FORMER team-mates of murdered ex-Rangers player Arnold Peralta pay tribute; Nir Bitton slams “crazy” Celtic exit rumours; James Tavernier relishing chance to change up game, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Ann Budge won’t be silenced over League Cup criticism
Ann Budge says she has been frustrated by the fallout from her remarks about the SPFL’s revamp of the League Cup but the Hearts owner says she will not be silenced.
A successful businesswoman, she attracted publicity this week when she condemned the lack of consultation with member clubs about the radical overhaul of the the knockout competition.
“Some things need to be said. That’s my view,” Budge said yesterday. “I don’t think it’s appropriate that people should complain about things in private or between themselves, but not be prepared to say ‘I think this is wrong’.” (Scotsman)
Former team-mates pay tribute to murdered ex-Rangers player Arnold Peralta
Arnold Peralta’s former Rangers team-mates have paid tribute to the Honduran, who was shot dead in his home country on Thursday.
“It’s is so horrendous. I just couldn’t take the news in when I heard. What a waste,” Ross County’s Ricky Forster said of Peralta’s murder. “Arnie didn’t speak a lot of English but he was quite a funny guy. Bilel Mohsni spoke Spanish so he became his unofficial interpreter and they would be regularly laughing and joking.” Former Rangers manager Ally McCoist also told the Sun: “It is heartbreaking for all concerned and right now I am really struggling to take it all in.” Rangers will hold a minute’s silence for the player before today’s match with Morton. (Scotsman, Scottish Sun)
Rangers don’t need plan B, but I might – James Tavernier
James Tavernier has admitted he is being forced to seek new ways to maintain his status as one of Rangers’ most potent attacking weapons.
Tavernier was the undoubted star of Rangers’ prolific early-season form as he scored nine goals in his first 14 appearances.
“I don’t believe we need a plan B,” said Tavernier. “When we lost to Hibs a few weeks ago, we still dominated the ball and it was just down to us not taking chances. If we’d done that, it would have been a different story.”
“As far as my own game goes, I have noticed that people have tried to stop me more when I get on the ball. They have been closing me down and doubling up on me. That gives me something different to think about it and I like it.” (Scotsman)
I’m going nowhere, says Celtic’s Nir Bitton
Israeli midfielder Nir Bitton has called speculation linking him away from Celtic as “crazy”. Remarks by his agent on an Israeli radio station suggested the player was unsettled at Parkhead and pined for a move to the English Premier League, but Bitton has quashed such talk.
After his agent retracted his remarks, he said: “There has been a lot of speculation about me in the last days but I don’t care. Everybody can say what they want – I have no control over that. All I care about is Celtic.” (Daily Mail)
Celtic tell fans to name flare offenders
Celtic have pleaded with supporters to name and shame fans who set of flares against Fenerbahce last Thursday as Uefa drag Celtic through a third disciplinary procedure in the space of a year. Four flares were lit in the away end of Fenerbahce’s ground during the game, which finished 1-1. Celtic face a fine of up to £40,000, as well as partial closure of Celtic Park for European ties. (Daily Record)