Kris Commons in race to be fit for Inter game; Three Bears in stay away plea to Rangers fans for EGM; Roy MacGregor blames Rangers for SPFL sponsorship woes and more in Wednesday’s Rumour Mill
Kris Commons in race to be fit for Inter game
Ronny Deila hopes Celtic’s revamped medical department can work wonders on Kris Commons to keep alive his chance of facing Inter Milan next week.
The Parkhead boss looks resigned, however, to being without Swedish defender Mikael Lustig for both legs of their Europa League showdown with the Italian giants.
Commons – who recently agreed a new two-year contract – damaged a thigh muscle in last Saturday’s Scottish Cup win over Dundee at Dens Park. “Kris has a grade one pulled muscle on the back of his thigh,” Deila confirmed. “It will take one to two weeks.
“We think he has a hope that he could reach the Inter game, but we will see.” (The Scotsman)
Three Bears in stay away plea to Rangers fans for EGM
The Three Bears are keen for fans to have their say and not allow the board another get-out clause as D-Day looms but have urged them not to travel to London and instead vote by proxy.
The statement continued: “Douglas’s initial reaction to the decision by the board to hold the meeting in London was to provide a fleet of coaches free of charge to ferry shareholders, who are entitled to attend, from Scotland to London and back.
“However, on reflection, we now believe it is more important that this crucial meeting takes place on March 4 and that the board are given no excuse to postpone or delay.
“We are urging all shareholders to vote at this meeting, but believe strongly that the use of postal votes or proxies may now be the best way for shareholders to have their voices heard.
“Although some shareholders will no doubt still wish to attend the meeting in person, we are sure they will behave in a manner which allows the business of the meeting to be conducted as efficiently as possible, despite any constraints imposed by the board due to the size and location of the venue. (Various)
Roy MacGregor blames Rangers for SPFL sponsorship woes
Roy MacGregor believes the SPFL will only land a major sponsor when the relentless chaos at Rangers is brought to an end.
And the Ross County chairman raised the spectre of part-time clubs playing in the Premiership within three years if the game keeps haemorrhaging cash.
“I think that a scenario of part-time teams in the Premiership is where it’s heading if, as a football nation, we don’t get attendances through the gates and get our act together.
“There have been a number of causes. The [increased] financial discipline of clubs has affected the brand and you can see that in the way we can’t even get a sponsor.
“My own belief is it will still be difficult to get a sponsor as long as Rangers behave the way they have been.” (Daily Mail)
Ronny Deila looking to refocus Guidetti
Celtic boss Ronny Deila has told the Daily Mail that he is on a mission to get John Guidetti refocused amid the misfiring striker’s barren run in front of goal.
Guidetti, 22, arrived on a season-long loan from Manchester City in September, before going on to net 11 times in his first 12 appearances for the Scottish champions.
The Swedish front man earned his first international cap since 2012 against France in November as a result of his impressive performances, but has since seen his form completely desert him.
“It’s a tough thing for young players to get all that focus,” said Deila. “When you score so many goals, he is a big star and it is so easy to lose focus on the important things.
“In the last three weeks, John has been working really hard in training and I know he will come again,” he continued. (Daily Mail)
Lee McCulloch faces ban for stamping
RANGERS captain Lee McCulloch is facing a two-match ban for stamping on Raith Rovers striker Dale Carrick.
McCulloch has been hit with an SFA notice of complaint after the incident with Carrick.
The 36-year-old was offered the suspension after compliance officer Tony McGlennan viewed television footage of him standing on Carrick during Sunday’s 2-1 Scottish Cup defeat. McCulloch has until 3pm today to respond to the charge.
If he accepts, he will be banned for Friday’s Championship clash with Hibernian and the first game of next season’s Scottish Cup.
If he doesn’t accept it, he will face a Hampden hearing tomorrow. (Express)
£10m a game for England’s top flight
England’s top teams are ecstatic after negotiating a new TV deal that will see them take in £10 million per game.
The total package is set to cost BT and SKY a record-breaking £5.136 billion over three years.
It’s an incredible 70 per cent increase on the current deal. (Various)
Derek McInnes: Dons can handle the pressure
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes believes his players can cope with the pressure of chasing the club’s highest top flight finish for 20 years.
The Dons are on course to match or even better the second-place finish last achieved in season 1993-94 when Willie Miller was in charge.
Having exited both cup competitions, Aberdeen’s sole focus is now on consolidating second place in the Scottish Premiership and pushing a Celtic side which has to juggle Europa League, Scottish Cup and League Cup commitments. He said: “With the expectation that comes in playing for Aberdeen, it’s important to know if we win a few games people can get carried away, but when we lose people are falling over themselves with frustration.” (P&J)
News in brief:
• Paul Lambert’s position is in doubt at Aston Villa after yet another defeat. (Various)
• Hampden’s new pitch will have just eight days to bed in before next month’s QTS League Cup final. (Daily Record)
• Louis Van Gaal angrily produced a dossier yesterday to show he has not turned Manchester United into a long-ball team. (Daily Mirror)
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