Freiburg target Teemu Pukki; BT Sport allegedly paid £250k by the SPFL to show Rangers games; Hibs face losing over £600,000 if they are relegated to the Championship plus Accies striker out for revenge on Hibs
Freiburg ponder move for Celtic misfit Teemu Pukki
FREIBURG are reportedly keen on bringing Celtic striker Teemu Pukki to the Germany.
The Bundesliga side are interested in signing the Finnish forward, who has failed to ignite the Scottish Premiership following his move from Schalke, but may ask him to take a pay cut.
The club has a strict pay scale, with top earners believed to earn around £406,000 a year - putting them on around £8000 a week.
Pukki is not believed to be a priority for Freiburg - who have cash to play with after selling goalkeeper Oliver Baumann for £5 million and bringing in a replacement in Roman Burki for just £1.8 million - with manager Christian Streich reportedly looking for a tall and physical striker to supplement his squad. (Daily Record)
SPFL involved in ‘cash for Rangers games’ claims
CLAIMS were made last night that the Scottish Professional Football League is paying out sums of £250,000 per season to BT Sport in return for showing live matches involving Rangers.
STV reported that when Rangers entered liquidation and were subsequently removed from the SPL and the newco club placed in the Third Division, a renegotiated broadcast package contained a clause making the then-SPL liable for increased production costs which came about as a result of broadcasting from lower-league stadiums - capped at £250,000 per season.
The SPL paid the Scottish Football League £800,000 for the rights to Rangers matches for one season, but the deal was absorbed into the new organisation following the merger between the two league bodies to form the SPFL.
SPFL chief Neil Doncaster said: “The support given to Scottish football by our broadcast partners, in 2012 and since, has been fundamental to the ongoing health of the game in this country,” while BT Sport said they could not comment on contractual details. (Various)
McCoist eyes up Allan
ALLY McCoist could be set to move for West Brom reject Scott Allan.
The former Dundee United midfielder - who moved south after just a handful of games at Tannadice - was let go from the Hawthorns last week, and long-time admirer McCoist could bring the playmaker to Ibrox after missing out on him due to financial restraints two years ago.
Allan, who is attracting interest from several Scottish Premiership clubs, is believed to be keen on a move to the side he grew up supporting. (Daily Record)
Hibs face £600,000 financial hit if relegated
HIBERNIAN face losing over £600,000 if they are defeated in the play-off final and relegated to the Championship.
The Easter Road side pocketed £830,000 for their 11th-placed finish in the Premiership, but relegation would see the club’s placement payments plummet.
And even if Terry Butcher’s side won Scottish football’s second tier next season, placement payments would be more than halved.
This year’s Championship winners Dundee picked up just £393,500 while runners-up Hamilton received £332,500. (The Sun)
Butcher vows Accies will regret boasts
TERRY Butcher has vowed to take the bold statements from Hamilton’s players and manager made in the last week and pin them to the dressing room wall at New Douglas Park tonight.
Alex Neil and his squad have told the media that the pressure is all on Hibs and have said there is no better time to play the Easter Road side.
However Butcher is eager to make the Championship runners-up eat their words.
“It’s a great challenge against Hamilton. They have earned the right to match up against us. I know they are looking forward to it. I’ve read their comments with great interest. They will be on our dressing-room wall,” he promised. (The Scotsman)
Scotland out for Hibs revenge
JASON Scotland still has a bone to pick with Hibs - nearly ten years after a five-man panel including four ex-Easter Road players threw out his request for a work permit.
Tommy Macintyre, Tony Higgins, Murdo MacLeod and Pat Stanton rejected the striker’s bid to remain at Dundee United back in 2005, supposedly after then-Tannadice boss Gordon Chisholm admitted the Trinidadian striker would be a squad player.
“It was my career, my livelihood that was being taken away,” Scotland recalls. “I’d spent a lot of time coming off the bench for United because it takes people time to get used to the Scottish game and at that stage I wasn’t up to speed.
“The decision said they thought I was not good enough to play in the SPL but I went to the World Cup, I went down south and played in the English Premiership and the Championship.
“But at that time I wanted to stay at United and they didn’t give me a chance. I scored goals against Hibs, I knocked them out of the Scottish Cup - so I feel that was behind what happened.” (Various)
Neilson eyes up Kello return; rules out Skacel comeback
ROBBIE Neilson is set to target a return to Tynecastle for goalkeeper Marian Kello, as the ex-Jambo seeks to make his mark on a depleted squad.
The new Hearts coach is understood to be interested in bringing Kello back to Edinburgh following a spell with St Mirren, but he is also on the lookout for an experienced back-up goalkeeper who can also provide coaching, a la Steve Banks.
And Neilson all but ruled out a third Hearts spell for fans’ favourite Rudi Skacel, adding: “The players we bring in will be experienced to a point. We’re not going to go out and get boys at 34 or 35.” (Various)
I’ll tie Stevie May down, promises Wright
TOMMY Wright has vowed to make the best possible start to St Johnstone’s Europa League preparations - by signing Stevie May on an extended deal.
The Saints boss saw May score 27 goals in his first full season, and is confident of the 21-year-old penning a new deal to keep him at McDiarmid Park.
“It is all positive,” May said. “We know we’ll have to give Stevie better terms, but we know he wants to stay. That makes it easier.
“There are a few who have gone to England like Fraser Fyvie from Aberdeen to Wigan and Scott Allan from Dundee United to West Brom who were good players.
“And they’re probably still good players. They’ve lost their way in a bigger environment. That’s why it would be good for Stevie to stay at least another season.”
Wright is also set to offer a new deal to cup final goal hero Steven Anderson. (Daily Express)
• Eric Djemba-Djemba is among a number of players leaving St Mirren. Loan signings Josh Magennis, Conor Newton and Adam Campbell will not be returning but Tommy Craig has opened talks with Darren McGregor, Paul McGowan, Kenny McLean and Marian Kello.
• Inverness CT have issued a ‘hands-off’ warning to any clubs sniffing around highly-rated left-back Graeme Shinnie, with chairman Kenny Cameron saying it would take a ‘truly exceptional offer’ to tempt him to sell Shinnie.
• Cowdenbeath striker Kane Hemmings has gone on trial with MLS outfit Orlando City. The ex-Rangers striker had been loosely linked with a host of clubs including Hibs.
• Ross County have re-signed Mark Brown and Steven Saunders, but defender Evangelos Oikonomou has left for a second time.
• Bobby Madden will take charge of tonight’s play-off final first leg between Hamilton and Hibs. Willie Collum has been handed the return leg in Edinburgh.
• Gary Fraser has extended his Partick Thistle deal by an extra 12 months, keeping him at Firhill until 2017.