Dave King wins fit and proper fight as Rangers prepare for Hibs clash; Celtic could bid £4m for Watford winger Ikechi Anya but French-based target banned for four months
King wins fit and proper battle
DAVE KING will return to Ibrox tonight for the first time in two months after being granted “fit and proper” status by the SFA to serve on the board of Rangers.
The South Africa-based businessman, who will take his seat in the directors’ box for the first leg of the Scottish Premiership play-off semi-final against Hibs, has expressed his satisfaction at the outcome of the SFA’s deliberations and pledged to fully commit himself to “rebuilding Rangers”.
“I am delighted with today’s announcement from the Scottish FA,” said King. “I can now turn my attention fully to the task of rebuilding Rangers.
“The Scottish FA’s process has understandably been a long one given their recent negative experience with some of the previous board members, who were tasked with being custodians of the club.
“I always maintained I would meet the fit and proper requirements of the Scottish FA once they had examined all the evidence and that is what happened.” (The Scotsman)
Celtic to bid £4m for Ikechi Anya
CELTIC are set to bid £4 million for Watford winger Ikechi Anya - and that fee could be enough to tempt the Scotland international north of the Border.
The Hoops have been linked with Anya in the past but new reports suggest the Parkhead side are preparing a bid for the winger, who has flitted in and out of the Watford side this season.
It is believed that Watford’s management team, the Pozzo family, are happy to sell players when they reach their maximum value and so would be likely to accept an offer from Celtic in the region of £4 million.
Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic has largely played a 4-4-2 diamond formation this term, which Anya doesn’t fit into naturally, and the Scot could jump at the chance to move to Glasgow. (Daily Mirror)
Celtic target banned for 4 months over contract wrangle
JONATHAN Mensah has been banned from football for four months over a controversial situation relating to his contract.
The Ghana centre half joined Evian Thonon Gaillard from Udinese in 2011, claiming he was a free agent.
But the Italian outfit have long said they still held the rights to the Celtic target’s contract, deeming his switch to Ligue 1 illegal.
Celtic were linked with the defender earlier this year as the Hoops prepare for life without Jason Denayer and, possibly, Virgil van Dijk. (BBC)
Lustig will be fit for European ties
MIKAEL Lustig has handed Celtic a boost by confirming he will be fit for the Hoops’ Champions League clashes in early summer.
The Swede has been out injured for over three months after picking up a serious ankle injury, following last season’s hip problems.
But the 28-year-old has handed Ronny Deila a big boost ahead of the Euro qualifiers by declaring himself fit.
Lustig told the Daily Record: “I won’t make the Sweden European Championship qualifiers next month, but I am aiming to be back when [Celtic] start up for the new season.” (Daily Record)
Rangers sell 35,000 tickets for crunch Hibs clash
RANGERS have sold 35,000 tickets ahead of tonight’s must-win clash against Hibernian at Ibrox.
The club have charged fans just £5 for the play-off semi-final, and supporters appear to be turning out in droves to snap up briefs for the match.
Rangers, who lost three times to Hibernian in the league this season - 1-3 and 0-2 at Ibrox along with a 4-0 drubbing at Easter Road - will be looking to secure a comfortable lead going into Saturday’s second leg but face a stern test from Alan Stubbs’ men, who have been honing their skills in Spain. (Various)
SPFL to discuss new BBC deal
THE SPFL are to sit down with BBC Scotland to discuss a new broadcasting deal, it has emerged.
The existing contract, worth around £3 million a year, ends just before the 2016/17 season. And SPFL chairman Ralph Topping has vowed to ‘play hardball’ with the Beeb after accusing it of ‘discrimination’ over the £68 million shelled out for Match of the Day highlights.
Alloa chairman Mike Mulraney has already suggested clubs should consider a BBC blackout. (Daily Mail)
Dundee United bid for Australian outfit ‘imminent’
DUNDEE United chairman Stephen Thompson is on the verge of making a £2.5 million bid for troubled A-League outfit Newcastle Jets.
According to reports in Australia, an offer has already been submitted for the club, currently struggling under the weight of debts totalling £1.4 million.
Jets owner Nathan Tinkler told Fox Sports: “We’ve had an offer in for a couple of weeks from Dundee United. That offer is well in excess of the debts of the club and I’ve asked the administrator to get that sale done and that will see everyone get paid. Then, I can move on.” (Various)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Josh Magennis has been cited and offered a two-match ban for headbutting team-mate Jamie Hamill during Kilmarnock’s 4-1 win over Partick Thistle at the weekend
• Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is looking to bring in three players this summer, to join Graeme Shinnie at Pittodrie
• St Johnstone winger Lee Croft has agreed to sign for Oldham
• Sean Dillon has signed a new two-year deal with Dundee United
• Craig Gordon has revealed he almost quit football before joining Celtic
• Kilmarnock are reportedly heading the chase for Dundee midfielder Jim McAlister
• The Italian women’s cup final has been cancelled after an official is alleged to have labelled female footballers a ‘bunch of lesbians’