Rangers COO & Director of Football to Leave Club

February 24, 2012

Rangers’ administrators have confirmed that chief operating officer Ali Russell and director of football Gordon Smith have agreed to leave the club.

Both will remain with the Scottish champions until the end of the month at the request of the administrators.

Decisions regarding staffing in all other departments will not be taken until next week.

Former Rangers player Smith returned to Ibrox following Craig Whyte’s takeover of the club last May.

But he has revealed his frustration at being restricted in his attempts to carry out the role fully.

Smith said: “It was a great thrill to be offered the director of football role at Rangers. As a fan, it was a wonderful experience to play such a big part in our treble winning season of 77/78.

“However, like my transfer in 1980, my leaving at this time comes as a tremendous wrench. I admit that under the current circumstances it has not come as a major surprise to me.

“I was brought in by Craig Whyte but because his control and reputation has been damaged by recent disclosures, I feel my own position has been undermined by association.

“However, I would make the point that I was very frustrated in my job as I was unable to fulfil the job specification which was originally outlined for me. This was to control the major aspects of the football department outwith the first team operations.

“These were to include recruitment, scouting, transfer negotiations and youth development. I wasn’t in control of any of these activities despite constantly making it clear to Craig Whyte that this was to be my remit. I outlined my medium to long-term strategies for the club on numerous occasions to no avail.

“There’s no point in being a director of football unless you can control these areas so, in that respect, I’m totally comfortable with being made redundant at this time. The main thing for me is that Rangers survives and continues to operate as a great football club and I offer my full support going forward to ensure this happens.”

by Ismail Uddin