{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"sport","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/hibernian/ex-liverpool-winger-jermaine-pennant-training-with-hibs-1-4487974","id":"1.4487974","articleHeadline": "Ex-Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant training with Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498576434000 ,"articleLead": "

Former Stoke City and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant is training with Hibs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487972.1498576854!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jermaine Pennant is a free agent"} ,"articleBody": "

The 34-year-old, a free agent, is being put through his paces by head coach Neil Lennon.

The player spent a few days training with Hibs in November last year before making a January move to Bury where he went on to make seven appearances.

Lennon has handed the player another chance to impress as he looks to bolster his squad for their return to the Ladbrokes Premiership.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487972.1498576854!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487972.1498576854!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jermaine Pennant is a free agent","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jermaine Pennant is a free agent","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487972.1498576854!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487973.1498576902!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487973.1498576902!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Pennant posted this pic on social media today","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pennant posted this pic on social media today","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487973.1498576902!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/scotland/sfa-row-and-injuries-fail-to-dampen-joy-at-scotland-euro-bid-1-4488270","id":"1.4488270","articleHeadline": "SFA row and injuries fail to dampen joy at Scotland Euro bid","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498597807000 ,"articleLead": "

The European Championship being staged in Holland next month gives Scotland’s women the opportunity to step out from the shadow cast by the men’s game in this country. Pity, then, the build-up to a first major finals appearance in almost two decades by 
footballers from within these borders has been overshadowed in other ways.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488269.1498597806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland Women celebrate securing their place at the Euro 2017 finals in Holland,"} ,"articleBody": "

A sour note has been struck to the unspecified “terms and conditions” dispute between the women’s squad and the SFA that was eventually settled last week. And it is desperately disappointing that for the first tournament Scotland will contest at this level, the team will be robbed of their top performer Kim Little, and striker Lizzie Arnot, as the result of cruciate ligament injuries.

Jen Beattie was yesterday added to the list of casualties as outgoing coach Anna Signeul named her 22 for the 16-team extravaganza that will see Scotland open up against England on 19 July, play Portugal four days later and then complete their Group D fixtures by facing up to Spain on 27 July.

The selection issues have been beyond the players’ control but not so their decision to seek “respect” and “parity” – euphemisms for financial recompense – from the national association and operate a media blackout while the row rumbled on.

It delayed the squad announcement, originally scheduled for last week, and was brought to a conclusion only on Saturday morning, 
following the intervention of PFA Scotland.

“Obviously the situation was not ideal but we felt we needed to take a stance and now it’s resolved we can move forward together and focus on the tournament,” said midfielder Joelle Murray, one of three Hibernian players in a squad drawn largely from Glasgow City.

“We knew our position had potential implications and that’s why we wanted to keep the terms of the dispute behind closed doors and not go public. We did not want our media blackout to overshadow the finals and we’re glad it has been resolved positively.”

The Scotland coach, who stayed out of the dispute entirely, yesterday wearied at being asked about a matter she suggested had been overplayed. “I’ve had no involvement and, as coach, have not seen any negative effect on the players in recent weeks,” Signeul said.

The effect that would be a delight to see for the Swede, whose 12-year tenure will end next month, was her side replicating the spectacle that ensued from Scotland and England facing one another on the football field the other week. The two late and luscious free-kicks from Leigh Griffiths in quick succession that sent Hampden into a ear-shattering frenzy the like of which is rarely witnessed. Signeul would settle for simply matching the 2-2 scoreline Gordon Strachan’s men were forced to accept after conceding a 93rd minute equaliser, the English among the favourites and Spain a stern test in a tough section.

“Not many sporting occasions in Scottish history can ever compete with those 
closing moments against 
England – some supporters have said it represented the best three minutes of their lives,” she said.

“The joy of 2-1? It’s impossible to top that, but our target for the Euros is to get everyone in our squad performing at their absolute best. If we do, we have a really good chance to do something special. We know England and Spain are top sides but we can show our passion and do our absolute best, just as the men did.

“I’ve spoken at a meeting of the Tartan Army and we might have up to 100 coming out to support us in Holland. We have a tremendous community around women’s football in Scotland, but this could be a breakthrough moment in persuading the Tartan Army to come and watch the 
women’s team.

For striker Lisa Evans, about to return to the UK after spending the past two years with Bayern Munich, the Griffiths show three weeks ago can serve as inspiration. Evans, indeed, considers it a football thrill to rank alongside that provided by sharing the celebrations for league-winning honours at Munich last year with the men’s team and more than 200,000 in the Bavarian epicentre.

“Being on the Rathaus balcony together with all the fans below was breathtaking, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” said the 48-times capped winger. “It was unreal, but I was also lucky enough to be at the England game with a couple of team-mates earlier this month and I’ve never had a feeling like it watching a football game in my life. It was amazing, such a rollercoaster of emotions on the day.

“I don’t want to speak too early, but we know anything can happen in a game of football. Leigh Griffiths showed that when he banged in those two free-kicks.

“I can’t wait until our game against the English now and I might fancy Caroline Weir to do something with her set-pieces. We know England have a lot more experience of these competitions than we do, but we’re going to enjoy a really great atmosphere.

“The tournament will be broadcast live on Channel Four and it’s good for kids to have role models in the Scottish women’s game they can watch on television. The game has grown tremendously since I made my first appearance for Scotland.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488269.1498597806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488269.1498597806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scotland Women celebrate securing their place at the Euro 2017 finals in Holland,","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland Women celebrate securing their place at the Euro 2017 finals in Holland,","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488269.1498597806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/iain-henderson-in-mix-for-test-spot-despite-silly-yellow-card-1-4488238","id":"1.4488238","articleHeadline": "Iain Henderson in mix for Test spot despite ‘silly’ yellow card","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498597200000 ,"articleLead": "

British and Irish Lions lock Iain Henderson believes his performance against the Hurricanes was “probably overshadowed by the silliness of a yellow card”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488237.1498594238!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iain Henderson described his yellow card as 'frustrating'. Picture: Getty."} ,"articleBody": "

The Hurricanes scored two converted late tries at Westpac Stadium, with the Lions down to 14 men following Henderson’s sin-binning for a dangerous clear-out of Hurricanes full-back Jordie Barrett at a ruck, and the match ended in a 31-31 draw as the Lions’ midweek schedule came to an end.

All attention now switching to Saturday’s second Test against world champions New Zealand in Wellington.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland is not due to name his Test team until tomorrow, but Ireland international Henderson’s quality against the Hurricanes could put him firmly in the selection mix.

“It was definitely an enjoyable game to play in – for the 70 minutes I played,” Henderson, pictured, said.

“It [the yellow card] was frustrating, stupid. Probably a bit of mistimed rucking, I would describe it as.

“It was definitely hard for me sitting there for those ten minutes and watching.”

Asked about his Test squad credentials, Henderson – capped 32 times for 
Ireland – added: “Look, it’s Tuesday of a Test week.

“There are places not necessarily up for grabs, but we are definitely trying to put our hand up, even if it is for the last [third] Test. You are always trying to put on your best performance.

“But it is out of our hands. We don’t make the decisions, we just have to be able to put on a performance to try and help the coaches make their decisions. It is up to 
them now.

“I was lucky with a few bounces of the ball and stuff. I got a bit of ball in hand, but it was probably overshadowed by the silliness of the yellow card.

“There are definitely a lot of positives taken from the game. We will take away a lot from our attacking performance.

“There is always enough left [in the tank] for a couple more games.

“It [the Lions tour] has been enjoyable for me. I feel my 
performances have increased. I have definitely really 
enjoyed it.

“It would be ideal to be in the Test squad. As soon as we hear the Test team on Thursday, we will knuckle down and help the boys.

“For a lot of the boys out there today, it will probably be the last time they pull on a Lions jersey, this tour, or in their careers. For me, it was about taking it in, and I can’t fault the fans – they were fantastic.

“I was shattered and definitely frustrated at the yellow card, but I enjoyed the experience. There were patches of the game we played really well in.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW BALDOCK"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488237.1498594238!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488237.1498594238!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Iain Henderson described his yellow card as 'frustrating'. Picture: Getty.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iain Henderson described his yellow card as 'frustrating'. Picture: Getty.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488237.1498594238!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/hearts/shock-at-sudden-death-of-ex-hearts-striker-paille-aged-just-52-1-4488261","id":"1.4488261","articleHeadline": "Shock at sudden death of ex-Hearts striker Paille, aged just 52","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498597200000 ,"articleLead": "

Stephane Paille, a former French footballer of the year who briefly lit up Scottish football in the late 1990s, has died after a serious illness. He was 52.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488260.1498597122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stephane Paille, celebrates his semi-final goal against Dundee. Picture: Allsport."} ,"articleBody": "

Paille played for Hearts in the 1996-97 season, helping them reach the League Cup final with a fine goal and a man-of-the-match performance in the semi against Dundee at Easter Road. He also played in the final at Celtic Park where Hearts lost a thrilling match 4-3 to a Rangers side inspired by Paul Gascoigne.

His time at Tynecastle ended under a cloud when he tested positive for a banned stimulant containing amphetamine. It was the second failed drugs test of his career and he was sacked by Hearts but is fondly remembered by fans and team-mates as a player of great technical ability who sometimes struggled to reconcile off-field problems with his undoubted talent.

Neil McCann played alongside Paille at Hearts and recalls a gifted striker who was immensely popular in the dressing room.

“He was a big lump of a boy but he could play,” McCann said. “I wasn’t long in at Hearts from Dundee, and I remember thinking: ‘my goodness he can play’. He was in great condition physically.”

Paille was brought to Hearts by Jim Jefferies, initially on a two-month deal. He impressed sufficiently to earn a longer contract as he tried to rehabilitate his career after serving a two-month ban in France for testing positive for cannabis while with Mulhouse.

He was part of a golden generation of French players, coming through alongside Eric Cantona, Franck Sauzee and Laurent Blanc. He played eight times for France between 1986 and 1989 and counted Sochaux, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Caen, Lyon, Porto and Servette among his former clubs

“He came in with quite a big reputation,” recalls McCann. “You know what it’s like, sometimes when people come in from abroad with a big reputation you sometimes have some doubts. But you could immediately see that he had everything you need. He had a real presence about him, a proper big No 9. He was a great guy about the dressing room too.

“He wasn’t just a big target man who you’d smash balls up to and they’d bounce off him. I remember quite vividly watching him – in fact it was probably against Dundee in the semi-final at Easter Road – when he would just pull the ball down, link the game and power away from someone. “He came over and he was brilliant; great in the dressing-room, great in the training ground. His physical condition was exceptional. A big strong, powerful guy, he clearly looked after himself. But he was effective on the pitch too, that’s the most important thing. It’s absolutely tragic to hear this news.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488260.1498597122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488260.1498597122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stephane Paille, celebrates his semi-final goal against Dundee. Picture: Allsport.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stephane Paille, celebrates his semi-final goal against Dundee. Picture: Allsport.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488260.1498597122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-game-set-and-match-serena-1-4488225","id":"1.4488225","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Game, set and match, Serena","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498595400000 ,"articleLead": "

Tennis legend John McEnroe has revived the Battle of the Sexes narrative by telling a US radio station that Serena Williams would “be like 700 in the world” if she played the men’s circuit. McEnroe does have a book to sell, but his comments undermine both women’s sport and Williams’ own achievements.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488224.1498593020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McEnroe's comments fail to respect Serena Williams' record."} ,"articleBody": "

But more significantly McEnroe fails to respect Williams record.

When fans ask “who is the greatest tennis player of all time?”, this typically sparks a debate about Federer or Nadal. But actually the answer is Serena Williams. She has won more Grand Slams than Federer and dominated for longer.

She has also has a winning record against all her rivals (Federer has a losing record against Nadal and Djokovic).

But few ever immediately cite a woman as being the greatest player to play the game.

It is true that Williams would struggle against the power in the modern men’s game. But forget brute force, Serena has it all and McEnroe’s comments simply serve to undermine the position of women in sport.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488224.1498593020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488224.1498593020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McEnroe's comments fail to respect Serena Williams' record.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McEnroe's comments fail to respect Serena Williams' record.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488224.1498593020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/lions-pay-price-for-warren-gatland-s-refusal-to-use-his-subs-1-4488240","id":"1.4488240","articleHeadline": "Lions pay price for Warren Gatland’s refusal to use his subs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498594620000 ,"articleLead": "

Warren Gatland’s refusal to use the Lions’ mid-tour replacements who were on the bench could have cost them victory yesterday, according to Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488239.1498594566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Warren Gatland defended his strategy of using late call-ups only as replacements. Picture: PA."} ,"articleBody": "

The Super Rugby side’s second-half comeback secured a 31-31 draw with the tourists and Boyd was happy to take full advantage of the Lions not opting to unload their bench.

“Deep into the game energy off the bench would probably have been as good as anything else,” said Boyd, of Gatland’s replacement strategy. “We thought that was interesting.”

Gatland opted only to use mid-tour replacements from the bench in the case of injuries, so Scotland stand-off Finn Russell only got a few minutes on the pitch. The Lions coach defended that policy but admitted it was in response to criticism that drafting in players who were close to New Zealand rather than picking solely on merit had devalued the Lions shirt.

“Those players were called out as cover, that was always the case,” said Gatland, pictured. “I know there’s a lot been made about that.

“We made a decision to bring players in for cover and protect as many of the Test 23 as we could. If we didn’t have those players there tonight we’d have had players on the bench who would have been exposed.

“I think so much was made about devaluing the jersey and those bits and pieces that we made a decision that we would try to get through the game with as many of the starting XV as we could.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "GARETH BLACK"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488239.1498594566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488239.1498594566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Warren Gatland defended his strategy of using late call-ups only as replacements. Picture: PA.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Warren Gatland defended his strategy of using late call-ups only as replacements. Picture: PA.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488239.1498594566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/tennis/john-mcenroe-won-t-say-sorry-over-serena-williams-remarks-1-4488105","id":"1.4488105","articleHeadline": "John McEnroe won’t say sorry over Serena Williams remarks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498591733000 ,"articleLead": "

John McEnroe has refused to apologise for his comments about Serena Williams – and believes men should play against women to settle the argument.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488215.1498591731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Serena Williams told John McEnroe to respect her privacy. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The former world No 1 stirred up a storm after telling 
US radio station NPR that 
Williams, who holds the Open era record of 23 grand slam singles titles, would be ranked around 700 in the men’s game.

McEnroe has been widely criticised for appearing to belittle the achievements of Williams, but defended his remarks.

After describing Williams on NPR as the greatest female player of all time, McEnroe was asked why he had not simply said greatest player.

He told CBS: “I felt the need, however unfortunately, to defend myself and say what I really felt, which is about what I think she would be.

“I’ve got a solution. Solve the problem, and I’m sure the men would be all for this – the men and women play together. And then we don’t have to guess.”

Williams responded to McEnroe’s comments with a pithy response on Twitter.

The 35-year-old, who is away from the tour preparing to give birth to her first child, wrote: “Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.

“I’ve never played anyone ranked “there” nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir.”

Asked if he would like to apologise, McEnroe, pictured, said: “No,” adding: “I didn’t know it would create controversy. I’ve said this 1,000 times.

“I don’t want anything to go wrong with Serena because she’s pregnant, I don’t want to upset her.

“I think she’s doing it tongue in cheek as well and I think deep down we’re talking about something… I can’t even believe we’re talking about it.”

Williams accidentally made her pregnancy public in April having been off the tour since winning the Australian Open in January.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion revealed her shock at the discovery on the eve of the tournament in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Williams, who posed naked for the magazine while heavily pregnant, described her reaction: “Oh my God, this can’t be – I’ve got to play a tournament.

“How am I going to play the Australian Open? I had planned on winning Wimbledon this year.”

Williams has already made it clear she is determined to return to the tour next year, with Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 slam singles titles an obvious carrot.

Having a baby during her playing career was clearly not in Williams’ plans.

“If you would have told me last year in October or November that I would have a baby, not be pregnant but have a baby, I would have thought you were the biggest liar in the world,” she said.

“This is kind of how I am right now. This is happening sooner than later, and it’s going by so fast.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EVE FODENS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488215.1498591731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488215.1498591731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Serena Williams told John McEnroe to respect her privacy. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Serena Williams told John McEnroe to respect her privacy. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488215.1498591731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/duncan-smith-shabby-treatment-of-finn-russell-damages-lions-brand-1-4488201","id":"1.4488201","articleHeadline": "Duncan Smith: Shabby treatment of Finn Russell damages Lions brand","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498589436000 ,"articleLead": "

Finn Russell is a glass half full kind of guy and there will be part of him revelling in the fact that yesterday he became the 835th man to don the famous red jersey of the British and Irish Lions.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488200.1498589434!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Finn Russell joins a group of friends following his Lions appearance yesterday, but his debut was a brief one. Picture: David Gibson/Fotosport."} ,"articleBody": "

Another part of him may be frustrated that he only got a few minutes on the pitch in the 31-31 draw with the Hurricanes in Wellington as a brief head injury assessment replacement for Welsh starter Dan Biggar. If he isn’t, then plenty of Scottish rugby supporters will be about a shambolic and scandalous piece of mismanagement by Lions head coach Warren Gatland.

PG Wodehouse famously quipped that “it has never been hard to tell the difference between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine”. There is a kernel of truth in that and, at times, we can as a nation be a bit chippy, but that is not to say that sometimes a sense of grievance is justified.

There has been a rumbling sense of injustice ever since Gatland named his initial 41-man squad, in which he found only two spaces for Scots in the shape of Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour.

On the day of the squad announcement the Scottish rugby press gathered at Murrayfield and spoke to a number of former Lions. Ian “Mighty Mouse” McLauchlan didn’t pull his punches when he said: “Gatland doesn’t exactly have a good track record in liking people from Scotland. He doesn’t come here, does he? And he doesn’t know the names of Scottish players.”

Greig Laidlaw was drafted in when Ben Youngs withdrew for family reasons and Hogg subsequently departed after a facial injury against the Crusaders. Gatland pulled Russell and prop Allan Dell from the Scotland tour as injury cover, along with four Welsh players, keeping them out of the defeat in Fiji, but both have only been employed in temporary cameo roles in the past two midweek games. That is now likely to be the sum total of their involvement in the tour, with only the second and third Tests left to play.

While not being privy to the conversation Gregor Townsend had with Gatland before the call-ups of Russell and Dell, it is hard to imagine the new Scotland coach is happy about releasing the pair to collect splinters on the subs’ bench.

It meant that Townsend had to field Peter Horne, who is more used to playing centre, at stand-off in the final game of the summer tour, which ended in a 27-22 defeat in Fiji. Full-back Ruaridh Jackson slotted in at No 10 during that Suva Test, which robbed Townsend of a perfect hat-trick start to his Scotland tenure following the wins over Italy in Singapore and a famous triumph over the Wallabies in Sydney. The fact that Dell got to experience a few minutes in the red jersey is a fantastic achievement for someone who, if Al Dickinson was fully fit, would be battling for an Edinburgh start. Russell, though, has been at the heart of the recent Scotland resurgence, in which Vern Cotter’s side won three games in this year’s Six Nations, including victories over Ireland and Wales.

Scotland’s representation has been low for the past four tours but that reflected the poor performances of the national team. This time there are genuine grounds for what appears to be, as McLauchlan hinted back in April, an anti-Scottish perception ingrained in the management and selection process. The 61-21 loss at Twickenham in the Six Nations, as well as Glasgow’s meek showing against Saracens in the European Champions Cup quarter-final, appears to have cemented Gatland’s belief that several key Scots weren’t up to the demands of going toe to toe against the All Blacks on their own patch.

Russell didn’t cover himself in glory that afternoon at Twickenham earlier in the year but he is a young, talented prospect who deserved a leap of faith that Gatland was clearly unable to contemplate. Despite an indifferent couple of years since his excellent 2015 World Cup, Biggar was preferred in the third stand-off spot as the Wales coach reverted to those he knows best.

The coach appears to have been rattled by suggestions that his decision to call up the Scots duo and Welsh quartet somehow “demeaned” the Lions jersey. That has come mainly from the English media, who dubbed the late arrivals as the “geographical six” as the Scottish and Welsh summer tours were more conveniently located than English contenders who were in Argentina. England coach Eddie Jones also had a pop, saying call-ups should be “on merit not geographical proximity”.

Gatland may claim to not “give a toss” about being portrayed as a clown on the front of Kiwi newspapers, but he has clearly been affected by these comments and weakly folded. Injury call-ups have been part and parcel of Lions tours for many years now. Drafting in Russell, Dell and Co didn’t devalue the jersey but treating them as barely wanted benchwarmers certainly has further damaged a Lions brand in which many Scots are, understandably, fast losing interest.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DUNCAN SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488200.1498589434!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488200.1498589434!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Finn Russell joins a group of friends following his Lions appearance yesterday, but his debut was a brief one. Picture: David Gibson/Fotosport.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Finn Russell joins a group of friends following his Lions appearance yesterday, but his debut was a brief one. Picture: David Gibson/Fotosport.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488200.1498589434!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/scottish-golf-performance-role-for-stephen-gallacher-1-4488188","id":"1.4488188","articleHeadline": "Scottish Golf performance role for Stephen Gallacher","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498588847000 ,"articleLead": "

It has long been claimed that Scotland has not involved its top professionals enough in the development of talented young amateurs, but that criticism has now been addressed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488187.1498588846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stephen Gallcaher has joined Scottish Golf's performance team. Picture: Jane Barlow."} ,"articleBody": "

With Catriona Matthew already on board, Scottish Golf’s performance team has Stephen Gallacher as its newest member and a very suitable one, too, given the success he enjoyed in the amateur game before becoming a three-time European Tour winner and, of course, a Ryder Cup player.

The Bathgate man also has his finger on the pulse at grass-roots level through his foundation, which has gone from strength to strength in the Lothians and Borders since its launch five years ago.

“I look forward to helping Scottish Golf in this performance role, fitting in alongside my full-time golf commitments. Having met the new CEO of Scottish Golf, Blane Dodds, I’m keen to work together to help develop golf in Scotland,” said Gallacher.

“I’m a passionate supporter of the game at all levels in Scotland and take great interest in the development of players from a young age to the leading amateur level. If you get used to winning regularly as an amateur, you’ll have a better chance of making it as professional, and hopefully I can provide advice, help and assistance to support players.”

In addition to Matthew, Gallacher joins Stirling University golf coach Dean Robertson in what is effectively a mentoring role, something Andrew Coltart did on the men’s side before he moved south due to work commitments with Sky Sports “Stephen will bring valuable knowledge and experience to our programmes,” said a delighted Dodds.

Jamie Stewart and Ryan Lumsden were the winners, with Chris Maclean probably the main loser, as the Scotland side chasing a hat-trick of European team titles in Austria next month was announced.

There seemed little doubt that four of the places in the six-man side would be going to Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten), Connor Syme (Drumoig), Craig Howie (Peebles) and Liam Johnson (Dumfries & County) based on either world rankings or performances this season.

However, the selections of both Old Ranfurly teenager Stewart and Lumsden, a Royal Wimbledon member, probably seemed unlikely as recently as a month ago, when the likes of Craig Ross, Sandy Scott, Rory Franssen and Maclean seemed more probable candidates.

Stewart has had an eye-catching run, including finishing joint second in the Brabazon Trophy and seventh in the Lytham Trophy, to thank for his berth while Lumsden left it late to force his way into the team, though, in fairness, he produced some good performances on the US college circuit for Northwestern before making it to the last 16 in the Amateur Championship a week ago.

MacIntyre, Howie and Syme are all survivors from last year’s winning team in France, with the latter having also helped claim the title in Sweden in 2015. Now he’s trying to help the Scots become the first team since England more than 40 years ago to win the event three times on the trot.

“We have a strong team and I’m excited for our chances,” said national coach Ian Rae of an event being held at the Diamond Golf Resort in Austria from 11-15 July. “There have been some great performances this season and hopefully we can combine again to retain the title and achieve history.”

In the paid ranks, three players – Ross Munro

(Duddingston), Mark O’Donnell (Linlithgow) and Marc Owenson (Gullane) – share the lead on three-under 68 after the opening round of the Scottish Young Pros Championship at West Lothian.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488187.1498588846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488187.1498588846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stephen Gallcaher has joined Scottish Golf's performance team. Picture: Jane Barlow.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stephen Gallcaher has joined Scottish Golf's performance team. Picture: Jane Barlow.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488187.1498588846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/club-golfers-set-to-pay-more-to-scottish-golf-1-4488122","id":"1.4488122","articleHeadline": "Club golfers set to pay more to Scottish Golf","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498583131000 ,"articleLead": "

The affiliation fee paid by club members to Scottish Golf could be set for a considerable hike as chief executive Blane Dodds bids to address the sport’s home having “fallen behind” other countries in terms of investment.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488121.1498583129!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Golf chief executive \\nBlane Dodds is proposing an increase in the levy on golf club members. Picture: Craig Watson"} ,"articleBody": "

Dodds is also exploring the possibility of introducing an international affiliation fee for club golfers around the world, believing Scottish Golf and its member clubs are missing out in some respects on the huge amount of money brought into the country by the sport.

Dodds, who took over the reins from the long-serving Hamish Grey last August, has been outlining a new four-year strategy for the amateur game’s amalgamated governing body in Scotland to more than 200 club delegates at nine roadshows around the country over the past three weeks. That exercise coincided with confirmation that sportscotland’s funding for Scottish Golf is being reduced from £1,025,000 in 2016-17 to just £665,000 for 2017-18, a blow caused by what is believed to be a £13 million reduction in backing for Scottish sport from the National Lottery and the Scottish Government over a two-year period.

The folly of relying on that funding had been highlighted by Douglas Connon during his spell as Scottish Golf Union chairman and, over a three-year period starting in 2010, the affiliation fee that is included in a member’s club subscription rose from £7 to £10 – an increase of 42 per cent.

It is now up to £11.25, but Dodds reckons it is time for that to be more reflective of what some other countries raise from their per capita fee in order for Scottish Golf to feel it is operating on a level playing field rather than seeming as though one hand is tied.

In Ireland, for example, the affiliation fee is €26 per year while it is €52 in France, where the national federation provides financial support right through to when players make Tour level, and as high as €78 in Switzerland. In England, the sub to the national body is £8.25 but members also pay an annual fee to their county.

With 211,000 members at 587 clubs, Scottish Golf boasts the biggest membership base among sports in Scotland and, using those roadshows to try to galvanise delegates and get support for his strategy, Dodds looks set to propose a per capita charge increase at a special general meeting later this year.

“France is investing £20m a year, whereas our investment is £3-4m,” he said. “I think the annual sub has got to go up. It’s got to. It works out at 94p a month. If we talk to golfers directly, the feedback is that, ‘we don’t mind if it’s 
a £5 or £10 hike’. Some golf club members are maybe a little more reticent about it, but the message is that we are all part of this great industry and do we want to get more resources in? That’s the key to this.

“Amalgamation is done, and that’s great, but we need to move on, and we’re getting left behind. We need more resource to invest into what we want to deliver, which includes better programmes.”

A new customer relations management system is one thing he is hoping clubs will embrace while a national tee time module aimed at generating money for clubs rather than outside agencies is also part of the strategy.

“At the end of the four years, it would be great to double our turnover and also to see an upturn in club membership because, from that, different things like participation and performance programmes would be able to kick in,” 
added Dodds.

“If the golf community, having heard all the arguments and our proposed strategy, turn round and say it doesn’t want to bring in more money, we will deliver according to the resources. We are saying that we believe there is an option to change that for everyone’s benefit. That’s the message we are trying to get across. I think we all deserve more than what we have at the moment.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488121.1498583129!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488121.1498583129!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Golf chief executive \\nBlane Dodds is proposing an increase in the levy on golf club members. Picture: Craig Watson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Golf chief executive \\nBlane Dodds is proposing an increase in the levy on golf club members. Picture: Craig Watson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488121.1498583129!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/horse-racing/wind-behind-seafarer-1-4488057","id":"1.4488057","articleHeadline": "Wind behind Seafarer","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498579491000 ,"articleLead": "

Seafarer caught the eye on his return to action and should take a hand in the finish of the Whitsbury Manor Stud Bibury Cup Handicap at Salisbury.

" ,"articleBody": "

Winner of one of his three juvenile starts, Marcus Tregoning’s runner made his 2017 bow at Yarmouth earlier in the month and after a slow start, he was eventually beaten just a head at the line.

The gelding was returning from nearly 300 days off the track on that occasion after suffering with a fibrillating heart on his previous start, so plenty of progress would surely have been expected.

He did not enjoy a clear passage, either, but did show a distinct turn of pace and while he was getting chunks of weight from the winner, Seafarer rates as a smart prospect – particularly as he has been raised just 2lb for his return effort.

Bletchley can claim a valuable Listed success in the ebfstallions.com “Eternal” Stakes, one of the feature events on the biggest day of the year at Carlisle.

Ralph Beckett’s three-year-old boasted some good bits of form as a juvenile. She disappointed when favourite for an Ayr Group Three on her only subsequent start but the 
Makfi filly showed that was only a minor aberration as she bounced back to winning form on her return this year.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/aberdeen/what-aberdeen-are-getting-in-ex-dundee-star-greg-stewart-1-4487923","id":"1.4487923","articleHeadline": "What Aberdeen are getting in ex-Dundee star Greg Stewart","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498573646000 ,"articleLead": "

Aberdeen have completed the signing of 27-year-old Greg Stewart on a season-long loan from Birmingham City. Craig Fowler gives his take on the deal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487922.1498573643!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Greg Stewart after completing his move to Aberdeen. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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The biggest challenge Derek McInnes faced going into this summer, once he’d decided whether or not to jump ship for Sunderland, was the task of replacing Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn.

The two wingers in the manager’s preferred 4-2-3-1 were so key to the way Aberdeen attacked opponents that their loss was greater than just a pair of stars exiting the club. They were incredibly high volume players in last season’s Ladbrokes Premiership, ranking one and two in total crosses, while Hayes sat in fifth for most one-on-one dribbles (McGinn was 30th), and McGinn registered fourth in total shots (Hayes was 26th). It meant they were vitally important to whether Aberdeen won or lost, and even if McInnes plugs another couple of excellent players into the position, which he has, it doesn’t mean you can stick with the exact same strategy.

For starters, Ryan Christie isn’t a natural winger. It would be difficult to expect the same production from him if he’s used out wide. And if he doesn’t predominately play there, it leaves a question mark over what to do with the midfield three of Kenny McLean, Graeme Shinnie and other new signing Greg Tansey. And while Greg Stewart was a similarly important player during his two years at Dundee, he still had the tendency to play as a striker who just happened to have been stationed out on the wing.

READ MORE - What Aberdeen will be getting in new signing Greg Tansey

How McInnes is going to fit these new pieces into his side, or whether he’s going to adjust the side to fit them, is something he’ll have to figure out.

For the meantime we can only really judge the type of talent being brought in, and in this regard there’s little doubt McInnes has excelled himself. Having already recruited Christie, one of the country’s most prodigious young talents on a year-long loan, he then went one better with the signing of Stewart.

The attacker returns to Scottish football following a frustrating season with Birmingham. Forced to play under three different managers after the man who signed him, Gary Rowett, was bizarrely sacked earlier in the season, Stewart managed only six starts and scored no goals at St Andrews. Unless his confidence and career momentum have taken irreparable hits from the past year, he should star once again at Pittodrie. Twice nominated for PFA Scotland Player of the Year award in his two seasons with Dundee (despite playing on a team that finished sixth and eighth), he was one of the country’s brightest stars before his departure, and barring a dramatic loss in form you have to expect he could easily hit double figures in both goals and assists this coming season.

The succinct way of summarising Stewart would be to describe him as a playmaker. He scores, he creates, he takes set-pieces and has sufficient skill to bamboozle opponents.

His favourite trick is to drift inside, whether starting on the left or the right, and have a shot. In the 2015/16 campaign, he sat fifth in the entire league with 88 total shots. For comparison’s sake, McGinn had 80 with Hayes further back on 67. For such a high volume shooter, particularly from outside the area (he ranked fourth) his 40.91 shooting percentage (21st of all players) was highly impressive, and a number that ranked him ahead of both Hayes and McGinn in that particular season.

Of the two men he’ll be trying to replace, it’s fair to say he’s more McGinn than Hayes. Like the Northern Irishman, he’s spent significant time in his career as a forward, which encourages a ruthless eye for goal even from the wing.

Hayes, meanwhile, is more of a typical winger; one likelier to stay out wide and deliver crosses. That said, though he doesn’t deliver as much, Stewart is an efficient crosser. His final season with Dundee saw him send in 98 fewer crosses than McGinn and 152 fewer than Hayes, though he delivered with greater accuracy (38.89 per cent to Hayes’ 35.54, with McGinn further back on 33.33).

Pedro Caixinha’s end-of-the-cycle comments looked prescient when Aberdeen’s squad began to break apart this summer. Following the last two deals, though, he might just be made to eat his words. Make no mistake about it, Aberdeen aren’t ready to give up second spot without a fight.

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles | Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King | Andy Halliday to Azerbaijan?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487922.1498573643!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487922.1498573643!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Greg Stewart after completing his move to Aberdeen. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Greg Stewart after completing his move to Aberdeen. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487922.1498573643!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/rangers-andy-halliday-travels-to-azerbaijan-for-loan-talks-1-4487837","id":"1.4487837","articleHeadline": "Rangers’ Andy Halliday travels to Azerbaijan for loan talks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498568838000 ,"articleLead": "

Andy Halliday is on his way to meet with officials from Azerbaijan side Gabala ahead of a potential season-long loan deal, according to reports.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487836.1498568835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andy Halliday could be about to join Azerbaijani side Gabala. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

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Halliday was recently omitted from Rangers’ Europa League squad to face Progres Niederkorn, and it appears the midfielder is not part of Pedro Caixinha’s long-term plans.

Gabala finished second in the Azerbaijan Premier League last season and have reached the Europa League group stages in each of the past two campaigns.

Halliday joined Rangers in the summer of 2015 after leaving Bradford City. He agreed a contract extension until 2020 midway through his first season at Ibrox.

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles | Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King | Andy Halliday to Azerbaijan?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS WRIGHT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487836.1498568835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487836.1498568835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Andy Halliday could be about to join Azerbaijani side Gabala. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andy Halliday could be about to join Azerbaijani side Gabala. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487836.1498568835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/tennis/andy-murray/injury-forces-andy-murray-out-of-wimbledon-warm-up-match-1-4487711","id":"1.4487711","articleHeadline": "Injury forces Andy Murray out of Wimbledon warm-up match","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498563087000 ,"articleLead": "

Andy Murray has pulled out of his scheduled Wimbledon warm-up match at the Hurlingham Club on Tuesday because of a sore hip.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487710.1498563086!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andy Murray's warm up for Wimbledon has been hampered by a sore hip. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The world number one had scheduled two matches at the exhibition Aspall Tennis Classic event following his first-round exit at Queen’s Club last week.

He had been due to take on Frenchman Lucas Pouille, but his management announced on Tuesday morning that he would not take to the court because his hip was “a bit sore”.

The decision was described as a precaution, with Murray still planning to contest the second match against an as-yet-unnamed opponent on Friday.

But it is not the preparation the Scot would have wanted as he prepares to defend his Wimbledon title.

Murray’s difficult season has been punctuated with health problems, including shingles, an elbow injury and two bouts of flu.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487710.1498563086!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487710.1498563086!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Andy Murray's warm up for Wimbledon has been hampered by a sore hip. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andy Murray's warm up for Wimbledon has been hampered by a sore hip. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487710.1498563086!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/aberdeen/done-deal-greg-stewart-completes-loan-move-to-aberdeen-1-4487707","id":"1.4487707","articleHeadline": "Done deal: Greg Stewart completes loan move to Aberdeen","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498562792000 ,"articleLead": "

Aberdeen have announced the signing of Greg Stewart from Birmingham City on a season-long loan.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487706.1498564521!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Greg Stewart failed to score for Birmingham City last term. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

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The 27-year-old completed his switch to Scotland’s north east after successfully passing his medical earlier on Tuesday.

Stewart joins Derek McInnes’ squad from Birmingham City having failed to hold down a regular first-team place since his move from Dundee last summer.

McInnes told Aberdeen TV: “Greg is a player who I have admired for a while and I am delighted he has joined us for the challenge ahead.”

The left-sided attacker was twice nominated for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award during his two seasons at Dens Park after joining from Cowdenbeath.

This led to a £500,000 move to Birmingham City, but Stewart failed to find the net in any of his 26 appearances.

He becomes Aberdeen’s third summer signing after Greg Tansey and Ryan Christie joined last season’s Ladbrokes Premiership runners-up.

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles | Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King | Andy Halliday to Azerbaijan?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FORBES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487706.1498564521!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487706.1498564521!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Greg Stewart failed to score for Birmingham City last term. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Greg Stewart failed to score for Birmingham City last term. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487706.1498564521!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/regions/inverness-highlands-islands/kayaking-skye-minister-meets-rescuer-who-saved-his-life-1-4487668","id":"1.4487668","articleHeadline": "Kayaking Skye minister meets rescuer who saved his life","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498562111000 ,"articleLead": "

A CHURCH minister who nearly drowned at sea has been reunited with the brave man who saved his life.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487667.1498562109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dave Campbell and Rev Dr Rory MacLeod. Picture: Supplied"} ,"articleBody": "

Rev Dr Rory MacLeod, who leads the Strath and Sleat congregations on Skye, said he was very grateful to David Campbell, 63, for coming to his rescue after his kayak capsized in a sudden storm earlier this month.

The former Royal Marine chaplain, 52, was unconscious in the choppy water close to the village of Kylerhea when the retired engineer waded out more than 650ft and pulled him back to the shore.

READ MORE: Parents’ marathon effort to thank hospital for saving baby

Dr MacLeod, who holds a four-star certificate in Sea Kayaking, was attended to at the scene by the RNLI then airlifted by air ambulance to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment for hypothermia and exhaustion.

Mr Campbell of Kylerhea said he was pleased he was able to help the minister, who made a full recovery, and said he hoped that he had “made a friend for life”.

He revealed that the pair, who have visited each other’s houses, had even discussed the possibility of going kayaking together in the future.

Dr MacLeod, who recently took up the sport again after a 12 year break, said the sea conditions around the Kyleakin peninsula on June 12 changed rapidly.

He said very strong currents mixed with a wind that suddenly veered west to south-west caused a funnel effect and churned up the water.

Dr MacLeod said: “Although I was unconscious when David rescued me, my gratitude is sharpened by the awareness of having lost a great uncle in similar circumstances off the coast of Islay, when he went in to help a swimmer who had got into difficulty.

“Though a strong swimmer himself, both he and the victim were swept out to sea and drowned.

“So I left David in no doubt that his heroic action was not taken for granted.

“Whatever else he might have achieved during his life, he can enjoy knowing that he gave a wife back her husband and restored a father to their children.”

When Dr MacLeod was initially tipped out of his kayak, a fishing boat came up alongside him and offered to take him to Kyleakin but he settled for a tow towards the shore at Kylerhea.

But he revealed that swim in was harder than he had expected and he blacked out before reaching the shore.

READ MORE: Carnoustie respite home donation helps spina bifida sufferers

Mr Campbell, who used to work at the British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre in Kyle of Lochalsh, said the water in the bay was very shallow.

He said: “I watched Rory through binoculars swimming for the best part of 30 minutes and he was not getting much nearer to the beach.

“So I thought I better go and give him a hand to pull the kayak in.

“I put on a short sleeved wetsuit and grabbed a 20-metre rope and waded out.

“I was in the water up to my neck and standing on the bottom.”

Mr Campbell said he swam out to Dr MacLeod, who was unconscious by this stage, and tied the rope to his buoyancy aid and started pulling him back to shore.

He revealed that the rope got snagged on something and he was forced to “frantically” swim with one arm while pulling the minister and his kayak with the other.

Mr Campbell said he was pleased to be able to help Dr MacLeod but modestly played down his role.

“It was nice to see him at home with his wife and I am glad of the opportunity to be able to help him,” he added.

“I would like to think I have made a friend for life and we have spoken about going kayaking together sometime.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALISTAIR MUNRO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487667.1498562109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487667.1498562109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dave Campbell and Rev Dr Rory MacLeod. Picture: Supplied","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dave Campbell and Rev Dr Rory MacLeod. Picture: Supplied","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487667.1498562109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/tennis/serena-williams-tells-john-mcenroe-respect-my-privacy-1-4487649","id":"1.4487649","articleHeadline": "Serena Williams tells John McEnroe: ‘Respect my privacy’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498561532000 ,"articleLead": "

John McEnroe’s belief that Serena Williams would be ranked as low as 700 in the world if she played on the men’s tour has drawn short shrift from the 23-time women’s singles grand slam champion.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487647.1498561523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Serena Williams has hit back at John McEnroe. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Williams’ major haul is a record for any tennis player - male or female - in the Open era, but McEnroe courted controversy by suggesting the 35-year-old would struggle on the ATP Tour.

Williams, who is set to be out of action until next year after announcing in April she is expecting her first child, responded on Twitter: “Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.

“I’ve never played anyone ranked “there” nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir”.

Williams is currently placed fourth in the WTA rankings despite her absence from the circuit since January - when she captured a seventh Australian Open crown - and she briefly returned to the top of the standings shortly after announcing her pregnancy.

McEnroe, a former world number one who won Wimbledon three times and the US Open on four occasions, had earlier said of his fellow American in an interview with US radio station NPR: “If she played the men’s circuit she’d be, like, 700 in the world.

“That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player, and I suppose anything’s possible; maybe at some point a women’s tennis player can be better than anybody.

“I just haven’t seen that in any other sport, and I haven’t seen it in tennis. If she had to just play the men’s circuit, it would be an entirely different story.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487647.1498561523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487647.1498561523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Serena Williams has hit back at John McEnroe. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Serena Williams has hit back at John McEnroe. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487647.1498561523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487648.1498561530!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487648.1498561530!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McEnroe claimed Serena Williams would be ranked around 700th in the world if she played on the men's tour. Picture: Tim Ireland/AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McEnroe claimed Serena Williams would be ranked around 700th in the world if she played on the men's tour. Picture: Tim Ireland/AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487648.1498561530!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/st-johnstone/st-johnstone-wish-to-re-sign-michael-o-halloran-from-rangers-1-4487611","id":"1.4487611","articleHeadline": "St Johnstone wish to re-sign Michael O’Halloran from Rangers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498560053000 ,"articleLead": "

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright has confirmed he wishes to re-sign attacker Michael O’Halloran from Rangers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487610.1498560051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael O'Halloran spent two years at McDiarmid Park before signing for Rangers. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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The has been contact between the two clubs regarding the 26-year-old, who was left out of Rangers’ Europa League squad to face Progres Niederkorn this Thursday.

St Johnstone enquired as to the possibility of bringing the player back to McDiarmid Park, and are now waiting on an answer from Rangers.

Wright told STV: “Michael is one player that we’ve enquired about but in that position there’s two or three other enquiries we’ve got in at the minute.

“Michael’s situation is one that’s very much in Rangers’ hands. It’s not in any other club’s hands.It’s up to what Rangers want to do with him.

“I was sad to see him go and, as I say, we have spoken to Rangers about him, about the possibility but that’s out with my control. At the minute the ball’s in Rangers’ court.”

O’Halloran still has three years left on the contract he signed when making the £500,000 switch from St Johnstone to Ibrox in January 2016.

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles | Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King | Andy Halliday to Azerbaijan?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID GUNN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487610.1498560051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487610.1498560051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Michael O'Halloran spent two years at McDiarmid Park before signing for Rangers. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael O'Halloran spent two years at McDiarmid Park before signing for Rangers. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487610.1498560051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/hurricanes-31-31-british-irish-lions-tommy-seymour-scores-twice-1-4487515","id":"1.4487515","articleHeadline": "Hurricanes 31 - 31 British & Irish Lions: Tommy Seymour scores twice","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498557457000 ,"articleLead": "

Despite two tries from Scotland’s Tommy Seymour, the British & Irish Lions drew in Welligton after letting a late 31-17 lead slip to the Hurricanes.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487514.1498558861!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tommy Seymour scores the Lions' third try. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The result was dispiriting 31-31 draw after succumbing to a final-quarter fightback by the Super Rugby outfit.

Lions coach Warren Gatland will come under fire for another refusal to use the bench, with Scotland stand-off Finn Russell only getting a few miniutes as a head injury replacement for Welshman Dan Biggar in what is likely to be his only contribution to the tour. After being called in as injury cover and being denied to Scotland for their final summer Test, which ended in defeat against Fiji, Russell was not given any time to show what he can do as Biggar played most of the match.

Scotland wing Seymour boosted his chances of forcing himself into the second Test squad with a double.

In the final midweek game the Lions led 23-7 at half-time courtesy of two opportunistic scores from Seymour and North either side of drive-over try by Glasgow-bound flanker Callum Gibbins.

The tourists led 31-17 with 14 minutes remaining but leaked two tries when lock Iain Henderson was in the sin-bin to set up a grandstand finish that could have finished in their favour only for Biggar to fall agonisingly short with a drop goal.

Gatland pointed to Henderson’s yellow card to explain the Lions’ inability to win the match. “The penalties we gave away were a bit soft and they allowed them back into it,” said the coach.

“We felt like we played some good rugby, but that yellow card was a penalty to us and it ends up being a penalty reversed.

“We had Henderson off the field for 10 minutes and conceded 14 points. To me that’s the game in a nut shell.”

Gatland revealed he was reluctant to use a bench populated with controversial call-ups because the tour’s late arrivals had been summoned mainly to help prepare the Lions for the Test series.

“We felt that the players who came in came in for cover. That’s what we’ve done. So we brought George Kruis on for Courtney Lawes and tried to protect those players....” Gatland said.

“All along we said it was about those players coming for cover and making sure we gave the 23 as much of a chance to prepare for the Tests as possible.”

The final midweek match was a thrilling spectacle but the Lions, who enter Saturday’s second Test at the same venue trailing 1-0 in the series, will be disappointed at their failure to win from such a commanding position.

Lions skipper Rory Best refused to criticise referee Romain Poite after he sent Irish lock Henderson to the sin-bin for a tip-tackle on Jordie Barrett in the final quarter and the home team ran in two tries in his absence.

“It was obviously touch and go but when you’re being officiated by a quality referee like Romain Poite and he takes his time and goes to the TMO, you’ve got to trust that the guy has got it right,” Best told Sky Sports 1.

“The frustrating thing is that we had a penalty advantage there. Hendy was absolutely fabulous and that small error.... you could tell that he was disappointed, but we’ve got to be bigger than a yellow card costing us that many points.

“It’s very frustrating. They’re Super Rugby champions and are a very good side. We’ll look back at the mistakes we made that let them back into it and be frustrated.

“This is potentially the last game of the tour for a few of us, so we have to look at the positives as well.

“I cannot fault the effort. Maybe we needed to show more composure and be more clinical at times.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DUNCAN SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487514.1498558861!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487514.1498558861!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tommy Seymour scores the Lions' third try. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tommy Seymour scores the Lions' third try. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487514.1498558861!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/linfield-hit-out-at-scottish-press-over-hysterical-reports-1-4487489","id":"1.4487489","articleHeadline": "Linfield hit out at Scottish press over ‘hysterical’ reports","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498556633000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic’s potential Champions League opponents Linfield have hit out at what the Belfast club describe as “hysterical” articles in the Scottish press.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483669.1498556630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Linfield manager David Healy and his players will face Celtic if they win their first qualifying round clash. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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The Northern Irish champions will face Brendan Rodgers’ side in the second qualifying round of the Champions League should they dispatch Sammarinese outfit Florita in their first round encounter.

The potential powderkeg match with Celtic has fuelled a number of stories in the press since the draw was made and the Irish League side have made their displeasure known at some of the reporting.

In a lengthy statement on the club’s website, they picked out an article from the Daily Record where ex-Celtic winger Joe Miller recalled a time he played against Linfield for Aberdeen.

Miller claimed that during the friendly match he was the target of laser rangefinders, and that angry home fans confronted Aberdeen players in the street following the full-time whistle.

Linfield, beyond rebuking Miller’s accusations, insist the match never even took place.

The statement read: “The club’s stated position is that our utmost concentration must be on our First Round tie against La Fiorita of San Marino. To do anything other than this would be to disrespect our opponents whom we look forward to welcoming to Windsor Park on Wednesday evening.

“Linfield feel that we must, however, issue a public response to some of the more hysterical articles that have appeared in the press over the last few days. Even in this era of “fake news” and slashed media budgets, one would have not thought it beyond the capabilities of most reporters to perform some basic fact-checking before sending an article to the presses.

READ MORE - Rangers chief Dave King explains ten-in-a-row comments

“A particularly regrettable piece appeared in the Scottish Daily Record on Saturday 24th June, wherein the former Celtic footballer Joe Miller recalled a friendly match he had apparently taken part in against Linfield at Windsor Park whilst he was on the books of Aberdeen. The interview with Mr Miller included such colourful details as the winger apparently being repeatedly targeted with laser rangefinders and that he and his colleagues, Derek Whyte, Tommy Craig and Roy Aitken were carrying match balls down a street after this game when they passed a public house where they were confronted by angry locals.

“The latter detail may cause some bemusement to Linfield supporters, given that even in those pre-redevelopment days, Windsor Park was wholly enclosed from any surrounding streets, and there remains a distinct lack of local hostelries in the area adjacent to the ground. We have played numerous friendly games at Windsor Park over the years against such clubs from Manchester United to Flamengo of Brazil, but have yet to ask opposing players to walk around South Belfast whilst carrying various match accoutrements.

“What troubles us most of all, however, is that Linfield FC has no record of having played Aberdeen at Windsor Park or elsewhere in the entire decade Mr Miller refers to, whether in a friendly fixture, training game or otherwise. In fact, it appears that Linfield have never played against Aberdeen at all throughout our entire history.”

The club then went on to explain how it was highly improbable for the players to be targeted with laser pointers, even if the game had taken place, as “neither the then-RUC nor the British carried lasers fitted to their weapons” and, in the mid-90s, laser pointers were not available to the general public.

Linfield, though revealing they had instructed solicitors to write to both the paper and Joe Miller, did stress that the Daily Record was far from the only publication to run sensationalist stories.

The statement continued: “This is just one of the press stories that have appeared in the last week that is easier to rebut. Our solicitors have also been put on retainer to investigate any further attacks on the good character of this club and its supporters. In the meantime, we would only ask that the media, like Linfield FC, concentrates on fixtures that have actually been arranged, and that any reporting of past events is conducted to proper journalistic standards.”

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles | Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King | Andy Halliday to Azerbaijan?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483669.1498556630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483669.1498556630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Linfield manager David Healy and his players will face Celtic if they win their first qualifying round clash. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Linfield manager David Healy and his players will face Celtic if they win their first qualifying round clash. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483669.1498556630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/anton-rodgers-joins-celtic-squad-for-pre-season-trip-1-4487418","id":"1.4487418","articleHeadline": "Anton Rodgers joins Celtic squad for pre-season trip","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498551879000 ,"articleLead": "

Anton Rodgers, son of Celtic boss Brendan, has joined the Parkhead club for their pre-season camp in Austria, though he will not be signing a permanent contract with the Scottish champions.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487417.1498551877!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anton in a Celtic tracksuit at Glasgow Airport. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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The 24-year-old is a free agent after leaving Swindon Town and his dad has decided to invite him on the trip so he can keep his fitness up while he looks for a new club.

The diminutive midfielder was pictured at Glasgow Airport with the rest of the Celtic squad as they were ready to jet out to begin their preparations for the upcoming campaign.

After coming through the ranks at Brighton and Hove Albion, without breaking into the first-team, Rodgers moved to Oldham Athletic in 2013.

He stayed at Boundary Park for one year before moving on to Swindon, where he would play regularly for three seasons before his release this summer.

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles | Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King | Andy Halliday to Azerbaijan?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FORBES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487417.1498551877!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487417.1498551877!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anton in a Celtic tracksuit at Glasgow Airport. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anton in a Celtic tracksuit at Glasgow Airport. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487417.1498551877!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/rangers-chief-dave-king-explains-ten-in-a-row-comments-1-4487404","id":"1.4487404","articleHeadline": "Rangers chief Dave King explains ten-in-a-row comments","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498550804000 ,"articleLead": "

Rangers chairman Dave King has stood by his controversial comments that Celtic have only won two-in-a-row by insisting the ten-in-a-row measure only applies to the two Glasgow rivals.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487403.1498550803!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dave King believes ten-in-a-row only applies to Celtic and Rangers. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

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King caused quite a stir at the weekend when he said he did not believe Celtic would make it to ten-in-a-row because they needed to win the next eight titles, claiming that because Rangers were not in the top flight for four of Celtic’s last six title wins, they didn’t count towards the record.

He’s since clarified those statements by insisting “ten-in-a-row” is exclusively a head-to-head battle between Celtic and Rangers. Therefore, although Celtic have been Scottish champions six seasons in a row, they only sit at two-in-a-row on King’s scale.

He told the Telegraph: “I was making an argument that the context of the rivalry about nine or 10 in a row does not relate to any clubs other than Rangers or Celtic. It’s not an insult to Scottish football, as some have said. It’s nothing to do with Scottish football.

“I’ve never, ever heard an Aberdeen fan, Motherwell or Falkirk fan talk about ‘ten in a row’. It’s something to do with Celtic and Rangers alone and for anyone to say otherwise is just wrong. It’s nonsense.

“It’s a competition between these two clubs, against each other, dominating each other – and that can’t happen unless they’re playing at the same level, which didn’t occur for a while until we came back into the Scottish Premiership. As I see it, my contention is a perfectly logical point of view.”

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles | Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King | Andy Halliday to Azerbaijan?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS WRIGHT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487403.1498550803!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487403.1498550803!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dave King believes ten-in-a-row only applies to Celtic and Rangers. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dave King believes ten-in-a-row only applies to Celtic and Rangers. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487403.1498550803!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/rangers-send-barrie-mckay-to-train-with-kids-reports-1-4487396","id":"1.4487396","articleHeadline": "Rangers send Barrie McKay to train with kids - reports","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498549198000 ,"articleLead": "

Rangers have sent midfielder Barrie McKay to train with the club’s under-20s, according to the Daily Mail.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487395.1498549196!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Barrie McKay's Rangers future could be in doubt. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

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The player’s Rangers future is in doubt after the winger was told to train with the youngsters after showing up on Monday morning.

Ibrox management are said to be unhappy that McKay has failed to come to terms on an agreement of a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Former manager Mark Warburton is said to be interested in signing the 22-year-old for Nottingham Forest. After two seasons out on loan, McKay became the first-choice left-winger at Ibrox under Warburton, and his old boss is keen to bring him to the City Ground.

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles | Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King | Andy Halliday to Azerbaijan?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID GUNN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487395.1498549196!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487395.1498549196!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Barrie McKay's Rangers future could be in doubt. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Barrie McKay's Rangers future could be in doubt. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487395.1498549196!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/rumour-mill-linfield-blast-hysterical-articles-celtic-fans-agree-with-king-andy-halliday-to-azerbaijan-1-4487360","id":"1.4487360","articleHeadline": "Rumour Mill: Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles | Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King | Andy Halliday to Azerbaijan?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498546932000 ,"articleLead": "

Linfield have hit out at some “hysterical” articles from the Scottish press, Dave King insists Celtic-supporting taxi drivers agree with his ten-in-a-row stance, and Andy Halliday has been linked with a move to Azerbaijan.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487359.1498546930!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Linfield have hit out at what they perceive to be some unfair coverage. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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Linfield blast ‘hysterical’ articles

Linfield have hit out at what the Belfast club call “hysterical” articles in the Scottish press. The Northern Irish side will face Celtic in the Champions League should they progress past Florita in the first qualifying round. The Irish League champions were unhappy with some of the reporting, including a particular piece in the Daily Record which quoted Joe Miller as receiving some intimidating treatment during a 90s match at Windsor Park, which Linfield insist is a match that didn’t take place. (Linfield FC)

Celtic fans ‘agree’ with King

Rangers chief Dave King has claimed that Celtic-supporting taxi drivers who routinely pick him up from Glasgow Airport agree with his ten-in-a-row comments. King sparked some heated discussion over the weekend after stating that Celtic have only won two titles in a row, rather than six, because Rangers were not in the same league for four of those seasons. (Scottish Sun)

• King has explained his ten-in-a-row comments by insisting it’s an argument which only applies to Celtic and Rangers fans. Therefore, when Rangers were out of the league, the head-to-head competition ceased to apply. (Daily Record)

Halliday to Azerbaijan

Andy Halliday could be set to make a surprise move to Azerbaijani side FK Gabala. The midfielder has been told he’s free to find a new club and was omitted from the squad to face Progres Niederkorn in the Europa League. Gabala finished second in the Azerbaijan top flight last season and were once managed by ex-Arsenal skipper Tony Adams. (Daily Record)

• St Johnstone have made an enquiry to Rangers about former attacker Michael O’Halloran. (STV)

McKay trains with under-20s

Barrie McKay’s Rangers future is in doubt after the 22-year-old winger was sent to train with the under-20s. Ibrox management are said to be unhappy that McKay has failed to come to terms on an agreement of a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the 2017/18 season. Having reported to Auchenhowie on Monday morning, he was quickly told he would be training with the kids. (Daily Mail)

Rodgers’ son to train with Celtic

Anton Rodgers, son of Celtic boss Brendan, has joined the Parkhead club for their pre-season camp in Austria, though he will not be signing a permanent contract with the Scottish champions. The 24-year-old is a free agent after leaving Swindon Town and his dad has decided to invite him on the trip so he can keep his fitness up while he looks for a new club. (Daily Record)

Hearts to land Lafferty and Smith

Hearts are favourites to sign the Northern Ireland internationalists Kyle Lafferty and Michael Smith. They will hold a third day of talks with Lafferty on Tuesday, but Edinburgh rivals Hibs also want to speak to the former Norwich City forward. Hearts discussed terms with Lafferty during lengthy talks at Tynecastle on Monday, which followed an initial meeting on Friday. (Evening News)

• Motherwell insist there has been no improved offer from Hearts for midfielder Chris Cadden. (The Scotsman)

McNaughton considers retirement

Former Scottish internationalist Kevin McNaughton is considering retirement after a new contract offer from Inverness Caley Thistle was withdrawn. The 34-year-old signed on at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium at the beginning of last season, but would miss most of the campaign after suffering an early injury. Ex-boss Richie Foran wanted McNaughton signed up for another season, but new manager John Robertson has decided otherwise. (Press and Journal)

United to sign Fyvie

Fraser Fyvie has agreed to join Dundee United after missing out on the chance to re-sign for Hibs. The 24-year-old midfielder will conclude a move to Ray McKinnon’s Championship title favourites today, pending a medical. Fyvie was offered a new deal at Hibs but initially rejected the terms on offer. He then had a change of heart and approached Hibs with the intention of accepting the offer. However, with several weeks having elapsed, he was informed that it had been taken off the table. (Evening News)

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Jack Nicklaus says Tiger Woods will have a “very hard time” trying to get back playing competitve golf after his recent off-course problems.

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Woods was arrested in Florida last month on suspicion of driving under the influence, with his claim that alcohol was not involved and that he’d suffered an “unexpected reaction to prescribed medications” being supported by the police.

The 14-time major winner has since revealed he is receiving “professional help” to manage his medications as he battles with both back pain and a sleep disorder.

“He’ll have a very hard time. I don’t know whether Tiger will play much golf anymore,” said Nicklaus in an interview with USA Today.

“He might come back and play - I think it would be pretty tough for him, after getting (his spine) fused and as many problems as he has had recently.

“His are more life problems than they are golf problems right now.”


Falkirk’s Ryan Campbell won a 10-man play-off for one spot as he was among seven Scots to come through regional qualifying for the 146th Open Championship.

Campbell progressed in the shoot-out at Frilford Heath but only after a long and nervous wait after he’d shot a level-par 72 in the first group out at 7am.

He then watched two of his compatriots, Largs pro Paul Robinson and Glenbervie’s Fraser Moore, card 70 and 71 respectively to secure spots before eventually sharing their joy.

“I didn’t think 72 was going to be enough but just managed to hang on for the play-off,” said Campbell.

“There were 10 of us playing for one place at final qualifying and I managed to birdie the first play-off hole - the par-5 10th - which left just myself and one other.

“I then managed to scramble a par up the 17th after a bad drive, hitting probably the best bunker shot I’ve ever hit off a downslope to a foot to stay in it.

“Then I hit a good drive up 18 and pitched to around 15 feet. It was nice to roll that in and get through. It was a big relief as play-offs are no fun!”

Other Scots to progress to next week’s final stage were Carnoustie duo Keir McNicoll and Will Porter, Paul Lawrie Golf Centre-attached Paul Shields and Lothians man Raymond Russell.

McNicoll and Porter shared top spot at Panmure, where Shields progressed in play-off, while Russell finished joint-second at Sandy Lodge in Hertfordshire.

The success gives Russell the chance of re-living his best memory in The Open, having finished fourth behind Mark O’Meara at Royal Birkdale in 1998.


Two-time major champion John Daly has withdrawn from this week’s US Senior Open at Salem Country Club with a shoulder injury.

Daly, who won the Insperity Invitational earlier in the year for his first Champions Tour title, has not played since he tied for 17th in the Senior PGA Championship last month


Robert Cooper will tee it up alongside Andrew Oldcorn at this year’s Scottish Senior Open after triumphing by one point in a qualifying event at The Renaissance Club.

Cooper, who plays out of Pannel Golf Club in Harrogate, scored 33 Stableford points in testing conditions on Scotland’s Golf Coast to secure his spot in the event.


Midlothian were one of the first-day winners in the East Women’s County Championship, beating big rivals East Lothian 6.5-2.5 at Stirling.

Hosts Stirling and Clackmannan beat Fife 5.5-3.5 in the other opening encounter.

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