Rumour Mill: Caley legal action | McLean | Hartson

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INVERNESS Caley Thistle are reportedly planning legal action against the SFA over the Meekings handball ban; referee Steven McLean is apparently public enemy number one at a number of Scottish clubs; John Hartson has said Celtic has wasted their best Treble opportunity, plus more news and gossip in Wednesday’s Rumour Mill

Inverness Caley taking legal action over Meekings ban

Celtic's John Guidetti (left) battles with Josh Meekings. Picture: SNS Group

Celtic's John Guidetti (left) battles with Josh Meekings. Picture: SNS Group

INVERNESS Caley Thistle are now reportedly at war with the SFA and their bid to ban Josh Meekings from appearing at the Scottish Cup final. The club are now planning legal action ahead of Wednesday’s appeal deadline.

The furore following his handball against Celtic in last Sunday’s semi-final tie at Hampden Park saw Meekings being slapped with a suspension.

Compliance officer Tony McGlennan studied the footage of the encounter and offered a ban for “denying the opposing team an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball”.

An Inverness Caley statement said: “We have declined the fixed one-match suspension.

“The club intends to vigorously defend our player and is taking legal advice on the issue. We’re extremely disappointed this has arisen and the player himself is mentally shattered.”

Caley boss John Hughes has yet to discuss the legal wrangling but did reportedly say he was “100 per cent behind Celtic.” (The Daily Record)

• Inverness manager John Hughes has branded Josh Meekings ban as ‘unbelievable’.

The Caley boss will also reportedly highlight every error in last Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic.

As it stands, Meekings is suspended and unable to play in next month’s final against Falkirk. (Scottish Sun)

Referee Steven McLean “public enemy number one”

The referee at the centre of the handball fiasco from last weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final has been apparently been told not to google his name.

Fans from other Scottish clubs, including Aberdeen, have piled on the Celtic bandwagon in venting their anger towards the referee.

Dons fans reportedly consider him public enemy No.1 after allowing a borderline assault on Jamie Langfield in the last second of the season which gifted Motherwell second spot and robbed the Dons of £250,000 and two weeks less summer holidays with a July 2 Euro qualifier.

McLean is also on St Mirren’s watchlist after a defeat to Dundee resulted in the club writing to the SFA. (The Daily Record)

• Celtic assistant John Collins has apparently insisted that only referee Steven McLean can shoot down theories that the SFA has an “anti-Celtic agenda” after failing to send Josh Meekings off during the Scottish Cup semi-final.

The Hoops will reportedly receive a formal explanation today from the SFA stating that McLean did miss Meekings handball. (Scottish Sun)

John Hartson: Celtic will never get Treble opportunity again

Celtic legend John Hartson has reportedly suggested that Ronny Deila will never get a better chance to win the Treble than they had this season.

The former Hoops striker was reportedly quoted as saying the Parkhead side had wasted an opportunity which is unlikely to come again.

He said: “I think they will never get a better opportunity to win the treble.

“So it’s a missed opportunity but I think if you had offered a chance to win a double to a young rookie manager who had not managed anywhere near this level, a lot of people didn’t know who he was, I think he would have taken that.” (The Herald)

Mackay-Steven looking forward to Dundee visits

Celtic star Gary Mackay-Steven is relishing the first of two return trips to Dundee within the next five days.

The Celtic winger pointedly refused to celebrate his goal against former club Dundee United at Parkhead last month. He is likely to feel moderately more welcome at Tannadice on Sunday.

He said: “I don’t know if the reception I’ll get at Dens Park will be too warm but I’m looking forward to it.”

Celtic are looking to open up an eight-point lead over rivals Premiership rivals Aberdeen with a victory on Wednesday evening; Mackay-Steven reportedly said that the Parkhead outfit cannot afford to let themselves become distracted by their 3-2 extra-time defeat to Inverness at Hampden last weekend. (The Scotsman)

IN BRIEF

• Aberdeen have decided to appeal Barry Robson’s red card from last Saturday’s win against Dundee United. (Press and Journal)

• Three St Johnstone stars are set to miss out on Saturday’s away match at Dundee. Steven Anderson and Simon Lappin are suspended and Murray Davidson has been ruled out thanks to a knee injury. (Evening Telegraph)

• St Mirren’s Isaac Osborne and Callum Ball both reportedly both terminated their contracts with the Paisley club with mutual consent. (The Daily Record)

• Dundee’s James McPake reportedly believes the Dens Park outfit can pip city rivals Dundee United to the fourth spot in the Premiership. (The Herald)

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