Rumour Mill: Derek Llambias | Ally McCoist | Tonev

RANGERS manager Ally McCoist will work the remainder of his 12-month notice period; Celtic will keep Aleksander Tonev despite racism ban; Derek Llambias takes over at Rangers on half of predecessor’s salary, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip

Rangers' new chief executive Derek Llambias. Picture: PA

Ally McCoist prepared to work 12-month notice

Ally McCoist has admitted to a sense of relief that his time as Rangers manager is coming to an end – but remains prepared to see out the full 12 months of his notice period.

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Speaking for the first time since it was confirmed he had tendered his resignation last week, McCoist described it as the hardest decision of his career but also insisted it is the right decision.

“The last three years or so has certainly been taxing and difficult at times. So the relief is probably there because I know I will definitely be able to spend time with my family and do things that I want to do myself.” (Scotsman)

Celtic to keep Aleksandar Tonev for rest of season

Celtic have decided that they will keep Aleksandar Tonev for the rest of the season, rather than sending the player back to Aston Villa in the wake of his ban for racial abuse.

The Bulgarian midfielder is on a season-long loan at the Scottish champions but manager Ronny Deila insisted yesterday that there is no reason to jettison Tonev after he was given a seven-match suspension for abusing Aberdeen’s Shay Logan.

He said: ““We are disappointed (with the SFA decision). It’s nothing new, it’s word against word. I don’t say anyone is lying. I just said we need more proof. It’s a hard and harsh decision to take, to say someone is a racist. It’s just in a word, that’s why we support him and believe him.” (Scotsman)

Derek Llambias on reduced wage as new Rangers CEO

New Rangers chief executive Derek Llambias will earn half the salary of his predecessor as the former Newcastle United managing director was confirmed in the role yesterday.

Llambias is a close ally of Mike Ashley and his appointment will strengthen the Newcastle United owner’s grip on the club. Llambias will be paid around £150,000, but is expected to bag a hefty bonus should Rangers perform on and off the the field.

“Ashley does not pay huge salaries,” a source said, “but he does reward success with bonuses that range into seven figures.” (The Herald)

Jackie McNamara blasts Paton spitting ban

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has hit out at the SFA, branding them a “pantomime” outfit after Paul Paton was slapped with a two-game ban with no grounds for appeal. Jonny Hayes, the alleged victim of Paton’s spitting, said Paton had done nothing wrong.

McNamara said: “We laughed about it being pantomime season just the other day and it’s proved to be the case.

He added: “If one of our players had spat on him I’d be the first to come down on them. Spitting is the worst thing you can do to someone.”

McNamara also said that Hayes and Derek McInnes “deserve a lot of credit” for defending Paton. (The Scottish Sun)


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Lee McCulloch: No excuses for Rangers now

Rangers captain Lee McCulloch has warned his team-mates that there is no more room for error in their quest to win the Scottish Championship title race.

McCulloch has said that Rangers could still catch up Hearts - by winning every game.

He said: “You wouldn’t think we have any margin for error now, with Hearts nine points ahead and having a game in hand.

“Can we win every game? It’s definitely possible. We have the players and the strength in depth.” (The Scottish Sun)

Special feature: When Scottish football played on Christmas Day

“Football isn’t played on Christmas Day anymore. It was an English tradition for a long time, no matter which day of the week was the 25th, with the clubs reversing the fixtures on Boxing Day for the turkey sandwich re-match.

“In Scotland there would only be games when Christmas was a Saturday, which at first glance might suggest that it was Christmas which was doing football a favour and every so often sprinkling glitter on it. But the opposite was true: football was the sacred thing, unbudgeable in the grand scheme.

“When Christmas came along, just happened to fall on that day of days, it had to abide by football’s rituals, fit round the three o’clock kick-off.” (Scotsman)


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