bedoya, an American international who plays in Sweden, is freedom of contract but we are hoping to get him this month.

"Matt McKay would make six signings and still we are looking to bring in some more."

Asked directly if McCoist had the 100% backing of the new owner and himself, Smith said: "Oh yes, absolutely.

"We are doing our best to support him. Every player Ally is interested in, he knows that he has the backing.

"All the players that he has identified and recognised, we have been in bidding for them."

The former Rangers player explained the failure to land Goodwillie and Miller was down to both players' desire to play in the English leagues, with Blackburn and Cardiff respectively.

"We did miss out there (Goodwillie)," said Smith.

"But the lad did a piece in the paper today saying even though he knew about Rangers' interest, he felt it was best for him, regarding his personal circumstance, to go to England.

"Once you start to compete with the Premiership it becomes difficult.

"But anyone who thinks we lost out financially, that wasn't the case.

"We competed with Blackburn for the fee and we offered a good amount of money, his income would have been as good as he was getting at Blackburn.

"It was the players himself who just made a decision that he would rather play in England.

"The Kenny Miller one was slightly different in that Goodwillie was our main target at that stage.

"We felt we could move in but Kenny said he didn't want to let down (Cardiff manager) Malky Mackay, and he had been speaking to him for a longer period.

"Although we matched that bid, he decided to go to England too."

Failure with recent bids for the likes of ADO Den Haag winger Wesley Verhoek and Anderlecht defender Rolan Juhasz has led to scepticism in some quarters over the spending power of Craig Whyte, who bought out majority shareholder Sir David Murray in May.

But Smith said: "We have made bids of over £7million in total for players.

"What happens if those bids had been accepted? Is anyone saying we would have said: 'We can't give you the money?'

"We have the money to spend on players, the new owner Craig Whyte has put up that money.

"But I think most of the fans realise. Once we get positive results, people will see it in a new light."


 

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