Smith blocks out Rangers takeover to focus on SPL title

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Rangers boss Walter Smith has urged his players to put the club's takeover to one side and concentrate on winning the Scottish Premier League.

Craig Whyte's long-running bid to buy Sir David Murray's controlling interest was completed on Friday.

"We've reached the stage where we want to concentrate on football," he said.

"We've got ourselves into a position where maybe during the season we didn't think we would get into and I'd like our whole concentration to go on that."

Whyte's takeover bid, in which he acquired Murray's 85% share in the club for £1, reach its conclusion on Friday afternoon after those involved in the deal worked through the night to resolve a final "technical issue".

This followed Whyte's arrival in Edinburgh on Thursday as he sought to put the finishing touches to the takeover.

But Smith, who has only three games remaining in charge of the club before he leaves Ibrox at the end of the season, did not want to be drawn on the prospect of a new owner when asked at Rangers' media conference on Friday morning.

He said: "It has been going on for months and months.

"It's more important for us to make sure we concentrate on the last three games."

League leaders Rangers are a point ahead of rivals Celtic with the teams having each played 35 matches.

They play Hearts at Ibrox on Saturday, then host Dundee United before travelling to Rugby Park to play Kilmarnock next Sunday for the final match of the campaign.

Celtic's next two games take place the day after Rangers', with a visit to Killie preceding Wednesday's trip to Tynecastle to take on Hearts. Neil Lennon's side end the league season with a home game against Motherwell.

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