David Somers admits Ibrox crowd was 10,000 less than reported; Gary Teale wants to take Saint Mirren job permanently; Rangers forced into U-turn over Charlie Telfer saga and more in Wednesday’s Rumour Mill
David Somers admits Ibrox crowd was 10,000 less than reported
Rangers chairman David Somers last night admitted there were around 10,000 more empty seats inside Ibrox on Saturday than the club originally claimed. The club originally gave the attendance for the 1-0 win over Cowdenbeath as 28,137 - the smallest home crowd for a Rangers league game in 28 years. But after an investigation by the Daily Record, Somers confirmed the real number of supporters was less than 20,000. Sources at the club say the crowd was closer to 16,000. Somers admitted: “The 28,000 included season-ticket holders who were not there. In reality Saturday’s attendance was around 19,000.” (Record)
Rangers issue statement that Norman Crighton has left board
Rangers have issued the following statement: “The Company announces that Norman Crighton has left the Board of Rangers with immediate effect.”
Gary Teale wants to take Saint Mirren job permanently
Gary Teale wants to stake his claim to land the St Mirren job on a permanent basis after being named as Tommy Craig’s interim successor on Tuesday.
Craig was sacked by the Paisley club following 19 games in charge that yielded just three wins and left Saints second-bottom of the Premiership.
Winger Teale had been assisting the 64-year-old and has now taken temporary charge in a player-manager role, backed by head of youth development David Longwell.
But there is no place in the new set-up for Jim Goodwin, a coach under Craig. The club’s board decided Goodwin, 33 — dogged by disciplinary issues — will revert to being a player.
Former Scotland Under-21 manager Billy Stark — a former St Mirren player — is the bookmakers’ favourite to take over full-time, with Dumbarton boss Ian Murray and Barry Smith of Alloa among those in the mix.
Teale, though, hopes to rapidly lift the ailing club and underline his credentials, despite facing a daunting first game in charge away to Celtic on Sunday.
‘I would never have expected to get this opportunity,’ said the 36-year-old ex-Scotland international. ‘It’s something I want to do in the future so sometimes when opportunities arise you have to seize them with both hands. (Mail)
Rangers forced into U-turn over Charlie Telfer saga
Rangers have been forced into a U-turn over their claim Dundee United used the new club argument in the Charlie Telfer tribunal.
United were forced to pay the Ibrox outfit £204,000 for the promising youngster by a panel today.
Rangers had earlier put up a statement on their website that the Premiership outfit had failed to convince the panel they were only due to cough up two years’ development fee because that’s only how long the Glasgow club had been in existence.
But after a lawyer representing United had forced Rangers to pull it off their website a new, shorter statement was put up - with no mention of the new club claim.
A United source told Record Sport: “The club were raging at Rangers perpetuating this myth.
“It was and always has been totally inaccurate and the fact that they acted so quickly to change their statement acknowledges that.”
The original Rangers statement read: “Dundee United introduced a late argument stating Rangers should only be awarded compensation for the training and development of Charlie Telfer for two years instead of the 10 years that he was with the Club.
“They argued the club in its current form has only existed for two years.
“It is disappointing Dundee United tried to pursue this tiresome, legally incorrect and provocative argument given that it has been repeatedly confirmed by the football authorities in Scotland and beyond that administration and liquidation of the companies that owned the Club did not break the continuity of the club’s history or its record of honours won.”
However, after being contacted by United’s lawyer, the new statement simply said: “Rangers has received today the decision of the SPFL Compensation Tribunal and are content with the fee Dundee United have been ordered to pay for the training and development of Charlie Telfer who was at the club for a period of 10 years.
The payment awarded, which was significantly higher than Dundee United’s final offer, vindicates the club’s decision to take the matter to a Compensation Tribunal.” (Record)
Stephen Thompson enraged by tribunal decision
Dundee United’s chairman says a decision to order his club to pay Rangers £170,000 for midfielder Charlie Telfer is a warning to parents of young players.
The final compensation figure, including VAT, is £204,000 and was decided by an SPFL tribunal at Hampden.
United, who were represented at the national stadium by chairman Stephen Thompson and their legal team, have already paid £60,000 plus VAT for Telfer and had raised their offer to £100,000.
In a hard-hitting statement after the SFA’s decision, Thompson said parents of all young Scottish players should “choose their clubs very, very carefully”.
He said: “Today’s decision is completely at odds with the stated aims of our football authorities in respect of encouraging our most promising young players to play first-team football at the highest level.
“It highlights the need for parents and young players to choose their clubs very, very carefully.
“Today’s judgment now sets a dangerous precedent that means some of our most promising young players will be deprived of the opportunity to secure a contract at a club where they have been offered a genuine firs- team opportunity and to improve their earnings purely because the compensation has been set at a ridiculously prohibitive level. (Courier)
Hibs step up talks with banks over the club’s future
Hibernian have described reports that they are in the process of negotiating a total debt write-off as “speculative” but admit that discussions regarding the long-term future of the Easter Road outfit are ongoing between the club, the holding company and the bank.
The club also announced that its annual general meeting will not be held until the end of next month while these negotiations continue.
It had been mooted that the club’s long-standing majority shareholder Sir Tom Farmer was close to securing an agreement with bankers that would wipe a significant chunk off their estimated £8 million debt and place the ground and the East Mains training ground into a Trust.
However, in a statement issued yesterday evening, the club refused to confirm that, saying that suggestions of a total debt write-off were “not based on fact”.
The revelations have been met by a mixed response, with many welcoming the promise of greater financial security and stating that any debt reduction would make the club more attractive to potential buyers. (Scotsman)
Cardiff City in hunt for Anthony Stokes
Cardiff City are reportedly attempting to prize Anthony Stokes away from Celtic with a £1.5 million offer.
The Welsh club are currently ninth in the English Championship having struggled to adapt to life in the second tier, and manager Russell Slade admitted at the weekend that they are interested in trying to improve the squad in January. (Scotsman)
Peterborough interested in Billy McKay
Peterborough United are believed to have renewed their interest in Inverness Caley Thistle striker Billy McKay.
Reports in today’s (December 9) Express newspaper suggest Posh will try and sign the Northern Ireland international forward during the January transfer window after failing to capture the same player 12 months ago.
McKay was at Leicester as a youth team player before joining Northampton Town. The 26 year-old made 94 appearances for Cobblers in a two-year spell, scoring 16 goals before joining Inverness in 2011.
McKay has scored five goals in 20 appearances in the Scottish Premier Division this season to help his club into second place. He scored 22 goals for the club at the same level last season. (Peterborough Telegraph)
Paul Hartley disappointed by his defence
Dundee boss Paul Hartley has admitted he found it hard to make a case for his defence last weekend.
But, with a trip to top-six Hamilton on the horizon, he’s calling for them to make significant improvements.
The manager was deeply disappointed by the way his back four defended against Inverness.
He said: “Against Inverness we didn’t defend well, We didn’t stop the crosses coming into the box.
“For me, Inverness didn’t have to work hard enough for the goals they got. From our point of view, they were two very poor goals to concede.
“It’s a tough game this week. We didn’t play well enough and we know we need to improve on that at Hamilton. (Dundee Telegraph)
Owen Coyle takes job in MLS with Houston Dynamo
Owen Coyle vowed yesterday to buck the trend of foreign managers failing to match the success-rate of imported players in the United States, as he took over at Houston Dynamo.
The Glaswegian was unveiled at press conference, squinting into the Texas sunshine after signing a three-year deal with the MLS club, to replace iconic predecessor Dominic Kinnear and become only the second manager in Dynamo’s short history.
News in brief:
• Livingston fear third administration could kill the club for good. (Record)
• Victor Wanyama says he misses Celtic Euro nights. (Record)
• Teemu Pukki wants to make his move to Brondby permanent. (Record)
• Canadian kid Dylan Carreiro has rejoined Dundee and bid for a first team place. (Express)