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The Rumour Mill: Monday’s football news and gossip

Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston has said the SPL should allow Rangers to stay in the top flight

Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston has said the SPL should allow Rangers to stay in the top flight

In today’s Rumour Mill: SPL to meet to discuss Rangers’ fate; Celtic boss unhappy with penalty decision; Goian wants to stay at Ibrox; plus the rest of the day’s football news and gossip.

SPL to decide Rangers’ fate

• Rangers’ future in the top flight of Scottish football will be up for debate at an SPL meeting today, with uncertainty surrounding the outcome after club chairmen offered conflicting opinions on what should happen.

• Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston said he understood the financial arguments in favour of keeping Rangers in the SPL, but believed that sporting integrity should hold sway. “That’s what I will be arguing for,” Yorkston told Scotland on Sunday. “But I do understand that others will look at the financial side, and that will have more sway than sporting integrity. I would guess I’ll be almost a lone voice, but it doesn’t stop me from having my say.”

• Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston said his choice would be to keep Rangers in the top division, because commercial necessity outweighed other considerations. “Members see the commercial benefits of having Rangers, even as a newco,” he said. “The clubs are mindful of a sporting integrity aspect, but the commercial benefits may outweigh that.” (Scotsman)

• Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson explained the dilemma facing the club chairmen: “This season we got £1.4m from the SPL. If we only get £200,000-300,000 then how do we fill the £1m? But fans are talking about boycotts. It’s a lose-lose situation.” (Scotsman)

• Rangers manager Ally McCoist, meanwhile, said that he understood the dilemma facing the SPL: “In terms of the finance of Scottish football - sponsors and television money and things like that - it’s a massive issue. The right thing to do might be the wrong thing in the long run. It’s a big problem.” (Various)

• Celtic fans’ chief Joe O’Rourke has vowed that the club’s support will boycott any clubs who vote in favour of keeping Rangers in the SPL, following Johnston’s comments. (Record)

Lennon unhappy with ref

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes his team were victims of inconsistency among Scottish referees as they slipped to only their fifth SPL defeat of the season yesterday. Referee Iain Brines refused to award his side a penalty with 15 minutes to go when a cross from Emilio Izaguirre appeared to strike the arm of Keith Watson. “What is the difference between the penalty given against us in the semi-final and that handball today?” he said. “You have to ask the referee that, or you guys need to ask the question. But then I’m going to get accused of being a sore loser and blaming referees.” (Scotsman)

SPL clubs eye Montrose

Celtic and Kilmarnock are set to go head-to-head in the race to sign Montrose youngster Martin Boyle. Both SPL clubs had the 19-year-old striker watched at the weekend as he scored a hat-trick against Clyde, taking his tally for the season to 22 goals. (Sun)

Goian keen to stay at Ibrox

Rangers defender Dorin Goian has said he wants to stay at Ibrox this summer and be part of the side next season. The Romanian said: “I want to stay. I have a contract for another two years and want to play for Rangers.”

Hibs braced for Pars challenge

Hibs striker Roy O’Donovan, who is expected to start in tonight’s relegation battle against Dunfermline, has warned that they will face a stern challenge from the Fifers. “You’d rather be in our position than theirs,” he said. “But, at the same time, they’ve got nothing to lose on Monday, so they’re going to come and give everything, and you’d expect the best performance of the season from Dunfermline. So it will be a tough game, but it’s something to look forward to. It’s a chance for us to prove that we deserve to stay up.” (Scotsman)

Mulgrew named player of the year

Celtic’s Charlie Mulgrew was last night named the PFA Scotland player of the year. His team-mate James Forrest won the young player of the year award. Falkirk’s Farid El Alagui, Jon Robertson of Cowdenbeath and Alloa’s Steven May won the First, Second and Third Division awards respectively. Ross County’s Derek Adams, meanwhile, was named manager of the year for winning the First Division title by a huge margin. (Various)

IN BRIEF

• Dundee United midfielder Scott Robertson has refused to rule out staying at Tannadice next season. After scoring the winning goal against Celtic yesterday, he said he had not decided his future. (Record)

• Inverness winger Jonny Hayes last night denied he has had talks with Aberdeen boss Craig Brown over a move to Pittodrie. (Express)

 

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