RANGERS chief executive categorically denies administration threat; Efe Ambrose warns Hearts that Celtic are looking to better 7-0 goal glut; Alan Hutton told he’ll never play for Aston Villa again, plus all the rest of today’s football transfer news and gossip
Rangers: Wallace denies threat of administration
RANGERS chief executive Graham Wallace has come out strongly to deny speculation the club could face a second administration.
As the club confirmed yesterday that they are in discussions with two major shareholders over a £1.5 million loan to aid the running of the club, Wallace issued a “categoric” assurance they were not at risk.
“I think it’s important to say the board, myself and the executive team are working very hard to rebuild the club,” he told Rangers’ website. “We are now midway through our 120-day review which is looking at every area of the business.
“What I categorically can say to all Rangers fans worldwide is that there is no threat of a second administration. Sometimes it is difficult to come out and rebut every element which appears in the press in terms of potential administration.” (Scotsman)
Efe Ambrose fires goal glut threat at Hearts
Efe Ambrose has warned Hearts that Celtic are aiming to better the 7-0 scoreline that crushed the Tynecastle side in their last Scottish Cup meeting.
Hearts suffered their biggest defeat in 40 years last December in a thoroughly one-sided contest.
But Ambrose, not content with the memory of such a rout, said: “Hearts won’t want a repeat of last time. But we want to do maybe more than we did the last time. We are Celtic - and we know how to win games. It is going to be a different ball game, because we know this time Hearts are going to give us a good fight after what happened last time.” (The Sun)
Terry Butcher reveals regret over Kris Boyd
When reflecting on his time as assistant manager of Scotland, Terry Butcher concedes he has regrets, with the shortness of his tenure alongside George Burley perhaps the most frustrating of them.
However, the name Kris Boyd also features high on the list of things he wishes had turned out differently.
Butcher would like to have had more chance to work with the striker, who has since become the Scottish Premier League’s record goalscorer. Of course, circumstances dictated otherwise.
“He was one of many good strikers I was able to work with at Scotland. The way things happened wasn’t great, when you look at some of the matches, and the incidents that surrounded those matches,” he added. “But I think he is a different player now. He is running out to channels and working hard. Moving down to England, Turkey and the States has made him more appreciative of what he has to do and what his role is.” (Scotsman)
Alan Hutton will never play for Aston Villa again - Lambert
Paul Lambert has told Alan Hutton that he won’t play for Aston Villa again - because he earns too much. Hutton currently earns £45,000 a week, but is being frozen out by owner Randy Lerner as he looks to slash the club’s wage bill.
Hutton has over a year left on his contract, which means he could pocket up to £3 million by languishing in the reserves.
Lambert said: “It’ll be unlikely he’ll ever play here - he knows that. Is it all to do with money? More or less yes. We have to look at the books and Alan understands. I just want to help him to get a loan move.” (The Sun)
Gary Locke backs Ann Budge to get Hearts sorted
GARY Locke is in no rush to clarify his future with prospective Hearts owner Ann Budge, and does not believe he should be given preferential treatment just because he remained loyal to the club during the most perilous months in its existence.
The Hearts manager made it clear yesterday that he still thinks securing the future of the club as a whole is the priority, ranking far above any new deal for him when his current contract runs out at the end of the season.
“The fact that Ann is hopefully going to come in soon is fantastic news for everyone – myself, the coaching staff, the players and most importantly the fans,” Locke said yesterday. “For anybody associated with Heart of Midlothian all we want is a bit of stability at the club again and for the club to be run sensibly. And there is no doubt about it, Ann will bring that to the club.” (Scotsman)
Ambrose can’t believe Van Dijk not in Dutch squad
EFE Ambrose has expressed his bewilderment at the latest international snub to his Celtic central defensive partner Virgil van Dijk as the build up to this summer’s World Cup finals intensifies.
Ambrose, who is firmly established in the Nigeria squad ahead of the finals, believes Van Gaal is guilty of overlooking one of his most gifted players.
“For the way he’s playing, I think it is unimaginable that Virgil could not make a squad of 33 players,” said Ambrose. “Of the players who are there, the manager must think they are better. I would be really disappointed if Virgil is not at the World Cup. I think he should be there, because he’s a great player. I am certain that Holland really needs the talent he’s got.” (Scotsman)
• Ross County striker Kevin Luckassen is set to join Czech Republic top flight side Slovan Liberec after the Scottish Premier League side agreed a fee that was described as “lucrative” for the club. The Dutchman, 20, made his 16th and last appearance as a second-half substitute against Hibernian last weekend. (Press & Journal)
Willo Flood has won the Goal of the Month award for January, in poll voted for by SPFL fans. His goal against Hibernian at Pittodrie was the resounding choice of the SPFL YouTube community, winning with 59.8% of the vote! The breakdown was as follows:
Willo Flood: 59.8%
Filip Kiss: 13.2%
Virgil van Dijk: 8.0%
Stevie May: 4.5%
Jordan Kirkpatrick: 6.1%
David Templeton: 1.3%
Martyn Fotheringham: 7.1%
Willo Flood’s goal: http://po.st/FloodGoal
For the entire Goal of the Match selection: http://po.st/JanGOTM