Rumour Mill: Gael Bigirimana crisis | Scotland

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THE IBROX board to discuss dealing with Gael Bigirimana crisis; Gordon Strachan backs Steven Fletcher to find goal scoring form; Robbie Neilson says he’s staying at Hearts and more in Friday’s Rumour Mill

The Ibrox board to discuss dealing with Gael Bigirimana crisis

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson says he's going nowhere. Picture: SNS

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson says he's going nowhere. Picture: SNS

THE Ibrox board will hold its first official meeting today and top of the agenda will be finding out why Derek Llambias and Barry Leach sanctioned signing of all five Newcastle players without medicals.

It was revealed yesterday how doctors diagnosed the Newcastle player with a serious medical condition BEFORE he left Tyneside as part of a controversial bulk loan deal on transfer deadline day.

Bigirimana confirmed in an exclusive interview that he will not kick a ball for the Championship club this season as he continues to battle against the mysterious illness, which he has denied is Hepatitis C.

And the new board will want to discuss what legal action, if any, might be open to them now they have been left to stump up £5000 a week to honour the deals. (Record)

Gordon Strachan has urged his team to help get shot-shy Steven Fletcher scoring again. Picture: John Devlin.

Gordon Strachan has urged his team to help get shot-shy Steven Fletcher scoring again. Picture: John Devlin.

QUIZ: can you name these 16 Scottish footballers from the nineties/ early 2000s?

Gordon Strachan backs Steven Fletcher to find goal scoring form

GORDON Strachan has issued a robust defence of Steven Fletcher’s status as Scotland’s first-choice striker for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

But although Fletcher again failed to convert a couple of inviting chances against Northern Ireland, he retains the faith of Scotland manager Strachan ahead of Sunday’s Euro qualifier against Group D minnows Gibraltar at Hampden.

Strachan said: “If you don’t have your goalscoring boots on, then you dig in and do something else for the team, so I’m happy with that. We get more goals from other areas of the team rather than an out and out striker.” (Scotsman)

Robbie Neilson says he’s staying at Hearts

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has no intention of leaving the Scottish Championship title winners yet.

The Tynecastle club’s owner, Ann Budge, feared Hearts could lose him to another club after securing promotion with seven games still to play.

“I’ll be here next season,” said Neilson. “I’m not ready to make a step yet. I’m really happy where I am.” (BBC.co.uk)

Kilmarnock to name new manager ‘within 10 days’

Kilmarnock could have a new permanent manager in place before their next match against Motherwell on 4 April.

New Rugby Park chairman Jim Mann told BBC Scotland he hopes to make an imminent appointment.

But Mann would not be drawn on whether interim boss Gary Locke would be given the job for an extended period. (BBC.co.uk)

Ryan McGowan loses out in appeal over Celtic red card

Dundee United’s Ryan McGowan has been hit with a two-game ban after his appeal against the red card he received in last Wednesday’s 4-0 William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final replay defeat by Celtic at Parkhead was thrown out. (Evening Times)

Austria U19s 1 Scotland U19s 2: Scots kids off to a flier

Celtic youngster Liam Henderson nabbed a double to ensure Ricky Sbragia’s side got their qualifying campaign off to a flying start.

SCOTLAND U19’s proved they can cope without Real Madrid starlet Jack Harper by seeing off 9-man Austria in the Euro Elite Round. (Various)

NEWS IN BRIEF:

• Ricky Sbragia has caused a new snub row after he said St Mirren’s Stevie Mallan lacks “physicality”. (Sun)

• Roy Hodgson is set to ignore calls for Harry Kane to start tonight and keep him on the bench. (Sun)

The English Premier League will share £1bn over three years with the rest of English football. (Mail)

Airdrie are being forced to change their club after it was deemed a heraldic device with the office of the Lord Lyon King of Arms threatening legal action if they continue to use the badge. (Record)

SEE ALSO:

Rangers defeat ‘maybe a good thing’ - Alan Stubbs

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