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The Rumour Mill: Thursday’s Scottish football news and gossip

Hearts are hopeful a payment plan can be agreed. Picture: TSPL

Hearts are hopeful a payment plan can be agreed. Picture: TSPL

In today’s Rumour Mill: Hearts on the brink; Reaction to Celtic’s win over Barcelona; Scotland manager latest; plus the rest of the day’s football news and gossip.

Hearts have seven days to pay bill

Hearts football club has issued a stark warning that it could fall out of existence in a matter of days unless supporters make up a serious financial shortfall. The Tynecastle club’s board of directors made the plea on Wednesday night after it emerged that it had received a winding-up order at the behest of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for an unpaid bill of nearly £450,000. (Various)

• Former Hearts captain Paul Hartley has accused Vladimir Romanov of holding supporters to ransom after the stricken club begged for a financial lifeline from their fans: “It’s basically holding a gun to the supporters’ heads and saying: ‘We need a couple of hundred quid off you, or else.’ It’s not as simple as that.” (Scotsman)

• And former Tynecastle boss Jim Jefferies said it was “unthinkable” that Hearts could go bust: “It was a real shock when I heard about Hearts being in real trouble.” (Sun)

Lennon hails Celtic achievement

Neil Lennon last night hailed Celtic’s momentous Champions League victory over Barcelona as the greatest achievement of his life and admits he may never be able to scale a higher peak in his career chart. The Parkhead boss said: “As a manager, I don’t know if I’ll top this. I hope I do, that I can progress, because I’m still young and still learning. But this is right up there with anything I’ve ever achieved, not just in my football career but in my life.” (Scotsman)

• Lennon is reportedly bringing in leading sports psychologist and All-Ireland coach Jim Guinness to work in Celtic’s youth academy on a part-time basis. (Sun)

• Famous Celtic fan Rod Stewart was in tears watching the Parkhead side beat the Catalans. (Various)

Coyle open to Scotland job

Owen Coyle has admitted he would welcome an approach to discuss the possibility of taking over as Scotland boss. “I’m always open to hearing what someone has to say. It’s a great job, that’s for sure,” said Coyle, who has been out of work since being sacked by Bolton. (Various)

Levein taking legal advice

Craig Levein has confirmed he is taking legal advice after being “relieved” of his duties as Scotland manager on Monday. “I am extremely disappointed by the process of the last week,” he said yesterday. “I note the position as stated by the Scottish Football Association but do not concur and I am currently taking legal advice as to my options. I will make no further comment at this time.” (Scotsman)

• Scotland youth coach Ricky Sbragia has expressed his personal disappointment at the sacking of Craig Levein: “Craig was instrumental in bringing me in when he spoke to me about the job so I’m a bit saddened about it. Football goes on, it carries on.” (Scotsman)

No club compares to Rangers - Jardine

Sandy Jardine launched the celebrations of Rangers’ 140th anniversary yesterday with the claim that no other club could compare with their achievements. The former Rangers player, now a club ambassador, said: “I noticed Celtic are celebrating 125 years and they are a fantastic club. But – maybe I’m biased – they don’t come anywhere near what we’ve done in 140 years when you look back through our history.” (Various)

IN BRIEF

• Inverness Caledonian Thistle have moved to secure Graeme Shinnie, Josh Meekings and Andrew Shinnie on new contracts. (Express)

• Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson has denied claims he was forced out of Blackpool following a row with former boss Ian Holloway. The 34-year-old has joined Fleetwood Town on loan. (Various)

 

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