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Smith pens final Rangers deal

Rangers manager Walter Smith has signed a new one-year deal with the Scottish champions and will hand over the reins to Ally McCoist when his contract expires in 2011.

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Smith defied the odds to lead Rangers to a second successive SPL title this season, despite financial restrictions which have prevented him from buying a new player since August 2008.

The former Scotland manager, along with assistant manager McCoist and coach Kenny McDowall, had been working without a contract since January and the trio have all agreed new deals.

Smith said: "I am wholly committed to managing the club next season and when it comes to the end of next season I firmly believe that Ally and Kenny would do a great job and I am glad everybody at the club shares that view.

"I have given this decision a great deal of thought.

"The next season holds many challenges for everyone at the club and I would hope that with the backing of everyone - supporters, management and staff - we can pull together as a club and continue to achieve at least the levels of success we have enjoyed over the last few seasons.

"We have big challenges ahead, on and off the field, but we are all Rangers men at heart and are looking forward to going for our third league title in a row and playing in the Champions League.''

Smith had initially refused to confirm whether he would remain at Rangers to defend his crown, leading to fears that he was set to quit this summer.

Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston revealed that Smith was secured on the new contract following assurances that Champions League money will be invested in the playing squad.

McCoist has served a five-year apprenticeship under Smith, with Scotland and Rangers, and said it will be "a privilege and an honour" to replace his mentor.

"I'm hopeful the majority of the supporters will be very pleased we are staying. I'm sure they'll appreciate we've had one or two excellent seasons recently," McCoist said.

"We've had some great times and going forward, it is our aim and our objective to create some more for them."

"It will be a privilege and an honour to take over from Walter next year and that is a challenge I shall certainly relish."

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