In today’s Rumour Mill: Hearts face race against time in shares issue; Stuart Dougal hits out at Kenny Shiels; Charles Green faces sweat over Rangers shares plus the rest of the day’s Scottish football news and rumours.
Time running out for Hearts to reach shares target
Hearts are facing a race against time to sell off their shares, with 48 hours left until the offer is closed to fans. Although the Tynecastle club passed the £800,000 mark late last week, and were boosted by the news that one supporter had bought his second maximum package of £27,500, over 50 per cent of the £1.78 million worth of shares made available by parent company Ubig remains unsold.
The £1.78 million figure representes ten per cent of the Vladimir Romanov-controlled Ubig’s stake in the club. Romanov has admitted that the aims of the share offer are to generate money and test the water for potential community ownership of the club in the future.
The share offer was mooted at a time when the club faced two bills from HMRC - one for alleged unpaid income tax amounting to £1.75 million and a smaller overdue sum of about £445,000. The smaller sum - the subject of a winding-up order against the club - has been settled with HMRC with a deal struck to settle the second claim for a smaller amount paid over three years.
Ex-whistler Stuart Dougal hits out at Kenny Shiels
Former SPL referee Stuart Dougal has criticised Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels for questioning the integrity of Scotland’s officials. The comments come in the midst of a spat between the Northern Irishman and Andrew Dallas after an altercation at the recent match between Kilmarnock and St Mirren, which saw club captain Manuel Pascali sent off after five minutes, and Shiels sent to the stands for his protests.
Shiels faces further action from Scottish football’s governing body after accusing the fourth official of ‘outrageous fabrication’ at a recent SFA hearing.
Charles Green faces sweat over Rangers shares
Rangers chief Charles Green may have to rethink his plans for securing financial backing for the club - after supporters failed to take up a share offer outlined by Green that saw £10 million worth of shares ringfenced for fans. However, Ibrox sources are suggesting that despite online pledges, few fans have taken up the offer, leaving Green with a total far lower than his intended target.
The move is similar to that undertaken by Fergus McCann at Celtic, when supporters raised £9 million to secure the club’s future in the mid-nineties.
Motherwell face Murphy dilemma
Highly-rated Motherwell attacker Jamie Murphy could be set for a move to Sheffield United, with the Blades thought to be tabling a bid between £60,000 and £200,000. The Fir Park side are badly in need of cash, and are likely to allow their star players to leave in January for a price, rather than hold on to them until summer and lose them for nothing. Bournemouth are also keeping tabs on Murphy, who scored twice in Saturday’s 3-2 comeback win over Hibernian, whilst Millwall are tracking the progress of defender Shaun Hutchison.
Malaga’s my choice, says Kayal
Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal is keen to draw Malaga in the last 16 of the Champions League - but warned the other teams in the knockout stages: “We’re confident of beating whoever we get.”
Malaga are currently lying fourth in La Liga, but emerged unbeaten from a tough group, taking four points from both AC Milan and Russian cracks Zenit St Petersburg.
Aberdeen to appeal Langfield red card
Aberdeen are to appeal the red card handed out to goalkeeper Jamie Langfield in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Kilmarnock. Langfield was given his marching orders on the stroke of half time for bringing down Killie striker Borja Perez - but Langfield has maintained his innocence, and doesn’t feel he should have been sent off.
Rangers ponder renewed Davidson offer
Ally McCoist is weighing up a move for St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson. The Ibrox club had a bid of £150,000 knocked back recently, but with Davidson out of contract in the summer, McCoist could move to bolster his midfield. Rangers are also keeping tabs on Motherwell’s Jamie Murphy, Aberdeen’s Ryan Fraser, and Andy Halliday of Middlesborough - but would be unable to sign any players properly until September 2013, when the club’s transfer embargo ends.
Swedish no-go for Mo as Bangura returns to Glasgow
Celtic flop Mo Bangura has returned to Glasgow after Swedish side AIK Stockholm passed on the chance to extend the striker’s loan deal. Bangura managed no goals in 16 Celtic appearances but fared slightly better in the Swedish Allsvenskan, scoring five goals.
Financial worries come second to title bid, claim Pars
Dunfermline captain Jordan McMillan admits the financial uncertainty at East End Park is becoming hard to deal with - but the Pars won’t let it affect their promotion bid. Dunfermline players are still waiting for 63 per cent of November’s wages - a second successive delay - whilst the Fife club are also in significant arrears to HMRC and their energy supplier Scottish Power.