A FORMER director warns Craig Whyte may still be involved at Rangers, Fraser Forster gets an international boost, and Celtic get another Champions League injury blow, plus the latest from across the SPFL in Thursday’s Rumour Mill
Rangers drama: Craig Whyte claims, possible new CEO, Mather pay-off
• FORMER chairman Alastair Johnston has said that he fears former owner Craig Whyte is still attempting to control Rangers.
Johnston said: “My concern is Whyte’s malevolent influence could be part of the eight-ninths of the iceberg hidden from view.
“What’s going on continues to be a befuddling situation and a bit of a pantomime. A club of Rangers’ size shouldn’t be a pantomime.” (Record)
• Ex-Liverpool MD Christian Purslow is being lined up to take over as Rangers chief executive, according to The Sun.
• Craig Mather resigned as Rangers chief executive yesterday morning, reportedly walking away with a year’s salary in the process.
Mather pocketed £300,000 in the wake of his sudden departure from Ibrox, according to the Daily Record. The CEO had been under pressure after Paul Murray won a Court of Session battle over the forthcoming club AGM. (Record)
• The Scotsman’s Tom English believes that Craig Mather’s resignation could leave the Easdale brothers exposed in the boardroom battle at Ibrox.
English writes: “Mather was their heat shield up to now. (Brian) Stockbridge might assume the mantle in his absence. Above all others, the pair of gentlemen you would dearly love to sit down with and ask questions of in this entire Rangers farrago are James and Sandy Easdale.” (Scotsman)
Hodgson: ‘Forster has a chance at World Cup spot’
ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson is set to give Celtic stopper Fraser Forster a chance in the side ahead of the World Cup.
Speaking after England secured their qualification for Brazil, Hodgson said: “The goalkeeper front is looking much better than it did some while ago.
“Especially with the emergence of Forster.
“At some stage (Forster and second reserve John Ruddy) have got to have a chance to show us what they can do, at least for part of a game.” (Mail)
Scotland v Croatia reaction: Scots’ form “ridiculous”, says Brown
• SCOTT Brown believes the improvement of the Scotland squad during Gordon Strachan’s tenure is “ridiculous”.
Brown said: “Everybody was putting us down at the start of the campaign. We went out to play football, enjoyed it and came away with a result against a team in the world top ten. That shows we are moving in the right direction. In the last four games since the manager has come in, it’s been ridiculous how well we have improved.”
• Former Hearts and Scotland keeper Craig Gordon believes that Scotland are on the way to being a credible force in world football once again.
Gordon said: “In the last few games we’ve been much more solid at the back… and we’re looking like a decent international side again. We should be hopeful.” (Express)
• Croatia striker Eduardo believes the squad are to blame for their 2-0 Hampden loss, rather than ousted coach Igor Stimac. The former Arsenal man said: “It’s not all about the manager, something is wrong inside our dressing room.”
Boerrigter out of Ajax clash
CELTIC winger Derk Boerrigter has ruled himself out of Tuesday’s Champions League game against former club Ajax.
The Dutchman is battling an ongoing ankle injury, and said that he is disappointed to miss “an enormous game for both clubs”. (Herald)
Pars fans ‘can be optimistic’ after buy-out
INTERIM Dunfermline chairman Bob Garmory has called for fans to look forward to a brighter future after Pars United completed their purchase of the embattled club.
“We ask that all Pars supporters and the wider west Fife community now look forward, not back, with a renewed sense of optimism and spirit.” (Scotsman)
Hanlon ready for Stokes
HIBS defender Paul Hanlon is ready to take on former teammate Anthony Stokes in Saturday’s game against Celtic.
Hanlon said: “It will be good to go up against Stokesy if I’m picked.
“I used to train with him every day so I know how good he can be.” (Record)
IN OTHER NEWS
• John Brown prevented Nacho Novo from re-signing for Dundee in order to give teenager Craig Wighton more game time. (Herald)
• Former Rangers boss Dick Advocaat has his 18th managerial role - he has taken over at Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
• Scotland may travel to Norway for a November friendly after their first choice of opponents were ruled out by a World Cup play-off. Luis Suarez’ Uruguay side will play Jordan in a World Cup qualifier in the week of 19 November, so Norway are being considered instead. (Sun)