Rangers bid for Smith still on hold

Rangers’ bid to install Walter Smith as their new manager was continuing to be thwarted this morning.

Rangers’ bid to install Walter Smith as their new manager was continuing to be thwarted this morning.

The Scottish Football Association refused Rangers permission to approach Smith yesterday, and their position was reiterated as they fought to keep the national team boss.

Smith asked to be released from his contract with the SFA yesterday and was predictably rebuffed.

His request, which came at a meeting prompted by Rangers making contact with the SFA, served to confirm Smith’s interest in a return to Ibrox. However, the SFA insisted they would not countenance losing Smith at a crucial stage of their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

That remains the case today, with an SFA spokesperson reporting there was “no change” in the situation.

The Scottish side surprisingly top their group, ahead of Italy and France, the two World Cup finalists and SFA chief executive David Taylor said yesterday: “Where we are at the moment is that Walter remains an employee of the SFA. He (Walter) understood the position the SFA is adopting on this matter.”

Rangers will have to wait to see if Smith resigns, a move which would leave the Light Blues open to a compensation claim by the SFA.

Taylor last night put the ball back in Rangers’ court by saying: “There is no action to be taken by the SFA – it is a matter for Walter or Rangers Football Club.”

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