Smith calls for fixture aid

26 February 2011 10:00

Rangers manager Walter Smith has called for the Scottish Premier League to show more sympathy over his side's fixture congestion which has aided the European prospects of Scottish clubs.

The defending Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions are still challenging on all four fronts following their away goals win over Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League. Thursday's result is set to enhance Scotland's European credentials, the increased UEFA coefficient points likely to hand the SPL two Champions League qualifying places for the 2012/13 season.

"We are not trying to go as far as possible in the Europa League for the good of the SPL, we are doing it for the good of Rangers," said Smith.

"But everyone else benefits if the co-efficient improves, apart from us at the present moment.

"We are the team who has done as much as anyone over the last few seasons to try and keep the co-efficient as high as possible.

"So if they are going to try and help teams by starting the season two or three weeks earlier, what are they going to do for the teams still in Europe at the end?

"If you put a cup final in the same week as European fixtures are being played, then you have to ask yourself if they are not expecting at least one of your two best teams, Rangers or Celtic, to be involved in Europe by then.

"It's obviously not the ideal situation to be involved in, but that's where we are now and the fixtures have been out there all season."

Source: PA