Rumour Mill: Roy Hodgson | Marseille eye Guidetti
Roy Hodgson apologises for English fans’ anti-IRA chants
England manager Roy Hodgson insists the Football Association is sorry for any offence caused by sections of the away support singing anti-IRA songs during Tuesday night’s 3-1 friendly win against Scotland in Glasgow.
Many of the 5,000 England supporters sang foul-mouthed anti-IRA songs while the England supporters’ band played Follow England Away, a song it regularly performs during Three Lions matches. The England fans sang “F*** the IRA” on several occasions during the Celtic Park encounter and, in the first half, an FA official contacted the band to ask it to stop playing the song because it was inadvertently providing the tune for the offensive chant.
Hodgson was unaware of the song, but apologised for any offence on behalf of the FA, who could take further action particularly when England are due to play in Dublin next June.
He said: “I was aware the crowd were tremendously supportive. I didn’t have a clue what they were chanting.
“I don’t condone it. If anyone was offended, I’m sure the FA would like to apologise to them.” (Scotsman)
Craig Whyte to return to face fraud allegations as Charles Green’s takeover is investigated
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding Charles Green’s takeover at Rangers. It was confirmed last night that they are to probe the background to Mr Green’s Sevco consortium buying the club’s assets, for £5.5m in 2012. The move follows a separate inquiry into Craig Whyte’s alleged fraudulent takeover in May 2011.
Whyte, who is being investigated by the police, vowed last night to return to the UK next month - and assist officers looking into his takeover of the club. Though his current whereabouts are unclear, the former Rangers owner said: I will return to Britain at the beginning of December and hand myself in for questioning.” Earlier his spokesman insisted Whyte had “no intention of avoiding his responsibilities” and intends to help police. (Various)
Marseille eye up move for John Guidetti
French giants Marseille have joined the chase for Celtic loan star John Guidetti.
The 22-year-old Swede’s sensational scoring run for the Hoops has alerted scouts from all over the continent ahead of the January transfer window.
The Manchester City ace, who has hit nine goals in 10 games since arriving at Celtic in August on a one-year loan, is out of contract at the end of the season and is in line for a Sweden call-up for the forthcoming match against France.
Guidetti had a £25million buy-out clause in his deal at City in 2012 but may be available for £5m in January.
Marseille sent scouts to watch him net the winner in the 1-0 victory against Inverness last month and sent an impressive report to boss Marcelo Bielsa.
Guidetti is in no rush to make any decisions and has not ruled out staying at Parkhead, saying: “There is no better feeling than scoring in front of 50,000 people.” (Record)
David Somers sparks war of words with Dave King
Rangers chairman David Somers yesterday claimed the club accepted Mike Ashley’s quick fix loan because David King refused to prove had the finances or reveal his backers. He said: “We had three people offering us funds and I felt it was very important we do proper due diligence on all three. In the past Rangers have perhaps done deals they wouldn’t have done if they had done proper due diligence. Where the King offer fell down was really stage one. When I said to all three of these people, ‘Would you show me proof of funds. The consortium did not. The second question for the consortium was, ‘I know there are eight of you. I only know three of you. Can I please have the other five names?’ And the message I was getting all the time was ‘if you agree to do the deal.’ It wasn’t meeting the due diligence requirements I can’t put my hand on my heart and say, ‘These guys have the money.’”
Responding to the claims from his base in South Africa, Dave King hit back at the claims: “We had private discussions with both Graham Wallace and Sandy Easdale in which we told them that we would immediately provide proof of funding and details of the full make-up of the consortium following confirmation from Sandy Easdale that the shareholders whom he represents were prepared to support the terms of our investment proposal in principle.
“Sandy Easdale agreed to proceed on this basis. Unfortunately he was not then able to provide the confirmation we asked for. There was no possibility of proceeding any further without the support of Sandy Easdale’s group who had the power to block our proposed investment.” (Record)
Hugh Dallas has stepped down as head of referees in Greece
Hugh Dallas has stepped down as head of referees in Greek football. The Hellenic football federation (EPO) made the announcement four days after matches were suspended indefinitely in the domestic league following an attack on an official.
Dallas, who was sacked from a similar role in Scotland after a scandal that so him send offensive emails about the Catholic church, was appointed head of Greece’s Central refereeing committee (KED) in the close season, He will remain as head of training but has asked not to be responsible for referee appointments after Cristoforos Zografos, assistant director at KED was admitted to hospital following a violent attack. (Herald)
Jesus Garcia Tena isn’t fazed by Hamilton’s dip in form
Hamilton defender Jesus Garcia Tena is eager to rediscover that winning formula when Tommy Craig’s side head to New Douglas Park this weekend.
He said: “Maybe we could have got a draw at Inverness but we need to keep our heads up and keep working.
“You can’t win every game. Even the best teams in the world lose games if they haven’t played well.
“It is about how we react and we will work on every aspect and try to win the next game.
“I don’t think we have deserved these results, I think we have been playing really well.
“When we play at home, we look to win every game. It doesn’t matter who we are playing against. After losing to Inverness, it is important to get three points in the next game.” (Evening Telegraph)
Paul Hartley to make changes for Celtic game
Dundee boss Paul Hartley has revealed he is considering shuffling his pack for the trip to Celtic Park.
Hartley said: “I think we have to look at every game differently.
“We are not stupid — we know we are playing a tough game against a very good team who are the league leaders.
“We have to look at how we approach the game and figure out a way we can go and get a positive result.
“The personnel will be discussed this week. There might be a few changes we have to make.”
Hinting it may be Thomson who returns to armband duty this week, the gaffer added: “Thommo has been great for us.
“We have a lot of players in midfield, so we have choices to make in that area.” (Evening Telegraph)
News in brief:
• Aberdeen striker Declan McManus made his first start for the Scotland U21s in Switzerland. (afc.co.uk)
• Dundee United have lined up plastic pitch specialists SIS Pitches to install a new £300,000 surface at Gussie Park. (Evening Telegraph)