The Rumour Mill: Wednesday’s football transfer news and gossip
In today’s Rumour Mill: Stewart Regan criticises Rangers and Charles Green; Celtic sweat over Commons and Stokes; Motherwell have it all to do in Greece and Dean Shiels signs on at Ibrox.
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan has labelled Rangers’ attacks on him as ‘undignified and irresponsible’, and has criticised the club’s owner Charles Green for what he sees as pandering to the Ibrox support. Prior to their Ramsdens Cup match against Brechin City, Ally McCoist had questioned Regan’s leadership qualities, whilst Green was seen to be applauding Rangers fans at Glebe Park as they sang derogatory songs about Regan.
The SFA’s compliance officer Vincent Lunny has also asked Charles Green to explain his reasoning behind his outburst in which he claimed bigotry was to blame for Rangers competing in the third division.
• Stewart Regan has also denied that he is biased, insisting that his perceived pro-Celtic and anti-Rangers stance is wholly incorrect, and claims that last month’s leaked email was a catalyst. Regan has also insisted he is acting in the best interests of the game.
• Shareholders in Rangers have voted in favour of Sevco changing its name. An extraordinary general meeting (egm) was held at Ibrox yesterday, during which measures were taken to change the name from Sevco Scotland Limited to The Rangers Football Club Limited. The name change should also allow the club to be granted full SFA membership after being granted an emergency temporary membership in order to fulfil their Ramsdens Cup match against Brechin.
• Former Rangers director Campbell Ogilvie is still in the dark over his SFA future as investigations continue into the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) system at Ibrox. Ogilivie has not been part of any meetings concerning Rangers, but the current president of the SFA has offered to resign if his position becomes untenable.
• Alejandro Bedoya looks set to remain at Ibrox for the foreseeable future after Swedish side Helsingborgs cooled their interest in the American midfielder.
• Rangers are also keeping tabs on former Hearts striker Craig Beattie, who was training with the club.
• Sheffield Wednesday are said to be interested in defender Kirk Broadfoot, as they look to bolster their squad for this season. The Hillsborough club signed former Rangers attacker Rhys McCabe earlier this week.
• Rangers’ Ramsdens Cup tie against Falkirk has been put back a week due to the scheduled date clashing with Scotland u-19s taking on Germany u-19s at the Westfield Stadium.
Former Kilmarnock and Hibernian attacker Dean Shiels has signed on at Ibrox, putting pen to paper on a four-year deal. Shiels, who spent last season on loan at Rugby Park, said in an interview with Rangers TV: “I’m absolutely delighted to sign a four-year contract, I’m excited to be here and I can’t wait to get started.
“I just wanted to play for Rangers and I wanted to play for the manager. Once I knew they were interested it was a decision that I was happy to make.”
Celtic face an anxious wait over the fitness of midfielder Kris Commons and striker Anthony Stokes ahead of their Champions League Third Round Qualifier against HJK Helsinki tonight. Both players picked up ankle knocks in the robust friendly match with Inter Milan, and face fitness tests this afternoon. Manager Neil Lennon will also have captain Scott Brown, Kelvin Wilson, Thomas Rogne, James Forrest and Beram Kayal available for selection after they missed out at the weekend.
• Neil Lennon has also laughed off Charles Green’s allegations that bigotry played a role in Rangers’ SPL exit. The Celtic manager said: “I’ve seen the club’s response. I was golfing so I only read about it. I find it funny, He’s [Charles Green] only been here five minutes and he’s calling us bigots.”
• Morten Rasmussen looks set to join Norwegian side FC Midtjylland in a £250,000 deal. The Danish striker has had three loan spells since joining Celtic, but is expected to leave Parkhead permanently after making only ten appearances and scoring three goals since his arrival from Brondby in January of 2010.
• Arsenal and Manchester United are leading the chase for Celtic’s highly-rated midfielder Victor Wanyama. The Kenyan international, who can operate in defence as well as midfield is also attracting interest from Stoke City and Queen’s Park Rangers - but it is thought that £8 million is the starting price for the 21-year-old.
Motherwell face an uphill struggle in next week’s Champions League qualifier second-leg tie against Greek cracks Panathinaikos in Athens. The Steelmen were dealt a killer blow at Fir Park last night, after losing an early goal to Lazaros Christodoulopolous as substitute Charis Mavrias added a second with 13 minutes left. Motherwell have to score at least twice in Greece and not concede to take the tie to extra time, but manager Stuart McCall has admitted that it is a ‘huge ask’ for the side to get a result in Athens, although ‘keeper Darren Randolph has pointed to Motherwell’s recent comeback to draw 3-3 with Hearts despite being 3-0 down.
Aberdeen are hoping that former Hearts, Everton and Huddersfield defender Gary Naysmith will sign a short-term deal. Craig Brown is looking to strengthen his side followng last season and is hopeful that the former Scotland international will be a part of his Pittodrie squad for this season.
• Sir Alex Ferguson is set to return to Pittodrie with a Manchester United XI to face Aberdeen in Neil Simpson’s benefit match. The game will be played on August 14th.
• Berwick Rangers have added freed Hibernian youngsters Phil Addison and Mark Lancaster, to their squad. Addison and Lancaster will join up with fellow former Hibs players Lee Currie and Steven Notman at Shielfield Park.
• Scottish Cup Final referee Craig Thomson is to take charge of Hibernian’s SPL opener with Dundee United at Tannadice this weekend.
• Dundee defeated Peterhead 4-1 on penalties last night as the SPL new boys avoided an upset in their League Cup match. The match remained goalless after 120 minutes of football.
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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