DAVE King renews call for Rangers fans to withhold season ticket money; McCoist says Rangers are hurting after Ramsdens Cup final defeat, and Aberdeen’s Mark Reynolds on Aberdeen’s new swagger, plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Dave King declares war on Rangers board
Former Rangers director Dave King has urged fans to follow through with plans to withhold season ticket money after accusing the board of reneging on promises over the publication of a financial review.
Following a meeting with the Ibrox board last month, King stepped back from initial plans by fans to put season ticket money into a trust fund as he advised them to wait for the club to outline their spending plans.
But he has changed his mind and, on the eve of the club’s biggest match of the season, today’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United at Ibrox, advised fans not to buy club merchandise after further talks with chairman David Somers.
In his statement, King said: “Despite strong reservations from fan groups I asked the fans to give the board time to honour this commitment. Disturbingly, the chairman has advised me that the true intention of the board had always been to delay issuing the review until funds had been largely collected.
“I apologise to all fans for wasting time by lending credibility to the board’s false representations. I was wrong to give them the benefit of the doubt. At least we now can no longer have any uncertainty about the governance at the club.” (Scotsman)
McCoist defends Rangers’ karaoke after Ramsdens Cup final
Although he would neither confirm nor deny reports of him singing karaoke tunes in the aftermath of last weekend’s Ramsdens Cup final defeat, Rangers manager Ally McCoist has left no-one in any doubt that he is offended by the insinuation being made that he doesn’t care.
It was always going to be a trying day yesterday for the under-fire McCoist, whose position is viewed by some to be under threat ahead of today’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final clash with Dundee United. These were his first media commitments since a defeat that was compounded by reports of late-night carousing by Ibrox staff and players at the stadium on Sunday evening.
He said: “I’ll tell you right now, if anyone in this room thinks for a minute that we weren’t hurting or in a lot of pain with that result, then I think we are all in the wrong game. Just for the record, we were all suffering greatly on Sunday and we didn’t do anything different than we have done in cup finals for the last 30 or 40 years. That’s all I would say on it, nothing more.” (Scotsman)
SCOTTISH CUP PREVIEW
Rangers v Dundee Utd: Simonsen steps in for Bell
RANGERS manager Ally McCoist’s troubles have increased after he was forced to rule out first-choice goalkeeper Cammy Bell from this afternoon’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final clash against Dundee United.
Bell sustained concussion in a training ground accident earlier this week and the goalkeeper has reluctantly bowed to medical advice.
Ibrox club doctor Paul Jackson ruled that Bell could not play again so soon after the incident, in which he took a knock to the jaw on Tuesday. McCoist confirmed that goalkeeper understudy Steve Simonsen, who turned 35 last week, will get first taste of action at Ibrox, the controversial choice of venue for this afternoon’s televised cup semi-final. “Simonsen is in,” said McCoist, with the English ’keeper having himself tweeted on Thursday evening that he was ready to “step up” after Bell’s “rotten luck”. McCoist said the decision had been taken “out of my hands” because the medical team’s decision was final. (Scotsman)
St Johnstone v Aberdeen: Dons’ new mentality
Mark Reynolds admits Aberdeen are playing football with a bit of a swagger again nowadays, but is anxious to avoid that being misconstrued as a sign of undue arrogance at Pittodrie.
The former Sheffield Wednesday and Motherwell defender credits their good form to confidence, rather than cockiness, in the way Derek McInnes’s players have strutted their stuff this season.
That’s why he’s happy to let their opponents say what they like because they will have a long wait if they expect Aberdeen to become victims of their own conceit.
He said: “They can talk all they want about what they’re going to do to Aberdeen, this or that. That’s how they prepare for games. It’s not how it’s done up here, not how this Aberdeen do it. We concern ourselves with our own team, what we can do, as there is a fine line between swagger and arrogance.
“There are plenty willing to say that Aberdeen are getting cocky or getting ahead of themselves but I think it’s easier for us to be confident now with the history we’ve got behind us this season.” (Scotsman)
Jon Daly ready for Dundee United abuse
Rangers striker Jon Daly admits he expects a torrent of abuse from fans of his old club as he prepares to face Dundee United in today’s Scottish Cup semi final. Daly has refused to rule out celebrating if he bags a goal against his former employers, where he spent six years of his career. But he was also at paints to point out the respect he has for the Tayside club.
When asked if he would celebrate a goal, Daly said: “Would you believe that is not the first time I have been asked that? I wouldn’t want to try to rub anyone up the wrong way but I’m going out and trying to get my team through to a Scottish Cup final.
“Who’s to say the emotions won’t take over if I score a 92nd-minute winner? I honestly don’t know.
“Stick from opposition fans is part and parcekl of football. I had six and a half great years at Tannadice and it was just the right time to move on.” (Daily Record)
Watch the SPFL’s shortlist for March’s goal of the month: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiIuBhL-D1s
Vote for your favourite goal by commenting below the video.
The competition closes at 5pm on Friday 18 April. The goal with the most votes will be crowned the winner. If you correctly select the winner, you will be entered into a draw to win a Mitre match ball as used in the SPFL.
The nominees are as follows...
GOAL A: Steven Smith -- RANGERS v Dunfermline
GOAL B: David Gray -- MONTROSE v East Stirlingshire
GOAL C: Rowan Vine -- Raith Rovers v GREENOCK MORTON
GOAL D: Nadir Ciftci -- Hearts v DUNDEE UNITED
GOAL E: Liam Polworth -- Dundee United v INVERNESS CT
GOAL F: Anthony Stokes -- Partick Thistle v CELTIC
GOAL G: Stefan McCluskey -- East Stirlingshire v CLYDE
GOAL H: Callum Booth -- Alloa Athletic v RAITH ROVERS