OLD FIRM bosses Ronny Deila and Kenny McDowall appeal for calm on eve of Celtic v Rangers match; Tom Boyd says Rangers side to face Celtic are not the same club as before; Hamilton’s Stephen Hendrie set for West Ham deal, plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Old Firm bosses appeal for calm
Rival managers Ronny Deila and Kenny McDowall have united in a call for calm ahead of Sunday’s return of the Old Firm fixture at Hampden.
“For me, I just hope the football comes out on top and there’s nothing on the outside that tarnishes it,” said McDowall. “It’s been a long time coming and we need to make sure football is the winner.
“I said in the past we want to have a peaceful game and it’s important that we behave respectfully and in a good manner,” said Deila. “Then everybody can go to the game in peace.” (Scotsman)
Share offer backed by Hibs support at feisty AGM
Hibernian’s new share offer to supporters received the backing of most shareholders at the club’s annual general meeting last night – although some members of the audience protested about the short length of time allowed to debate the issue.
The scheme to allow the newly-created Hibernian Supporters Limited (HSL) group to buy up to 51 per cent of the shares in the club was not put to a formal vote, having been approved by shareholders in a written resolution two weeks ago. (Scotsman)
McDowall draws inspiration from ex-Celt McGarvey
Rangers manager Kenny McDowall has revealed that he will look to former team-mate and ex-Celtic striker Frank McGarvey for inspiration as he plots an upset against Old Firm rivals Celtic.
The finest day of McDowall’s playing career came at the national stadium back in 1987 when he helped St Mirren defeat Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final. His strike partner that afternoon was McGarvey.
“I will never forget Frank’s words before the final,” recalled McDowall.
“He said to every one of us that we should enjoy the moment because cup finals don’t come along every day – you always think you have a chance of winning a cup, but they are very few and far between. He was so right.” (Scotsman)
Tom Boyd: Rangers are a new club
Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd has come out to oppose the view that Rangers are the same club as before - because they lack the same calibre of players and find themselves playing football in the Championship.
He said: “I’d imagine the atmosphere will be very much the same as previously, but you can’t compare the teams to the way that it was.
“The new Rangers are a Championship team. Previously they had internationalists so the game isn’t going to be the same.” (Scottish Sun)
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Stephen Hendrie move to West Ham back on
Hamilton left-back Stephen Hendrie’s proposed move to West Ham looks back on after it was reported that the defender is due to undergo a medical with the Premiership outfit later today.
The Accies stopper is, however, still available to play for his side on Saturday because any deal struck will see him play out the rest of the season at New Douglas Park.
Hendrie is expected to sign a pre-contract deal with the Hammers, which will see Hamilton receive around £500.000. (Scottish Sun)
Celtic target Sunderland winger Charis Mavrias
Celtic are eyeing up a loan deal for Sunderland winger Charis Mavrias. The Greek U21 international is struggling for first-team action at the Premiership side, and Deila sees him as a short-term cut-price option to fill a gap until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent deal thereafter. Panathinaikos, whom Sunderland signed Mavrias from, and PAOK are also competing for his signature, but Celtic’s superior budget would see them at the front of the queue. (Daily Record)