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The tale of two talismans

By ESPN Staff

Murray promises Smith funds to improve Rangers

Rangers chairman Sir David Murray has promised new boss Walter Smith funds to improve his squad in the January transfer window.

Murray has warned there will be no repeat of the over-spending that pushed the club more than £70million in debt in the years after Smith finished his first spell in charge.

But he hinted he could dip into his own pocket to give Smith the chance to cut the 17-point deficit on Celtic in the Bank of Scotland Premier League. And he revealed departed boss Paul Le Guen had been offered cash to spend this month - but turned it down.

Murray said: 'There was a couple of million pounds for him to spend in January and he was not intending to spend it.

'Every manager would like more resources but he had funds which he chose not to use.

'We do not have the funds we used to have but if he wanted a player that badly then we would have made more money available.

'There will have to be more money made available to Walter. I have resources.

'What I don't want to do is put the club in the situation it was in before where we are running up a huge overdraft and financing losses.

'But it's obvious we need to spend a bit more money.'

When asked if he would use his own cash to buy players, Murray said: 'Wait and see.'

Murray said the rationale behind Le Guen's departure had been: 'When you're in a hole stop digging.'

And he argued he was getting a better manager than he had when Smith led the Gers to seven titles in the 1990s. He said: 'If we were looking at the same individual with the same skills there would be a question mark about him coming back.

'Walter is 10 years older and he will do things differently. He has more experience and that will show.'

Smith also dismissed concerns that he was risking his reputation as one of the club's most successful managers.

He said: 'You can't take that away. I was successful the last time.

'I appreciate circumstances are different, I know it will be a different job but when I took the Scotland job people said why would I go into that type of situation.

'I always think if you're afraid of a challenge you shouldn't accept it. Hopefully we can do enough to be successful.'