Rumour Mill: Mike Ashley | McCoist’s Ricksen ban

Rangers' Ibrox Stadium. Picture: John Devlin
Rangers' Ibrox Stadium. Picture: John Devlin
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RANGERS ban Ally McCoist from attending Fernando Ricksen tribute match; ex-Rangers star Stuart McCall backs Three Bears bid; Jason Denayer in line for Ajax move, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip

Mike Ashley has Rangers ‘cornered’, says Freddy Shepherd

Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley has “cornered” the club by positioning himself as their main source for financial support, according to former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd.

Shepherd, who Ashley removed in 2007, said: “Mike is a very clever guy. Look at the way he’s cornered Rangers. He’s made himself the Bank of Rangers... he’s very clever. Banks control football clubs, it’s as simple as that.” (Scottish Sun)

Stuart McCall backs Three Bears’ Rangers bid

Stuart McCall has thrown his support behind the Three Bears, the group owning a near 19 per cent stake in Rangers headed by businessman and Rangers fan Douglas Park.

The former Ibrox midfielder has called for Rangers people to be back at the helm of the stricken ship, believing that the departure of legendary figures have left a gaping hole at the heart of the club. “I don’t know any of these gentlemen [the Three Bears], but if you believe what you read, they have Rangers at heart,” said McCall yesterday. (Scotsman)

McCoist banned from Fernando Ricksen tribute game

Former Rangers manager Ally McCoist is to be denied the opportunity to take in Fernando Ricksen’s tribute game at Ibrox under the terms of his gardening leave.

McCoist, who was replaced by assistant Kenny McDowall last month, is prevented from setting foot in Ibrox or Rangers’ training ground complex, Murray Park.

McCoist had hoped to take part in Ricksen’s tribute game. The Dutch former Rangers captain has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease. (Daily Record)

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Kris Commons exit won’t derail Celtic - Denayer

Kris Commons will be a significant loss if he leaves Celtic this month, but the players who remain should have confidence in their ability to win the title without him, Jason Denayer said after Saturday’s 2-0 win at Hamilton.

And manager Ronny Deila said: “He will not go. I have said many times before, he will not go. We are going to keep all the players we have here for the rest of the season. He is going to stay. It is not easy to replace Kris Commons.” (Scotsman)

De Boer lines up Ajax switch for Denayer

Frank de Boer’s Ajax side will try to scupper any extension of Jason Denayer’s stay at Celtic by taking them on loan themselves from next season.

Denayer is currently on loan from Manchester City - and his performances for Celtic have attracted admiring eyes from the upper echelons of the Eredivisie.

Manchester City are thought to be likely to loan him out again once his year-long deal at Celtic ends. (Scottish Sun)

IN BRIEF

• Rangers have been treated harshly by footballing authorities and are missed at the top of Scottish football, says Martin O’Neill. “Rangers are a very big miss... The punishment on the face of things looked a little bit harsh.” (Daily Record)

• Richard Gough and Claudio Reyna have bolstered Rangers First’s campaign by joining the group. They join Jorg Albertz in shelling out £500 to support the organisation’s bid for fan ownership of the club. (Daily Record)

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