Rangers chairman David Somers walks away before club’s EGM as former chief executive Craig Mather backs RST; Ronny Deila plays down title talk as Celtic extend lead at top of table; junior footballer dies hours after scoring in match; Partick Thistle bin defender after positive drugs test and more football news and gossip in today’s Rumour Mill
Somers walks away before EGM
RANGERS chairman David Somers has quit Ibrox just hours before the club’s EGM.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Somers said: “I have resigned as Chairman of Rangers International Football club plc.
“When I was approached about the Chairmanship of Rangers, friends warned me that the world of football has different rules and codes of behaviour. I now know that is a gross understatement.
“At the risk of antagonising my army of critics I would point out that Rangers managed to pay its bills and avoid going under during my tenure.
“Despite the personal attacks on me from various sources I genuinely wish the club the very best in the future and I am confident that with such a passionate and vociferous fan base they will be restored to their former glories.” (Various)
Craig Mather backs Rangers Supporters Trust
FORMER Ibrox chief executive Craig Mather has backed the Rangers Supporters Trust (RST) ahead of the EGM.
Mather followed Felix Magath’s path by proxying his shareholding of just shy of one per cent to the RST.
His shareholding had been held as part of the Beautfort Nominees bloc but he separated from them in order to back Dave King’s vision for the club.
A source close to Mather said: “Craig has always believed the Rangers supporters deserved better and although he tried to do the right thing when at Ibrox there was resistance from others on the board.
“He wanted Dave King in a long time ago and is delighted that he could be making his return. Rangers can only benefit from that.”
Mather pumped in £1 million of his own money into the club and replaced Charles Green as chief executive in April 2013, but was forced out just six months later. (Daily Record)
Deila plays down title talk as Celtic go six points clear
CELTIC boss Ronny Deila has insisted it is still too soon to install the Hoops as champions-elect despite an emphatic 4-0 win over Aberdeen yesterday.
Celtic put a bit of breathing space between themselves and the Dons at the top of the table but Deila has played down talk of a straight run at the title.
“I don’t take anything for granted,” said Deila. “I have been in football for many years now and, at my former club Stromsgodset, we were seven points clear at the top of the league three times in a row but it took us until the third year to win it.
“So I know how quick it can turn around if you start to lose focus on the right things. But if we do everything we have done so far in the rest of the season, then it is going to be very hard for Aberdeen to catch us now.” (The Scotsman)
Zeefuik nets ninth-fastest hat-trick in football history
HEARTS striker Genero Zeefuik was brimming with pride after netting one of the fastest hat-tricks in history as the Jambos demolished Cowdenbeath 10-0 at the weekend.
The on-loan Groningen forward grabbed his treble in just three minutes, 35 seconds as Hearts romped to a big win over the Blue Brazil.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been involved in a game with this sort of scoreline. I’ve only ever scored one other hat-trick and that was for Holland Under-21s against Luxembourg,” a gleeful Zeefuik told the Daily Record.
“I’ll take my match ball back to Holland and put it in my house there.”
The 10-0 scoreline was Cowdenbeath’s heaviest defeat in 64 years, and Hearts biggest ever league victory. (Daily Record)
Partick bin defender after he failed drugs test
PARTICK Thistle have sacked defender Jordan McMillan after he failed a drugs test following a 1-0 defeat to Celtic in December 2014.
Former Rangers stopper McMillan was an unused substitute, but provided a positive drugs test after the match.
And the sample was flagged up by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) after the match and the SPFL were made aware.
It is believed McMillan will appeal the result.
A Jags statement read: “Following a thorough internal investigation, Partick Thistle Football Club yesterday took the decision to terminate the contract of Jordan McMillan with immediate effect.
“The club, including all of its representatives and employees, will be making no further comment and now consider the matter closed.” (Daily Record)
Footballer Stuart McGrady dies in sleep just hours after match
FORMER Queen’s Park and Ayr footballer Stuart McGrady died in his sleep at the weekend, just hours after scoring in Maybole Juniors FC’s 3-0 win over Ardeer Thistle.
Former team-mates paid tribute to the 29-year-old, with former Dundee United defender Barry Douglas tweeting: “One of the nicest guys I know passed away in his sleep. See u soon bro.”
And former Queen’s Park team-mate Paul Cairney added: “Absolutely gutted hearing Stuart McGrady passed away this morning.”
McGrady’s tragic death comes just days after Terence McEvoy collapsed and died on the pitch during a non-competitive game in Glasgow. (Daily Record)
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