Rumour Mill: Rangers EGM | Celtic | British Cup

Dave King arrives at Glasgow Airport ahead of the EGM. Picture: SNS
Dave King arrives at Glasgow Airport ahead of the EGM. Picture: SNS
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Rangers EGM just hours away as Dave King outlines ‘new dawn’ for Ibrox club and admits there are ‘two years of pain’ ahead; Lawwell hits out at TV deal and defends ‘majority’ of fans and the Celtic chief reveals British Cup talks

King outlines ‘new dawn’ but admits ‘two years of pain’

Celtic chief Peter Lawwell, who defended the club's fans and hit out at the EPL's TV deal. Picture: Jeff Holmes

Celtic chief Peter Lawwell, who defended the club's fans and hit out at the EPL's TV deal. Picture: Jeff Holmes

DAVE King has outlined his plans for Rangers but has warned that the club faces ‘two years of pain’.

The former oldco director is poised to sweep out the remainder of the current regime at the EGM at Ibrox but warned fans his bid for power won’t result in an instant fix.

But he insisted the club will never splash the cash as happened during Sir David Murray’s reign as owner – a spell which was followed by the Glasgow giants going into financial meltdown.

After flying in ahead of the shareholder vote, King said: “The Rangers fans have had a very difficult time. I think we are going to have a couple of tough years.

“For Rangers to become the second top club in Scotland should be achieved at fairly short notice. But there is a very substantial gap between Rangers and Celtic at the moment.” (The Scotsman)

TV deal ‘has scuppered Celtic’s England chances’

PETER Lawwell has slammed the ‘continued riches’ lavished on the English Premier League, claiming it has hampered Celtic’s chances of competing south of the Border in the near future.

The Hoops chief was speaking after confirming a five-year kit deal with New Balance - one he says underlines Celtic’s status as a “global football club” and provides some “positivity” for Scottish football.

However, the deal, believed to be worth £6 ma year, is still dwarfed by the sum top English clubs will receive following the signing of another lucrative TV rights deal earlier this year. The English Premier League agreed a record £5.14bn live rights deals with Sky Sports and BT Sport for three seasons from 2016-17.

And Lawwell added: “The English Premier League deal that was announced a couple of weeks ago certainly makes it a bit more difficult [for Celtic to play in England] - they are doing extremely well in peculiar circumstances.” (The Scotsman)

Lawwell reveals British Cup hopes

PETER Lawwell has revealed he has held secretive talks with English clubs over the introduction of a British Cup.

The Celtic chief is keen to explore new ways of expanding the club’s football and financial interests, with one proposal being a modernised version of the Texaco Cup.

And with Celtic’s hopes of playing in England appearing to be dead in the water, Lawwell is eager to explore cross-border tournaments.

Lawwell added: “We’ve had chats with clubs in England and initially the English Football League were pretty keen on it.

“In terms of a British concept, I think there’s merit in it and we should be behind it if possible. In terms of change in Europe, maybe moving away from this congested domestic calendar to more European games might be an idea as well.

“We are still seen as a big European club; highly-professional, well-run and highly-regarded.” (The Sun)

Don’t punish Celtic for actions of small number of fans - Lawwell

PETER Lawwell has also dismissed new calls for Scotland to adopt strict UEFA policies to deal with troublesome fans.

The Celtic chief executive is wary of Scottish football introducing a system similar to the liability policy designed to deal with teams whose fans are involved in offensive behaviour at matches.

Lawwell has defended the reputation of Celtic fans after the club were slapped with another fine following crowd disturbances.

Celtic were fined £7,300 by Uefa after crowd trouble against Dinamo Zagreb in December, bringing their total fines from European football’s governing body to more than £100,000 in three years and are set to be hit with a further fine following the lighting of two flares in the San Siro.

Lawwell said: “It is concerning because it allows Celtic’s name to be slurred. But there is a context that is missed here. You cannot look at two people and condemn a football club.” (The Scotsman)

Guidetti plays down Feyenoord chief’s Glasgow trip

JOHN Guidetti has denied holding talks with Feyenoord chiefs - after the Dutch club’s technical chief Martin van Geel travelled to Scotland last weekend.

The Swedish striker hinted at a return to the Eredivisie outfit in an interview earlier this week, but denied holding talks with Van Geel, who manages Feyenoord’s transfers.

“I’m here for the match”, Guidetti told RTV Rijnmond before Celtic’s clash with St Johnstone.

“Why was Van Geel here? I’ve no idea. Maybe just to watch a fun game.” (Inside Futbol)

Ciftci cleared to face Celtic

DUNDEE United have been handed a boost after striker Nadir Ciftci won his appeal against a two-match ban for elbowing Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s Gary Warren.

Ciftci was hit with the suspension for his part in the clash towards the end of the 1-1 draw with ICT last week.

But United rejected the punishment dished out by Compliance Officer Tony McGlennan.

Ciftci is now free to face Celtic in Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final clash but will still miss the League Cup Final showdown against the Hoops on March 15 after his semi-final booking ruled him out. (Various)

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