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The Rumour Mill: Friday’s Scottish football news and gossip

Victor Wanyama, who impressed again against Barcelona, is on Manchester United's radar. Picture: TSPL

Victor Wanyama, who impressed again against Barcelona, is on Manchester United's radar. Picture: TSPL

In today’s Rumour Mill: The latest on the Hearts crisis; Celtic midfielder wants to commit to club; Dons aim for title; plus the rest of the day’s football news and gossip.

Hearts boss tells of shock at crisis

Hearts boss John McGlynn has admitted he was unaware of the gravity of the situation the club now face. “Everyone got a group email from the football club to make us aware of what was going on and then it went up on the 
website. I would have to say I was surprised,” he said. (Scotsman)

• Hearts are hoping for three successive home sell-outs in the hope of keeping the club alive for at least another three weeks. (Record)

• Hearts fans have been urged to find £2million to help the club survive until the summer. Steve Kilgour, of the Federation of Hearts Supporters’ Clubs, said: “Vladimir Romanov is no longer financing the club or bankrolling it.” (BBC)

“We need £2m to carry us through to the summer. Each season, there’s a £2m deficit and we have to find that.

• Falkirk manager Steven Pressley has called on the Scottish 
Executive to step in and ensure the “mismanagement” which has driven Hearts to the brink of extinction never happens again. “Not only do the SFA need to take notice, but also the government need to look at the management of football clubs,” he said. (Scotsman)

• A financial expert says Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov can prevent Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs putting the club into liquidation for an unpaid tax bill by putting the club into voluntary administration. (Record)

• Dundee could stand to gain should Hearts be forced into liquidation as a new Scottish Premier League rule means that there would be no relegation in such a scenario. (Record)

Lennon feared Barca comeback

Neil Lennon admits he feared another Barcelona comeback even when Tony Watt fired Celtic into a two-goal lead with just seven minutes remaining at Parkhead on Wednesday night. The Parkhead boss said: “Seriously, when Tony Watt scored the second goal in 83 minutes, I turned round to my assistant Johan (Mjallby) and said ‘I think we might get a point out of this game’. The legs of some players were starting to go a little bit and they [Barca] just wear you down.” (Various)

• Manchester United are renewing their interest in Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama. (Mail)

• Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley hopes his future lies with the Parkhead club, with his agent is currently in talks over a contract extension on his current deal, which expires in the summer of 2014. The Welshman said: “I’m very happy and it was a great move for me to sign for Celtic. I could have maybe gone to a Premier League team and just sat in mid-table. I didn’t want that.”
• Tony Watt, who scored the second goal in Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League win over Barcelona, is set to be rewarded with a new long-term contract. (Mail)
• Celtic hero Henrik Larsson believes the club’s victory over Barcelona on Wednesday night
eclipsed anything he achieved at the club: “Beating Barcelona with the team they have now has to be the best experience, it beats everything I have been involved in myself.” (Various)
• Lionel Messi admitted he had suffered extra disappointment as
Celtic wrecked his baby celebrations: “My goal did not help matters at all. At least there are plenty of games left for me to be able to dedicate goals to Thiago.” (Various)

• Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels is worried that beating Barcelona on Wednesday will lead to the departure of Celtic from the Scottish game: “I think it sent out a message that English football needs Celtic, I would say. Because they’ve got the infrastructure to play in the elite Premier League, as I would call it, they have the capacity to do that. The SPL would be competitive but I don’t think it would be better. I don’t want that to happen, I wouldn’t want Celtic to leave Scottish football.” (Scotsman)

Levein contract should have been honoured - Freedman

Former Scotland striker Dougie Freedman has criticised the Scottish Football Association for not giving Craig Levein the time designated in his contract. The new Bolton manager said: “I believe at national level, if you sign a four-year contract then you’re obliged to stay for four years and at the end of the four years you can assess it then. Why don’t we look at the people who gave him a job – did they pick the right manager at the 
beginning? I’m disappointed for Craig and I’m disappointed with the results, but I don’t like the decision to sack someone when they’ve signed a four-year contract. Let’s have a look at the 
people who gave him the job first.” (Various)

Aberdeen have title ambitions

Aberdeen vice chairman George Yule has told Celtic to 
savour beating Barcelona because the Pittodrie club aim to replace them in next season’s Champions League. When asked if it was too soon for Craig Brown’s promising side to win the title Yule said: “No, it is not. Celtic have proven this season they are there to be taken down.” (Various)

IN BRIEF

• Rangers boss Ally McCoist wants defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin Goian, who were both sent out on loan this season after financial problems led to the club playing in Division Three, back at Ibrox next season. (Sun)

• Kilmarnock have won their appeal over goalkeeper Cammy Bell’s red card against Inverness. (Various)

 

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