Rangers non-executive director Chris Graham investigated over ‘offensive tweet’; Celtic eye raid for Dutch star William Troost-Ekong; Stuart McCall takes the reins at Ibrox until the end of the season and Anthony Stokes admits he would ‘dive’ to win a penalty
Chris Graham probed over ‘offensive tweet’
AN investigation has been launched following an allegation that newly appointed Rangers director Chris Graham sent an offensive tweet to an Islamist preacher.
Graham, appointed a non-executive director on Tuesday, apparently sent the tweet to Anjem Choudary on the day of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January.
Graham is understood to have replied by sending a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed engaged in a sexual act with a Star Wars character.
A spokesman for Rangers said: “We are unaware of this but we will look into it.” (The Scotsman)
Celtic want William Troost-Ekong
CELTIC are reportedly preparing a bid for Groningen centre half William Troost-Ekong during the summer.
The Hoops are keen to bolster their defence and the Netherlands Under-20 stopper is in the frame to follow Virgil van Dijk to Glasgow.
Celtic are expected to let van Dijk leave for big money, while Jason Denayer is set to return to parent club Manchester City.
But Troost-Ekong - a former Fulham and Spurs youth player - has been earmarked as a potential replacement, having told Groningen bosses that he wants a return to the UK.
He has spent time on loan at Dordrecht, helping them secure promotion to the Eredivisie. (Daily Record)
Stuart McCall takes charge of Rangers until season’s end
STUART McCall has taken the role as manager of Rangers until the end of the season as the club’s new board attempt to salvage their faltering bid for promotion.
McCall is understood to have agreed an initial short-term deal.
And it is believed McCall was approached after former Ibrox boss Walter Smith turned down the chance to return to the Gers.
Kenny Black, McCall’s No 2 at Motherwell will also join as assistant. (The Sun)
Sandy Easdale quits Rangers
SANDY Easdale has resigned from Rangers with immediate effect, the club has confirmed.
Easdale was suspended four days ago pending an investigation, along with Derek Llambias and Barry Leach after Dave King seized control of Rangers.
A club statement read: “The Rangers Football Club Limited confirms that matters have been resolved with Sandy Easdale on an amicable basis.
“Mr Easdale has agreed to resign from his directorships with the Group with immediate effect and he does so wishing the Club, its supporters and the new Board every success for the future.”
The investigation will not go ahead due to Easdale’s resignation., and Rangers confirmed that the bus tycoon ‘did not receive any remuneration in respect of the directorships he held with the Club’. (Daily Record)
I’d ‘dive’ to win a penalty, admits Stokes
CELTIC striker Anthony Stokes admitted yesterday that he would dive to win a penalty - just seconds after slamming the SFA for not taking action against Aidan Connolly for diving to win a penalty against the Irish striker.
Dundee United midfielder Connolly went down in the box under a challenge from Stokes, winning the Terrors a penalty that was converted by Nadir Ciftci.
And while referee Craig Thomson gave the spot kick instantly, Stokes maintains he didn’t make contact.
“I know for a fact I’ve not touched him. He’s seen me, I was actually going to make a tackle and from one of the camera angles you can see I’ve gone to put my foot in, but I’ve pulled it away,” the former Hibs striker explained.
SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan scrutinised footage of the incident post-match but decided no further action was necessary.
But Stokes added: “If I’m through on goal and a player does enough to put me off balance, I might take a heavy touch, the keeper might make a save and the chance is gone.
“But if I go down then 99 times out of a hundred I’ll get the penalty. If someone leans into me and I’m completely off balance taking a shot, then I’m going to go down. But it’s not a dive.” (The Sun)
Hibs strike late to open up gap on Rangers
FRANCK Dja Djedje scored an 89th minute winner as Hibs huffed and puffed to a victory over Championship basement boys Livingston at Easter Road last night.
The hosts passed up a number of chances, with teenaged striker Jason Cummings fluffing two early efforts before opening the scoring in the first half.
Ibra Sekajja thought he’d earned Livi a point ahead of their trip to Ibrox on Saturday, but a fine cross from Lewis Stevenson was met by the Ivorian striker whose powerful header deceived Darren Jamieson in the Livi goal.
The win takes Hibs five points ahead of third-placed Rangers, who have two games in hand. (The Scotsman)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Dundee United have appealed against striker Nadir Ciftci’s two-match ban for kicking Scott Brown in the head
• Ex-Hearts winger Andy Driver has signed for Aberdeen on a short-term deal
• Hamilton’s Iraqi youngster Aldin El-Zubaidi has received an international call-up