Ayr United chairman David Smith has revealed how Scott Brown's January transfer splurge will be funded by... Rangers!

The former Celtic and Scotland midfielder - alongside ex-Rangers defender Steven Whittaker - was celebrating being back in football management after clinching a two-and-a-half-year deal with Scottish Championship side Ayr United. The Honest Men face a money-spinning fifth-round Scottish Cup tie against Rangers at Ibrox on February 10 with Brown's box-office Ibrox return sure to be televised.

Smith admitted that the club and their new management team will be able to use some of the Rangers Scottish Cup jackpot bonanza to spend on players before the January transfer window shuts.

When asked if it was a fair assumption that Rangers would be financing Brown's January transfer window spending, Smith said: "Yes. Absolutely. We'll need to sit down with them as they have just got their feet under the table but we will make some finances available to them for some January business. We already discussed that among a few things. Happy days."

READ MORE: Scott Brown vows to revive 'sleeping giant' Ayr United

Smith and Ayr United managing director Graeme Mathie insisted that the club had hired the best possible managerial candidates and that the duo impressed them greatly during the interview process.

Smith said: "It was a mental eight days. They were the best. That is a really short summary of it all. We interviewed them as a team and we liked that. They have not been hired for what they did in their playing careers.

"We wanted to pick the right men for the football club. They came as a team and they came exclusively together. That was a big selling point and the amount of detail they went into was huge and the informal chat was over an hour. The interview was close to two-and-a-half hours and we had never met them before but the chemistry was there quickly and we liked that.

"We might potentially get criticism for what we have done but nobody else went through the interview process. We are certain that we have got the right managerial team for Ayr United. We kept saying this during the process that a lot of people talk about projects. "This is not a project. It is a journey. This is not a project for us. Scott and Steven bought into that and want to be part of the journey."

Mathie said: "This has been exciting for us as we have never had a press conference like it. There is great interest in the pair of them and we know what comes from bringing in Scott and Steven. I was not being disrespectful when I said they were not hired because of their achievements with Celtic and Rangers.

"I think what I wanted to get across was that they were not signed because they were big names. Far from it. They were signed because of the quality they delivered in the interview and the research that we had done on both of them. They now want to be known as the Ayr United management team. Their playing careers are in the past and what you get from them is an understanding of how they work as human beings. That is great for us. This club has spent more time in League One than it has in the Championship in the last 20 years. We have now set aside a vision to take the club beyond where it has been before.

"You need people around to say I can make that better and that better and this is the standard we need to get to if we are to achieve that. They need to be relentless in that and they need to have drive and ambition. Certain people talked about their short-term ambition for Aye being to stay in the Championship. Scott and Steven looked at it and said: 'Ayr are four points off the play-offs!'. I loved that thinking."