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Bank holds the purse strings of Rangers spending

Rangers boss Walter Smith has claimed that the club's spending is being overseen by the bank. Hopes of bolstering his squad further in January appear unlikely after Smith's claims that Lloyds Banking Group is supervising the club's spending.

"Is that not obvious to everybody?" asked Smith following the top-of-the-table clash.

"As far as I'm aware that's the case. David Murray has stepped down [as chairman] and they have a representative of the bank (Donald Muir) on the board so as far as I'm aware that's the situation.

"It's obviously not a good situation, it's not a situation that anybody wants the club to be in. It's been up for sale for a while.

"It's not the bank's fault, if the bank has to take over in the circumstances they are not going to invest in a football club, are they?

"I think we have been fairly honest about the situation. The players at the club have been up for sale since January and we haven't bought a player for what will be 18 months in this transfer window.

"These circumstances have been here for a while now and I've been perfectly aware of them and, despite some headlines, have never complained about it.

"I'm not complaining about it now. I'm just saying to you it's a fact and it's a fact of life just now for a lot of companies throughout the world who are having a struggle financially at the moment.

"When David Murray stepped away from the club, I felt that was a bad thing for Rangers in the sense that he tried as hard as he could over the 20 years to invest in the club and now we don't have that situation.

"The quicker that gets cleared up, the better it will be for Rangers."

Asked if there were any potential buyers on the horizon, Smith replied: "I'm not that involved in that aspect, you would need to ask others. I'm just trying to make sure we can pave our way through and hopefully there can be a change sooner rather than later."

A statement from Lloyds Banking Group read: "Lloyds Banking Group recognises the importance of Rangers FC to both its supporters, shareholders and to the wider football industry in Scotland.

"The bank continues to be very supportive of both the club and the board as they manage the business through the more difficult economic conditions currently prevailing."

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