Harkins returns to Dundee and could face former club
DUNDEE have secured the return of Gary Harkins from Kilmarnock. The Clydesdale Bank Premier League club announced they had signed the midfielder for an undisclosed fee.
Harkins had fallen out of favour at Rugby Park and had not played since a 1-1 draw with Hibernian on 23 December.
The 28-year-old spent two seasons at Dens Park before joining Kilmarnock in June 2011.
Harkins could now feature against his old club when they visit Tayside today.
Despite the threat of relegation for the SPL’s bottom side, Dundee boss Barry Smith earlier argued Dundee were still a “great club to play football for”.
He said: “The bonus is that we are in the SPL. I think players should want to come here to a club that is run properly now, given all the problems we have had in the past.
“It is a tight ship now, we are living within our means and that is the way forward for us.
“We want to bring guys in who are hungry to do well here and to make sure that we stay in this league, players who bring in quality but who also have that fight and desire to do well for Dundee.”
Meanwhile, Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels insists suggestions the Scottish Football Association will hit him with yet another touchline ban are “ridiculous”.
The Northern Irishman landed a four-match punishment on Thursday after claiming fourth official Andrew Dallas had “fabricated evidence” against him after he was sent to the stand during a match with St Johnstone in November, but reports claim he could now be in hot water again after Hampden compliance officer Vince Lunny took exception to comments he made in a newspaper column.
The Rugby Park manager confirmed he had been asked to explain his words, but insists he has nothing to worry about. Shiels said: “It is frustrating for me. In my New Year’s Day column, they asked me what were my wishes for 2013, and I replied by saying impartiality and a level playing field, for the league table to become tight and that it was going very well at the minute because there is little between the teams.
“Now they want me to explain that. I got the notification through last week, but I think we know it’s not going to be another hearing or a ban because it is ridiculous asking me to explain that. You guys now have to draw your own conclusions whether I am being victimised or not. I can’t say that.”
Shiels also refused to back down in his row with Dallas. SFA rules did not require the SPL referee to attend Thursday’s Hampden hearing, but Shiels, who was handed a two-match ban plus a further two-game sanction that had been suspended from a previous offence, suggested the fact he didn’t appear now pours doubt on his version of events. He said: “It has come out in the press, but it is most important that we put it in its proper detail. I was summoned to go and explain why I said what I did – that the fourth official fabricated evidence to incriminate me.
“So my solicitor summoned the fourth official to come and defend himself. I wanted that opportunity to show the panel that what I said was 100 per cent true, that he had fabricated evidence. He refused to come to the tribunal. I thought that would have influenced the panel to say, ‘Well, there must be truth in this’. That was noted by his absence. The leniency of how they punished me sends out the suggestion I was telling the truth. I was telling the truth.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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