Walter Smith: Celtic deserve title

Celtic deserve title, insists former Rangers boss Smith

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UPDATED:

23:31 GMT, 29 March 2012

Former Rangers boss Walter Smith on
Thursday night dismissed any talk of a 'tainted title' by insisting Celtic will deserve to become SPL champions.

The 10-point penalty inflicted on
the Ibrox club when they plunged into administration last month
effectively ended the league race as a contest.

That left some, including former Old
Firm stars Mark Hateley and Craig Burley, to question the merit of the
Parkhead side cruising to a first crown in four years.

Title talk: Former Rangers manager Walter Smith was on hand to promote the legends match between Rangers and AC Milan

Title talk: Former Rangers manager Walter Smith was on hand to promote the legends match between Rangers and AC Milan

But Smith referenced his own early
successes over a struggling Celtic team as he argued a league campaign
was as much a test of a club's overall stability as it was of the
players on the pitch.

Asked how the financial meltdown at
Ibrox had influenced this title battle, he said: 'It's affected it, but
it's like everything else. When I took over at Rangers in the early
'90s, Celtic were in a poor position financially and organisationally.

'Rangers managed to win a couple of championships then. You count them. When you win a league championship, it is not just a test of the team that goes on the field.

'It is a test of your whole club, the organisation and the way it is being run. Rangers haven't been good enough in that aspect.

'No doubt the circumstances they have been in have affected the team on the pitch, but you have to look at the club overall. The team that wins the league deserves it – because it is a test of your club and not just 11 players on the pitch.'

Smith was back at Ibrox on Thursday to help promote Friday night's Legends Match with AC Milan which will help to raise funds for the ailing club.

He will manage a Rangers team featuring current boss Ally McCoist, Brian Laudrup and Ronald de Boer against a Milan Glorie XI featuring Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi.