Rumour Mill: Celtic | Rangers-Hearts | Handling

Robbie Neilson has stirred the pot ahead of Hearts league opener at Ibrox. Picture: John Devlin
Robbie Neilson has stirred the pot ahead of Hearts league opener at Ibrox. Picture: John Devlin
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CELTIC could be handed a Champions League reprieve after it emerged that Legia Warsaw may have brought on an ineligible player in the dying minutes of Wednesday night’s win at Murrayfield.

Bartosz Bereszynski, the player in question, received a three-game suspension from European football at the end of last season’s Europa League.

Legia thought he’d served his punishment after sitting out the first three games of this campaign, though it has since been alleged that the player was not registered in time for the previous round tie against St Patrick’s.

Should Legia be found guilty they could be thrown out of Europe or handed an automatic 3-0 defeat from the offending game, which would alter the aggregate score to 4-4 with Celtic advancing on away goals.

However, there is a precedent from 2010 where Debrecen fielded an ineligible player in similar circumstances and were let off with a £15,000 fine. (The Scotsman)

Rangers-Hearts Mind Games

Rangers manager Ally McCoist and full-back Richard Foster have both shrugged off any notion of impartiality after Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson revealed that the Tynecastle club have been training with ten men ahead of their visit to Ibrox this Sunday.

McCoist said he relishes these sort of mind games with his opposite number.

Neilson, for his part, reasoned that he wants to be ready for every possibility. Hearts have suffered three red cards in their last six trips to Govan.

The Hearts boss did opinion that everyone, including referees, can be influenced by the Ibrox crowd.

Foster, having travelled to Ibrox many a time as an opposing player with Aberdeen, joined his manager in dismissing the perception. (The Herald)

HMRC to appeal ‘big tax case’

HMRC are ready to launch an appeal after Scottish judge Lord Doherty decided to uphold a tribunal’s ruling in favour of Oldco Rangers over the ‘big tax case’.

The tax office does not believe that Employee Benefit Trusts constituted a legitimate means of tax avoidance, citing a success rate of 80% in other cases.

The current Rangers regime will not be affected by any final outcome. HMRC believe their fight represents “an important principle”. (The Scotsman)

Handling available for derby clash

Alan Stubbs has revealed that the club’s decision not to appeal the red card of Danny Handling was made to ensure the attacker plays in next week’s Edinburgh derby.

Handling, who was shown a straight red card against Rangers on Tuesday night, shall be suspended for this weekend’s home opener against Livingston and the first round of next year’s Petrofac Training Cup.

If Hibs had appealed the decision it is likely that the panel would not have met until next week and an unsatisfactory outcome for Hibs would have saw their player ruled out of the match at Tynecastle. (The Scotsman)

United ready for early season challenge

Jackie McNamara is happy for Dundee United to face each of the top three in his side’s first three league games this campaign.

Last season’s Scottish Cup finalists begin their season against Aberdeen before meeting Celtic and Motherwell in successive games.

The top three is where United have set their ambitions and McNamara recognises the need to perform in these matches regardless of when they occur. (The Herald)

News in brief

St Johnstone have given striker Stevie May permission to speak to Rotherham United. The striker, who scored in last night’s Europa League exit to Spartak Trnava, will meet with the English Championship club today. (BBC)

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has praised the way his side approach the second leg of their Europa League clash with Real Sociedad despite losing the match 3-2 (exiting 5-2 on aggregate). (BBC)

Tommy Wright has admitted St Johnstone didn’t create enough chances in the second half as they looked to overhaul a 2-1 first leg deficit against Spartak Trnava. (BBC)

Former Hibs under-20s midfielder Euan Smith has signed for Kilmarnock after impressing on trial. (Grapevine)