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Gordon Smith sends open letter to McCoist

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“Give the fans some answers, Alistair”

Dear Ally,

We’ve known each other a long time.

Back at the start of the 1980s, we were on opposing sides in a match between Brighton and Sunderland and both of us ended up on the scoresheet.

We later shared a room on a golf trip to Las Vegas and will forever be linked by our mutual involvement in the events surrounding Rangers’ liquidation in 2012, something I could never have envisaged happening.

There have been a lot of questions thrown up since then. I would like, therefore, to make a public appeal to you for answers.

Answers to the questions that have left Rangers supporters dazed and confused throughout the events of the last 72 hours.

To read on the morning of a crucial Championship match that you had tendered your resignation was unprecedented.

To subsequently see you refuse to either confirm or deny those reports was strange in the extreme.

I understand sometimes individuals are bound by contractual obligation from communicating as freely as they might wish.

In this case though, that simply doesn’t wash.

For the support of a huge football club to be left in the dark about something as fundamental as whether or not their manager has resigned is totally unacceptable.

So, the first question to be answered is have you given your notice?

And, if not, why didn’t you take the opportunity to shoot down the reports as nonsense?

When you are talking about such an important issue, that has to be the course of action. Stability is crucial at any football club. When you are talking about Rangers, a club whose financial problems mean they have to win promotion this season, it is a necessity.

Players need to know who their leader is and what, within reason, his plans are for the future.

Secondly, if you have a desire to quit, then why not go now, under your own terms?

Do as I did two years ago and leave Ibrox without seeking money to do so because you think it is in the best interests of Rangers Football Club.

You were rightly given credit for the character and mental strength you showed back in 2012 and for staying on and making yourself a focal point at a time when the club was in complete disarray.

You famously said then: “We don’t do walking away”.

But what if it becomes the honourable thing to do and practically the only thing to do?

There is no way you or any of the coaches were responsible for blowing a two-goal lead at Alloa with 20 minutes remaining of the Petrofac Cup semi-final.

That was down to under-performing players. But you do carry the responsibility for the results.

You were given every financial advantage over opposition managers at every stage of this journey up through the divisions.

Even with the wage cut you agreed to, you have remained the highest-paid manager in Scotland over this period.

While the successive titles cannot be taken away from you, the failures of the current campaign threaten to sabotage so much of the progress made.

Leaving now would allow a new man to come in and see if he can do better.

You know we are not talking about any untried foreign coaches, but about men such as Stuart McCall and Terry Butcher.

Former Rangers team-mates of yours, who you know have the best interests of the club at heart and who boast solid managerial credentials.

As things stand, the club is not going to win the Championship title. Not with Hearts nine points clear and holding a game in hand.

Many, in fact, would argue Rangers will do well to match the Edinburgh outfit’s points haul between now and the end of the season.

Yet I believe that the extra impetus caused by a change at the top could make a huge difference.

There is an almost chemical reaction that occurs when a new manager takes over a dressing-room. You’ll have seen that for yourself during your playing career, like when Jock Wallace replaced John Greig and when Graeme Souness took over from Big Jock.

A galvanised squad would certainly have the ability to string together the kind of long winning-run which is now required to catch Hearts.

This brings me to the last of my central questions to you why is this Rangers team so bad?

Men like Kris Boyd, Ian Black, Nicky Law, Jon Daly, Dean Shiels and David Templeton have all individually impressed in the Premier League.

I could see why you signed them.

Their collective floundering in the lower divisions surely must make you doubt what you yourself have been doing on the training ground at Murray Park?

People might argue results are what matter. But the football your teams have produced has been uninspiring to watch and that has been in games that you have won.

It’s little wonder fans are staying away in their droves.

You will know that a certain style is demanded by the Rangers supporters, who have been reared on the genius of Davie Cooper, Brian Laudrup and Paul Gascoigne.

While everyone accepts the days of multi-million pound transfers are gone from Scottish football, it is not unreasonable for fans, who pay through the nose week-in, week-out, to be offered a decent standard of football.

And it is not unreasonable to suggest that more kids should have been brought through from Murray Park to the first team over the past three years.

When there is more drama to be found off the pitch than on it, then something has gone seriously wrong.

That was added to when the news broke that you had tendered your resignation.

You should follow that through by going this week, for the club’s sake and yours.

Yours, Gordon.