Rumour Mill: Hearts | Samaras | Celtic | Mohsni

Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni. Picture: SNSRangers defender Bilel Mohsni. Picture: SNS
Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni. Picture: SNS
HEARTS strike deal to drive them out of administration, but takeover must be done ‘before money runs out’; Paul Hartley tipped for Dundee job after John Brown exit; “bang them up”, urges Kenny Dalglish of fans who abused Neil Lennon, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip

Deal secures Hearts’ future, but cash may run out

Hearts’ future has effectively been secured after majority shareholder Ubig agreed to sell their stake to the Foundation of Hearts.

But now BDO administrator Bryan Jackson is facing a race against time to complete the fans group’s takeover before the club runs out of money.

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The transfer of fallen Lithuanian investment company Ubig’s 78.97 per cent stake for a five-figure fee is regarded as the last major hurdle in a complex process to save the 140-year-old institution. Would-be owners the Foundation, who are backed by over 7,600 fans making monthly donations, had already agreed to buy secured creditor Ukio Bankas’ 29.9 per cent shareholding for £2.5 million. (Scotsman)

Paul Hartley tipped for Dundee after Brown exit

Dundee are set to name yet another new manager after parting ways with John Brown yesterday.

The out-of-work Paul Hartley features high on the list of candidates after growing fans’ discontent saw Brown exit the Dens Park club. Hartley could be installed as early as today.

The news of Brown’s departure by what is described as “mutual agreement” comes after Hartley’s old club Alloa Athletic secured a point in a 1-1 draw against Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday with a goal scored with the very last kick of the game.

It is the fourth time since 1998 that Dundee have dispensed with a manager while the team is sitting at or very near the top of the First Division. (Scotsman)

Ally McCoist reads riot act to Bilel Mohsni after red card

Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni has been warned by Ally McCoist about his temperament after being sent off twice in the space of a month.

Mohsni was given his marching orders after picking up a second caution in Rangers’ 2-1 win against Brechin. Team-mate Nicky Clark, though careful not to criticise Mohsni, admitted the sending off had made it harder for Rangers to close out the game.

McCoist said: “I was very angry and disappointed on Saturday. Bilel knew that and the sending-off was silly and needless. It put us under a little bit of pressure.

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“We had a good chat about it this morning and he’s in total agreement with the sending-off, as you would expect. It was a silly thing to do but we move on.” (Daily Record)

Kenny Dalglish backs Neil Lennon over stadium abuse

KENNY Dalglish has backed the Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, to shrug off his latest brush with supporter abuse and entrust the authorities to convict the men who targeted him at Tynecastle last weekend and “let them suffer” in prison.

Lennon has been no stranger to threats as a high-profile Celtic player and manager and former Northern Ireland international. His agent Martin Reilly claimed he was spat on by Aberdeen fans while watching the League Cup semi-final from a seat in the stands, but Lennon himself said he did not believe there was a sectarian undertone to the incident, and attributed the abuse to fans who had over-indulged in alcohol.

When it was put to him that Lennon might eventually be so sickened by being singled out for abuse by fans of rival clubs that it might drive him out of Scotland, Dalglish said: “I don’t think it will come to that, because the people who organise the security at the grounds will have the video to identify the culprits, get them in, bang them up, let them suffer. It’s in their hands more than anybody else’s.” (Scotsman)

Georgios Samaras still in Celtic plans, says Lennon

Neil Lennon has insisted that Georgios Samaras remains in his plans despite long-running speculation about his future.

Samaras, who was linked to Atletico Madrid, West Ham, Trabzponspor and a host of other clubs in January, has yet to sign a new deal despite having less than six months left of his contract.

Lennon said: “He is still in my plans. He was in the squad on Sunday. I felt we were on top in the game so we didn’t need to utilise him.

“I had a chat with him before the game so he knows where I am with him and he is the same. Maybe talks will start up again in the next week or so.” (Evening Times)

Inverness to appeal Meekings red card

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INVERNESS Caledonian Thistle last night confirmed they will appeal the red card issued to defender Josh Meekings in Sunday’s heroic League Cup semi-final victory over Hearts at Easter Road with a SFA tribunal expected on Thursday.

Despite euphoria at reaching the club’s first major final, manager John Hughes raised doubts over both red cards in the immediate aftermath of the dramatic victory. Now he and club chairman Kenny Cameron have decided the dismissal of Meekings, who tripped Hearts midfielder Scott Robinson, is worthy of an appeal.

Hughes said: “I don’t think Gary Warren’s first one was a booking. The second one was even worse. And is Josh Meekings’ a red card? All he has done is tripped him.” (Scotsman)