Rumour Mill: BBC slams Rangers over ‘trial by Sportscene’ claim | Celtic and Rangers eye Irish youngster | Kilmarnock blast Celtic fans |

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BBC hit back at Rangers over ‘trial by Sportscene claim’

BBC Scotland has insisted its football coverage and analysis is editorially fair after Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson claimed the broadcaster “vilified” striker Alfredo Morelos.

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Robertson appeared to suggest that incidents involving Rangers players are highlighted more than others on TV highlights show Sportscene and claimed the coverage was influencing decisions made by SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte.

Despite being banned from Ibrox, the BBC claim their coverage is editorially fair, following claims made by Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson. Picture: SNS Group

BBC Scotland said: “The central part of this dispute is that Rangers is continuing to operate an exceptional ban of one of our journalists. Our coverage, including analysis and comment, is editorially fair.” (Various)

Old Firm battle for Irish starlet

Celtic are keen on Sligo Rovers defender John Mahon but may face competition from Glasgow rivals Rangers.

Hoops scouts have monitored the 19-year-old centre-back since last season, and representatives ran the rule over the teenager in Friday’s 1-1 draw with Dundalk.

Derby and Blackburn are also reportedly interested as Celtic look to step up their interest in the Republic of Ireland Under-21 cap. (Daily Express)

Killie bill Celtic over Rugby Park damage

Kilmarnock have reacted with “dismay” to the behaviour of Celtic supporters during Sunday’s game at Rugby Park after Kris Boyd was struck by a missile and other players were “confronted” on the pitch.

Boyd, a substitute for Killie, was hit in the arm with a coin as he warmed up during his side’s 1-0 Ladbrokes Premiership defeat.

A number of Celtic fans spilled out of the stand to celebrate a late winner while photos of damaged seats emerged after the game. Kilmarnock said last night they fully expect Celtic to foot the bill for the seats. (The Scotsman)

Hartson slams ‘lack of action’ from SPFL on abuse

John Hartson believes a lack of action from the football authorities has led to supporters’ abuse of players becoming an accepted part of the Scottish game.

The ex-Celtic striker was speaking after Kilmarnock’s Kris Boyd was hit by a coin and a target for sectarian abuse from a section of the away support while warming up at Rugby Park on Sunday.

Police have confirmed a probe is under way but Hartson said: “In Scotland, it’s almost accepted, isn’t it? The SPFL don’t do anything about it. They haven’t taken any action for years.” (The Scotsman)

Naisy opens up on MLS link

Hearts forward Steven Naismith admits he is seriously considering a once-in-a-lifetime move to the United States.

“I’ve not given myself a deadline,” said. Naismith. “I’m realistic that I can’t drag the a*se out of it too much. But I’ll take as much time as I need. I’m not actively looking to find a move to there,” he added. 
“It’s more that at this stage of my career I don’t think there’s going to be another opportunity to do it. “It’s whether you want it or not rather than ‘this club is in for me and I want to go’. That’s the decision I’ve got to make really. I’d say it’s probably the toughest one I’ve had to make in my career.” (The Scotsman)

10,000 Hoops fans set for Valencia jaunt

Valencia is preparing for an invasion of around 10,000 Celtic fans on Thursday.

Despite trailing 2-0 from the first-leg of the Europa League last-32 tie, Brendan Rodgers’ men are going to be backed by thousands of supporters hoping to see the club pull off a shock away result in Europe.

Officially, only 2,500 Celtic fans will be in the Mestalla on Thursday evening as that was the allocation awarded to the club by Valencia. Unsurprisingly those tickets were snapped up despite being priced at €85. (The Scotsman)