IN today’s Rumour Mill: Neil Lennon not looking to splash the Champions League cash; Arturas Rimkevicius to Hearts; Glasgow looking to host Euro 2020 final; Hibs to lose Griffiths; plus all the rest of today’s news and gossip.
Celtic Champions League windfall will help secure top stars
Neil Lennon has said he may not spend Celtic’s Champions League qualification money as he is confident the current squad is a match for any European opponents over two legs, and for fear of upsetting the harmony in the Parkhead dressing room. (Scotsman)
• Lennon believes the Champions League windfall, estimated to be in the region of £23 million, will help Celtic to hang on to some of their top stars by offering improved contract. Lennon is especially keen to keep hold of Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama who will be likely targets for English clubs come January. (Various)
• SPL clubs will not see any financial benefit from Celtic’s Champions League progression to the last 16. The SPL’s solidarity payments had risen after Celtic reached the group stages, but that’s as far as it will go. The news comes as a shock to some SPL clubs who had expected an increased windfall due to Celtic’s Champions League performance. (Herald)
Hearts hope Arturas Rimkevicius will ease striking worries
Arturas Rimkevicius is set to be unveiled at Tynecastle in the coming weeks. John McGlynn has been short of striking options but will have to wait until 23 December to add players to his squad as Hearts cannot register new players until that time after falling foul of the SPL following the late payment of staff wages.
29-year-old Rimkevicius was on trial at Hearts seven years ago and is currently a free agent, having left Lithuanian side FK Siauliai last month. (Scotsman)
More cuts on the cards at Tynecastle
The arrival may add some festive cheer at Hearts, but the club hierarchy are likely to cut more costs in the near future. After agreeing a deal to satisfy HMRC, Sergejus Fedotovas has indicated that more cuts and job losses will be on the horizon making it a bleak winter for McGlynn in Gorgie. (Record)
SPL and SFL teaming up in bid to revamp Scottish game
Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League are working together to move forward with a revamp of Scottish football. The SPL unanimously backed two top leagues of 12 which split into three divisions of eight after 22 games, with an 18-team bottom league below. (Various)
Walter Smith concerned about Scottish football’s future after Rangers turmoil
Rangers non-executive director Walter Smith has serious concerns for the Scottish football landscape after the turbulent year at Rangers. He said: “I ask myself what Rangers have done to deserve the reaction to the club’s financial difficulties.
“They are Scottish football. But instead of Scotland being grateful for Celtic and Rangers, there is an envy which has turned to dislike or even hatred of my club.
“I worry about the kind of bitter taste this is leaving in the mouths of the Rangers supporters because it can’t be good for Scottish football as a whole.” (Record)
• Smith claims it’s Dundee United’s fault thousands of Rangers supporters will stay away from Tannadice for the Scottish Cup clash between the two clubs. He believes United had it in for Rangers last summer and this is the price they have to pay. (The Sun)
Leigh Griffiths on his way back to Wolves
Hibernian look like they will lose out on Leigh Griffiths as Wolves look to recall their player from his current loan at Easter Road. Griffiths will return to the West Midlands club in January dashing any hopes of a permanent stay in Edinburgh. (Various)
Glasgow in the frame for Euro 2020 final
Scotland is looking to host the European Championships final after UEFA announced the 2020 tournament will be hosted continent wide across 13 cities.
The SFA will face opposition from England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland who are all looking to host the final. The FA will bid for Wembley to host a semi-final and the final. (Various)
Kenny Shiels has said suggestions that suspended defender Manuel Pascali would play against Celtic despite his ban was a wind up and the Italian will definitely not play. (The Sun)
Ross County are looking to extend goalkeeper Mark Brown’s deal until the end of the season, but Steven Craig is likely to make his current loan at Partick Thistle permanent as Ross County boss Derek Adams makes room for new arrivals. (Record)
St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas is hoping his talks with SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny will help him avoid a 16-game touchline ban. (Various)