Rumour Mill: Rangers | Novo’s Ibrox ban | Celtic

Ibrox Stadium. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Ibrox Stadium. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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THREE BEARS slam Mike Ashley over terms of £10 million loan deal; Nacho Novo has been banned from Ibrox for joining a fans’ group opposed to the board; Alan Thompson reveals rift with Neil Lennon is over, plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip

Three Bears slam Ashley over strings to £10m deal

The Rangers board’s decision to accept a credit facility of up to £10 million from Mike Ashley was last night slammed by the rival ‘Three Bears’ group The Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor consortium had a £6.5m loan offer rejected in favour of two tranches of £5m that will be available to Rangers’ through Ashley’s Sports Direct group.

Park, Letham and Taylor last night issued a statement which claimed Ashley’s cash will do nothing to repair financially damaging relations with supporters and insisted that their counter offer would have been far more advantageous to the Ibrox club. (Scotsman)

Ferguson warns Guidetti over Old Firm boasts

Barry Ferguson has warned Celtic striker John Guidetti not to get carried away with boasts on the eve of his side’s League Cup game against Rangers on Sunday.

The former Rangers captain said: “You do your talking on the pitch, not off the pitch. That’s the way I like it done,” said Ferguson. “Be respectful and if you’ve got things you want to do on the pitch, do them. Don’t speak out because you can end up with custard pie on your face.” (Scotsman)

Nacho Novo banned from Rangers over fans’ group support

Former Rangers striker Nacho Novo has been told to stay away from Ibrox over his support of a fans’ group opposed to the current regime. He said the manager, Kenny McDowall, had relayed the ban to him after a training session that Novo was taking part in to keep his fitness up.

He said: “I’ve been training with the team since around November time but today it stopped. Kenny came to me after the session and said I’d been great to have at the club but he’s been told by the board - the Easdales and Llambias - that I cannot come and train anymore. For me, they are what I call s****bags. They’ve not been professional. They know they can get me on the phone and tell me personally.” (Scottish Sun)

Konterman: Defeat would shame Celtic

Bert Konterman has fanned the flames ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm League Cup semi-final by insisting Celtic would live with the shame for the rest of the season if they don’t win it.

Konterman said: “If Celtic lose on Sunday it’s a disgrace for them. They would be slaughtered for half a year by all the fans. It would last until they win the league and get going in the Champions League qualifiers again.

“Celtic are stronger than Rangers because they play in a higher league and have more money. They have to win – they have to. If they don’t have to it will be shame on them.” (Scotsman)

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Billy Mckay set for £150k move to Wigan

Inverness Caledonian Thistle striker Billy Mckay is set to join Wigan Athletic after the two clubs agreed a deal believed to be in the region of £150,000.

The Latics are languishing in the depths of the English Championship, and are said to be keen on bringing the Northern Irish hitman - who has grabbed five goals in his last five matches - to the DW Stadium as soon as possible, according to the Daily Mail. (Scotsman)

Alan Thompson: Lennon rift is over

Alan Thompson has revealed that he and Neil Lennon are on “speaking terms” after a row between the pair over Thompson’s alleged off-field misbehaviour forced the now-Bolton manager to sack him in 2012, when the duo were both at the club.

Thompson, now an assistant manager at Blackpool, said: “I have spoken to Lenny on a few occasions recently. Those are the first conversations for a long, long time and what happened is now put to bed. We’ve moved on. We speak. We are not as we were when we were best mates, but we are on speaking terms.” (Daily Mail)

Celtic tracking Argentine star Sergio Araujo

Celtic are monitoring Argentinian striker Sergio Araujo, who is plying his trade at second division Spanish side Las Palmas. The former Barcelona striker is on loan from Boca Juniors, and is rated at around £2 million.

Ronny Deila and John Collins have already cast their eye personally over the player, watching him score twice in his side’s 5-3 win over Zaragoza. (Scottish Sun)

Rangers stars in ticket wrangle with Llambias

Rangers stars have been told they will not be getting their usual quota of complimentary matchday tickets by chief executive Derek Llambias - sparking fears among the squad that the briefs are being set aside for directors instead.

Players have now been told they can buy up to ten tickets, having protested at the initial offer of being able to buy just two tickets - but they don’t know for which parts of the stadium the tickets will be. (Scottish Sun)