Murray, the club's owner, announced today that he is to step down as a board director and chairman of Rangers.

He will be succeeded as chairman by Alastair Johnston, 61, a director of the club for the last five years.

Andy Kerr, president of the Assembly, the umbrella organisation that represents all Rangers supporters groups around the world, said: "Rangers fans all over the world will be united today in paying tribute to the passion and commitment Sir David has shown for Rangers over the past 20 years.

"Only 10 days ago, he was given a resounding cheer when he unfurled the league flag at Ibrox and that's how Rangers fans would like to remember what has been, overall, a very successful chairmanship.

"Of course, football fans will from time to time see things differently from the men in the boardroom; that's all part and parcel of the game.

"There has been many a debate among fans over the years about Sir David's contribution to the club but the facts show it was a hugely successful period in terms of trophies and the quality of players we were privileged to see.

"We begin another chapter now under Alastair Johnston's chairmanship and we look forward to continued success for our great club."

While the Rangers Supporters Assembly gave their unequivocal backing to Murray, The Rangers Supporters Trust were less enthusiastic about the announcement and a statement called for "radical" changes at the club.

Trust chairman Stephen Smith said: "Every Rangers fan recognises the former chairman's commitment and the success that the club has enjoyed since 1988 and we wish Sir David Murray well.

"However, a new face at the top doesn't change the fact that Sir David still owns over 90% of Rangers shares.

"Nor does it wipe out debts that meant the club was unable to sign a single player on the back of a double winning season with guaranteed Champions League football.

"Many Rangers supporters still want radical change in the running and ownership of the club.

"The promise made by Sir David two years ago on elected supporters being on the club board should be honoured.

"Every fan is now looking for a clear positive statement about the future direction of Rangers, particularly how the club's debt will be managed and what financial support will be given to Walter Smith and the team.

"Finally, the situation where one man has sole control of Rangers cannot continue.

"The fans are the biggest annual investor in the club and, as Sir David himself acknowledges, 'the lifeblood of Rangers'.

"This is the perfect opportunity for the club to sit down with supporters and discuss how to widen share ownership and democratise the club, to ensure the phrase 'Rangers family' means something."