Ally McCoist says previous regimes at Ibrox are to blame for current financial troubles; Celtic manager Neil Lennon denies Norwich job speculation; Paul Hartley quits Alloa after heavy defeat, plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Rangers: Previous regimes blamed for money woes
Rangers manager Ally McCoist has conceded that previous regimes at Rangers have been to blame for a renewed period of austerity at Ibrox. Previous chief executives Charles Green and Craig Mather, McCoist suggested, may have been to blame for the current financial situation Rangers find themselves in.
McCoist said: “The chief executive at the moment is aware that some of the problems are there because some of the decisions were made for the short term, maybe a year ago.”
McCoist feels some of those investors and directors of bygone months made decisions that lined their own pockets rather than fill the club’s coffers.
Having already reduced the player budget for this season, McCoist had no reason to suspect cash problems and asked no questions when he was told he could sign players.
“Not being an accountant,” he said, “maybe I have it totally wrong but the player budget coming down, I was looking at – wrongly obviously – season tickets, costs – I’m doing it on the back of a fag packet – it kind of fits.” (Scotsman)
Neil Lennon denies Norwich job link
Neil Lennon played a straight bat to suggestions that he may be the subject of an approach from Norwich to become their manager should Chris Hughton, the incumbent, fail to turn things around at Carrow Road.
Hughton has been under pressure of late, but the siege was lifted somewhat yesterday when Norwich beat Hull in the Premiership with a late winner. It is believed that Hughton must keep Norwich out of the bottom three to keep his job safe.
Yesterday, Lennon dismissed reports as speculation. “Norwich won today so I’m delighted for Chris,” said Lennon. “I think he’ll be safe for another while. He’s doing a good job there. I cannot help the speculation, I’m flattered, but he’s a good man and a good manager in that job so good luck to him.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Kris Commons did little to quell speculation, saying Lennon is bound to attract more admirers of his work at Parkhead.
Commons said: “I don’t want the manager to go. But the more we do, the more he is going to be linked with jobs. It’s the crunch time of the season when there are going to be ins and outs with managers. Our boss is certainly one of the best in the country so he’s going to be linked with many more jobs.”
Paul Hartley quits after Alloa suffer 5-1 defeat
Alloa Athletic were left stunned last night when manager Paul Hartley resigned in the wake of his side’s 5-1 home defeat from Dumbarton, sparking speculation of a move to a bigger club.
Appointed in May 2011, Hartley led Alloa to the Third Division title the following year and then promotion to the First Division – now the Championship – via the play-offs last May, and the Wasps made a fine start to this season.
They sat in fourth place at Christmas after a 2-0 win over Morton which came in the wake of Hartley being unsuccessful in an interview for the manager’s job at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Since then Hartley’s side have slipped to eighth place on the back of four defeats in five games and Hartley quit as he felt that he has got all he can from the players.
A board spokesperson at Recreation Park said: “We are both surprised and extremely disappointed at Paul’s decision. He has been tremendously successful here, however he feels that his time is at an end. We know how determined a person he is so there is little chance of changing his mind.
“Everyone involved at the club has enjoyed working with Paul and he has done a tremendous job here.” (Scotsman)
Melvin de Leeuw: Ross County are long ball team
Dutch striker Melvin de Leeuw has accused his Scottish Ross County team-mates of being technically inferior, adding that he and his Dutch colleagues are being overlooked because manager Derek Adams is prioritising fight over flair.
De Leeuw and three other Dutch players - Darren Maatsen, Marc Klok and Kevin Luckassen - did not start yesterday’s 3-0 win over Dundee United.
The striker said: “Everyone, including the manager, can see in training that it’s the Dutch players who offer the most footballing ability. But at present County ask for other qualities - scrapping and fighting. For this reason it’s the experienced Scottish lads who get preference.
I was a first-team regular up to the end of December. But it’s hard for an attacker now.
“We really play very little proper football and often resort to the long ball. Before the season started the four of us hoped we could all play in the first team. The Dutch players were signed to bring passing football but it hasn’t happened so far.” (Sunday Mail)
Lennon reiterates Fraser Forster will stay
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has repeated his stance on goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who is currently fighting for a place in Roy Hodgson’s England World Cup squad. Forster is competing with John Ruddy, Jack Buckland, Alex McCarthy and Ben Foster for a place in the England side flying to Brazil for the summer, with Joe Hart virtually assured his place.
Lennon, addressing concerns that Forster’s presence in the Scottish Premiership would stifle his attempts to get into Hodgson’s thoughts, said: “I had a chat with Fraser in August and made it clear where we were how we would look after him. And he was very content with that. So at the minute I’m not expecting any bids to come in for him. If they do, they will be rejected.
“I don’t think he is in a hurry to leave anyway. I think he is very happy here. I wouldn’t say he is nailed down for an England place, but he is as good as. So I don’t think there is any need for him to go just now.” (The Sun)
“[McCoist] be critical of them? Well, he should be. He should be very critical of them. McCoist was given permission to bring in players on wages that Rangers could not afford by executives who should have known better, executives whose decisions have landed Rangers in another desperate mess. He’s almost duty-bound to criticise them. Mather was a disastrous chief executive for Rangers but his was just another ill-advised appointment in a long series of ill-advised appointments.” READ THE FULL COLUMN HERE >>