Rumour Mill: Celtic and Rangers | Dunfermline administration

Attendances were inflated by non-attending season ticket holders, according to figures obtained with FOI requests. Picture: TSPL

Attendances were inflated by non-attending season ticket holders, according to figures obtained with FOI requests. Picture: TSPL

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The Old Firm have been overstating the numbers of fans at their games, Dunfermline could go into voluntary administration, and Terry Butcher is in trouble over his outburst at Dens Park last week.

Old Firm crowd numbers given press boost

The published attendances for the Old Firm’s home games have been inflated by up to 20,000 people per-game.

A Daily Record investigation found that for Celtic’s home game against Ross County in December, the club reported an attendance of 49,428 to the SPL. However, FOI requests for 2012 data showed that the club told Strathclyde Police just 28,931 were at the ground. The force asks clubs for accurate data to manage policing levels.

Overall, Celtic’s home attendance through the turnstiles was inflated by 36% by the time it appeared on the SPL website, with Rangers’ given a 26% boost in press figures. Season ticket holders who don’t show up to games but are counted as ‘attendees’ by clubs are believed to make up a large proportion of the shortfall. (Record)

Pars ‘could go into voluntary administration’

Dunfermline could go into voluntary administration in order to prevent the immediate liquidation of the club.

According to The Herald, the administration move - which would come with a points deduction from the SFL - could prevent an HMRC winding-up order from being served to the club.

However, the Pars’ cash troubles mean that an administrator could struggle to find the working capital to fund the business in the short term. A winding-up petition is expected to be served on Tuesday, which would give the club eight days to pay a tax bill of over £130,000. (Herald)

Puri will play if he’ll help us win - Lennon

St Mirren boss Danny Lennon says sentiment will play no part in whether or not he picks new man Sander Puri in his League Cup final side.

Puri signed for the Buddies this week and is eligible to play, and Lennon says that his side need to use every weapon at their disposal to see off Hearts.

Lennon said: “This could be a one-off opportunity so we have to make sure we put the right players out there. Everyone’s played their part throughout this run but unfortunately only 16 can be stripped.

“It will be no risk if we decide to play Sander. He’s a good player and that’s why we’ve brought him to our club.” (Herald)

Butcher facing rap over dugout attack

Terry Butcher is in trouble with the SFA over his outburst in the dugout during Inverness Caley’s game with Dundee last week.

Butcher punched a hole in the dugout glass during the 1-1 draw, and has been charged by the SFA with “failure to behave in a responsible manner as an occupant of the technical area”. Butcher has until next week to respond. He has already been sent a £200 repair bill by Dens Park officials. (Sky Sports)

SFA’s Lunny ‘as careful with disciplinaries as murder investigations’

SFA disciplinary chief Vincent Lunny has told of his pleasure at stepping out of the headlines, but the former war crimes tribunal lawyer warned he is not going soft.

Lunny, who worked at the Hague hearings held by the UN, told the Record: “It’s not a trivial matter if a suspension from the touchline ultimately costs a manager his job.

“So I would only prosecute a case against one of them after considering the evidence as carefully as I would have done the facts during a murder investigation when I was in the Procurator Fiscal’s office.

“If I’ve gone from the bogeyman to the invisible man in the meantime that’s a positive reflection on what I’ve been able to achieve so far.” (Record)

• Rangers’ Andy Little could miss today’s game with Elgin with a knee injury - it’s also made the top scorer at Ibrox a doubt for Northern Ireland’s World Cup double-header with Russia and Israel. (Belfast Newsletter)

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