Opinion

Sport Opinion

What each Scottish Premiership side must do in the transfer window

Joel Sked looks at each of the 12 top flight clubs and where their transfer business needs to be concentrated.

Premiership
Finn Russell joins a group of friends following his Lions appearance yesterday, but his debut was a brief one. Picture: David Gibson/Fotosport.

Duncan Smith: Shabby treatment of Finn Russell damages Lions brand

Finn Russell is a glass half full kind of guy and there will be part of him revelling in the fact that yesterday he became the 835th man to don the famous red jersey of the British and Irish Lions.

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Greg Stewart after completing his move to Aberdeen. Picture: SNS

What Aberdeen are getting in ex-Dundee star Greg Stewart

Aberdeen have completed the signing of 27-year-old Greg Stewart on a season-long loan from Birmingham City. Craig Fowler gives his take on the deal.

Aberdeen 1
Comment: Why golf can be such a bloody stupid game

Comment: Why golf can be such a bloody stupid game

Golf, eh. Great game but sometimes so bloody 
stupid that you feel like crying out in frustration. If you don’t agree, then just consider this scenario because it just about sums up why golf can be difficult to enjoy at times.

Golf 3
Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy are both playing at Dundonald. Picture: Getty.

Martin Dempster: Scottish fans must support world-class fields

Right then, it’s time for Scottish golf fans to be getting off their backsides and showing support for an upcoming run of events that 
simply can’t be taken for granted and shame on anyone who thinks otherwise.

Golf 2
Finn Russell's charge-down try against Australia in Sydney was impressive. Picture: David Gibson/Fotosport

Allan Massie: Sydney tries illustrated Scotland’s class

It was Twickenham, either 2001 or 2003. I forget which but England ran up 40 points on both occasions, scoring altogether a dozen tries to Scotland’s none. In one of the matches we had almost all the ball for the first ten minutes or quarter of an hour. A few days later Chris Paterson said he thought England were happy with that. “They like to let you have possession early just to prove you can’t do anything with it.” Scotland didn’t, I assume, take the field in Sydney with that attitude. Yet they might have done so. Overall, according to the official statistics, Australia had 59 per cent of possession and 70 per cent of territory, but still lost. More to the point the first two Scottish tries came when Australia had secured possession.

Rugby union
Ann Budge and Hearts were not best pleased with the fixture list announcement. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Six biggest gripes with the 2017/18 Premiership fixture list

Today saw the release of the Ladbrokes Premiership fixture list for the 2017/18 season. When the SPFL makes the announcement, or any announcement in fact, it’s usually met with widespread derision from the fans of Scottish football. We love our football in this country, and we love moaning about it even more.

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Hibs and Rangers will meet on the second weekend of the season for the first time since the 2016 Scottish Cup final. Picture: Neil Hanna

9 tasty encounters in the 2017/18 Scottish Premiership

After the fixture list was announced by the SPFL earlier today, we look at nine of the most keenly anticipated matches in the opening months of the new Ladbrokes Premiership season.

Premiership 1
It remains to be seen how much of a say Mark Allen will have in player recruitment. Picture: SNS

What will director of football Mark Allen bring to Rangers?

Rangers have finally found a director of football after announcing Mark Allen has joined the Ibrox club. Here we look at six key questions regarding the hiring.

Rangers 15
Lionel Messi turns 30 this weekend and is yet to emulate the achievements of Diego Maradona with Argentina. Picture: Getty Images

Alan Pattullo: Messi still playing in Maradona’s shadow

When asked in 
China, where they are apparently building a Lionel Messi theme park, of all things, what it means to shortly turn 30, the man himself replied: “It means I was born thirty years ago”.

Football
Rafal Grzelak, right, with youngster Rory Currie in Hearts training. Picture: SNS

Four things Hearts fans should know about Rafal Grzelak

Last week, Hearts agreed to sign free agent Rafal Grzelak on a two-year-deal. Here, Craig Fowler gives some insight into the Polish arrival.

Hearts 14
Ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll currently plays for Linfield. Picture: SNS

Five things Celtic fans should know about Linfield

Barring a first-round upset, Celtic will meet Linfield in the second qualifying round of the Champions League. Here’s everything you need to know about the Northern Irish champions...

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Blane Dodds, chief executive of Scottish Golf, which faces  a cut in funding from the National Lottery and the Scottish Government in his first year at the helm. Picture: Contributed

Martin Dempster: Funding blow can renew hunger in Scottish golf

So, Scottish Golf has been hit with a serious blow after sportscotland slashed its investment in the governing body by more than a third for 2017-18.
According to a report, which hasn’t been denied, that source of funding has been reduced from £1,025,000 in 2016-17 to just £665,000. That is quite a headache for Blane Dodds in his first full year at the Scottish Golf helm, but it has come as no surprise.

Golf
In rejecting Sunderland, Derek McInnes may have been feeling loyal to the players he would have left behind. Picture: SNS.

Craig Fowler: Derek McInnes’ loyalty bucks trend in Scotland

Derek McInnes’ decision to turn down Sunderland, an English club which has spent the past ten years in the Premier League and whose team regularly play in front of 40,000-plus crowds, to stay at Aberdeen is almost unprecedented in today’s Scottish football landscape. A world in which the manager of Hearts leaves for the riches of MK Dons, the Hibs boss to the lure of Rotherham, and the Kilmarnock gaffer to Bury, a club which your average fan only recognises through fixed-odds lists and Gillette Soccer Saturday.

Aberdeen 7
The 1979 Scottish Cup final between Hibs and Rangers was replayed twice  those days are now long gone.  Photograph: Allan Milligan

Aidan Smith: We don’t need sport to be speeded up

Unable to comprehend that the football season was in fact over, my monomaniac of a son demanded that I scour the telly schedules for a match, any match – “Come on, Dad, there must be a game somewhere.”

Tennis 3
Jonny Hayes celebrates after scoring against in the Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS

What Celtic are getting in Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes

Celtic have completed a deal for the Irish international worth £1.3million. Here’s Craig Fowler’s take on the transfer

Celtic 5
Scotland talents such as Ben Toolis, Zander Fagerson, Gordon Reid and WP Nel have been adding to the competition for places. Picture: Fotosport/David Gibson

Allan Massie: Strength in depth – a new quality for Scotland

Writing this column, perforce, on Friday means that there is little point in saying much about matches played at dawn or breakfast time on Saturday. Nevertheless a few remarks about the Scotland XV that will have started against Australia may not be out of place.

Scotland 3
Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor has been the poster boy for the UFC since his octagon debut in 2013. Picture: Julio Cortez/AP

Comment: UFC veering from noble, bloody path with cash grab

It’s official, the moment would-be martial arts experts in “Tapout” shirts everywhere have been waiting for has arrived, the fight is on.

Boxing
Dundee's new signing Scott Allan. Picture: SNS

What Dundee will be getting in Celtic midfielder Scott Allan

Dundee completed the signing of the 25-year-old on a season-long loan from Celtic yesterday. Here’s what Craig Fowler thinks of the transfer

Premiership 4
Striker Jason Cummings has been a 20-goal-a-season man for Hibs for the past two years. Picture: Jane Barlow

What would Nottingham Forest get in Jason Cummings?

In the feverish speculation over the future of Hibernian’s top goalscorer there’s been one headline which will irk the player. Knowing that its readers will have become a bit sketchy about Scottish football since Kenny Burns and the three Johns – Robertson, McGovern and O’Hare – starred for Forest, the Nottingham Post posed a question on their behalf: “Who is Jason Cummings?”

Football 4
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