Byline: PETER JARDINE
HERE'S a sentence you don't see too often: Sir Alex Ferguson's indecision seems to be final. One minute the Manchester United overlord is using media interviews to recommend Walter Smith for Premiership jobs, saying chairman will be queuing up for the venerable veteran. Then, in the next breath, he is telling new Ibrox owner Craig Whyte he cannot afford to let the man himself leave Rangers.
The first scenario remains a distinct possibility, with Smith having revealed not so long ago that he actually turned down a job in England's top flight last summer. The second is a non-starter, according to Smith. And for one simple reason. He may come along to watch Rangers next season but he won't be a 'spectre' in the stand for Ally McCoist.
Nor will the former Scotland boss move back to the SFA. Not as 'performance director', certainly. Should Whyte take Ferguson's advice and ask Smith to remain at Rangers -- in any 'upstairs' capacity -- the plea will be rejected. 'Will I come back to Rangers in another role? No. Och, no. I'll never be a director of football,' said Smith. 'I've made that quite clear. 'Someone once suggested I'd come back as the performance director of the SFA, but there was absolutely no chance of that.
'One of the reasons why I won't be back at Rangers again is that I won't be sitting there looking at the lads that I have worked with like Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall. 'So you might see me at Dumbarton or Forfar or somewhere like that, plus the occasional Rangers game.
'I'll go to watch Rangers as a fan. But it's not right for me to be hanging around the club when there are new people there in charge in the dugout. I don't want to do that.
'If I do go, I will go as a supporter. …