Rumour Mill: Celtic| Rangers| Hearts| Club mergers
Goodwin backs Lennon
Jim Goodwin is appealing on behalf of Neil Lennon, calling on the SFA to drop disciplinary action against the Celtic boss over alleged abusive behaviour.
Lennon was apparently overheard swearing at the St Mirren captain during Sunday’s match, and the SFA are looking to take further action.
But Goodwin insists it was a big deal, and thinks Lennon is being victimised.
“I cannot believe the way it’s been blown out of all proportion,” he said.
He added: “I did not feel he was being abusive at all despite that being the charge being levelled at him. I must admit, if I can do anything about it then I will. He’s been really hard done to.” (Various)
• Meanwhile Hibs boss Pat Fenlon says it would be crazy of the SFA to fine Neil Lennon for swearing. He says the exchange was little more than football banter, adding: “If we were punished for swearing on the touchline, there would be no one left.” (The Sun)
Idea to merge big clubs
A former chief executive is calling to merge a number of teams into ‘superclubs’ in order to save the Scottish game.
Ex-Aberdeen CE Dave Cormack says bringing teams together under one banner would help them compete at a higher level and make better use of resources.
His idea includes a plan to merge Dundee, United, Arbroath, Brechin, and Montrose into Tayside United - Raith, Dunfermline, and Cowdenbeath becoming a Fife superclub - and a new “Club Ecosse” created in Glasgow to compete with Rangers and Celtic.
“Would some of the bigger clubs dare to merge? To garner support and maximise affinity Club Ecosse could play home games across Scotland, renting Murrayfield, Hampden, and Pittodrie”, Cormack. (Daily Record)
Sandaza quiet over legal bid
Francisco Sandaza has yet to contact the PFA players’ union, despite the fact that he was thought to be seeking legal action over his dismissal by Rangers.
The Spaniard was the victim of a phone prank by a Celtic fan, who got the player to talk openly about his contract and his desire to move for more money. As a result, he was sacked by Rangers over a breach of contract. (Herald)
• Andy Goram has said keeper Neil Alexander is making a mistake by quitting rangers. (The Sun)
Locke looks north
Gary Locke will look to Ross County for inspiration as he looks to rebuild Hearts next season.
With Hearts currently second bottom of the SPL,they face County, who are fourth, despite having a much smaller budget.
Locke said: “Ross County have been fantastic and thoroughly deserve to be where they are.” (The Sun)
• Locke is keen to keep Liverpool’s on-loan defender at Tynecastle in a permanent move.
The 21-year-old is out of contract at Hearts at the end of the season. (Herald)
Butcher is the best
St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas says Terry Butcher should be manager of the year.
The Inverness manager has steered Caley to third in the SPL, and as the two side prepare to meet at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Lomas said: “For me, big terry is the manager of the year. What he has done there is miraculous. Inverness is a tough place to go to so we have to refocus for this game.” (Daily Record)