In today’s Rumour Mill: Walter Smith vows not to interfere with Rangers team; Hibs star wins call-up; Celtic boss wants stars rested; plus the rest of the day’s football news and gossip.
Walter Smith returns to Rangers
Former Rangers manager Walter Smith has returned to the Ibrox club to take up the role of non-executive director.
Smith is joined on the board by retired Glasgow businessman Ian Hart who was initially linked to Green’s consortium as an investor. (Scotsman)
• Smith has promised he will not interfere in team affairs at Ibrox. He said: “I must make it clear ... that I will not be playing any role in the day-to-day running of the club or the team. The role I will fulfil is to bring my experience of Rangers and football in general to the board table and that is what I will do.” (Various)
• Rangers manager Ally McCoist has welcomed the return of his former boss: “I am delighted to see Walter involved in the club again. He brings such tremendous experience.” (Sun)
Griffiths wins Scotland cap
Hibs forward Leigh Griffiths has been called into the Scotland squad for the Luxembourg friendly after helping his side defeat Dundee United 2 - 1 - a result which means Hibs are top of the SPL following Celtic’s 1 - 1 draw with St Johnstone. (Scotsman)
• Griffiths was joined by Inverness’s Andrew Shinnie and Kilmarnock’s Liam Kelly as late additions to Billy Stark’s squad.
• There were nine call-offs to the Scotland squad: James Morrison (groin), Phil Bardsley (hamstring), Steven Fletcher (ankle), Shaun Maloney (abdominal), Charlie Adam (groin), Matt Phillips (toe), Barry Bannan (knee), David Marshall (groin) and Jamie Mackie (ankle).
Lennon calls for international rest
Neil Lennon wants to pull his Celtic stars out of international duty, with ten of his players set to fly off for friendlies this week. The Parkhead boss said: “What are coaches going to find out about players they don’t already know?” Lennon has already been on the phone to Billy Stark to pull Scott Brown out of the friendly, and now he’s ready to call again to spare Kris Commons and Charlie Mulgrew the trip. (Various)
• Mo Bangura wants to return to Celtic next month when his loan spell ends at Swedish outfit AIK Stockholm. (Record)
Skacel pulls for Hearts cause
Dundee United midfielder Rudi Skacel helped raise funds for his former club when he turned up at an Edinburgh pub that was raising funds for crisis-hit Hearts yesterday. After his substitute appearance at Easter Road, the Czech star appeared at the Brauhaus pub in Tollcross and started pulling pints. (Various)
• In a statement, Hearts said there was still a long way to go in the fundraising efforts: “The club has been left humbled by the response of the supporters since the appeal was made in the middle of last week. It has spoken volumes for their love of the club and we are progressing on the right track but there is still a way to go and we cannot get there without their continued backing in the next days.” (Record)
• Rangers chief executive Charles Green has admitted he tried to tempt Hearts with a £500,000 buyout on money due for David Templeton and Lee Wallace. The Ibrox club actually owe Hearts £800,000 for the duo with £300,000 due in early December and the balance by next July. (Sun)
• Hibs taunted Edinburgh rivals Hearts, whose future is in threat due to a £450,000 HMRC bill, yesterday by blasting out The Beatles’ ‘Taxman’ at half-time in their win over Dundee United. (Record)
• Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield is back in hospital after brain surgery yesterday. But it was just a check-up op a year after a complex operation which saved his career, and he is expected to make the weekend match against Celtic. (Sun)
• Former Scotland boss Alex McLeish believes Joe Jordan would be an good choice to succeed Craig Levein. (Herald)