x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Andy Murray takes time out from tennis to talk about Rangers' struggles

The Scot, who was offered a trial at the Glasgow giants as a youngster, disappointed to hear of the club''s decision to enter administration.

Andy Murray had an invitation to train at Rangers' School of Excellence when he was 15.
Andy Murray had an invitation to train at Rangers' School of Excellence when he was 15.

DUBAI // If Andy Murray wins the Dubai Tennis Championships this week, the winners cheque of US$409,170 (Dh1.5 million) will swell his career earnings past $20m.

That amount would come in handy for his hometown football team, the Scottish giants Rangers, who recently went into administration with an unpaid tax bill of more than $14m.

Murray was not shocked to hear the news as some of his close friends, who are Rangers fans, had been telling him about the club's dire financial situation.

"I wasn't shocked, but I was disappointed," said Murray, who had an invitation to train at Rangers' School of Excellence when he was 15, but declined to focus on his tennis career.

"A lot of my friends are Rangers fans and they were saying for years they are really struggling financially, they have a lot of debt, they are really struggling.

"I just don't understand how it happens so often nowadays in football. You understand obviously it's very hard to run a football club to be successful, but people need to be a bit more sensible with the way you spend your money."

Murray, who, despite being born in Glasgow, supports Edinburgh outfit Hibernian, believes football clubs should follow the strategy adopted by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

"I was just talking about the Arsenal situation," Murray, who has confessed to also being an Arsenal fan, said. "Everyone is saying, 'Oh, they don't spend any money' and Arsene Wenger was talking about it today.

"There's far too many clubs that spend so much money that they don't have, just to try and win. I think a club should be run like a business.

"You can't spend what you don't have. It has happened with a lot of clubs in the past. My fitness trainer is a Charlton fan. They had a bit success and they then tried to spend money, got relegated and the club struggles. Leeds were exactly the same. Portsmouth, it's happened to them and now obviously with Rangers."