Rumour Mill: Hearts | Kilmarnock | Gary Hooper
AN American firm could make a move for Hearts as Kevin Kyle says he’d go back to Tynecastle, Marie Macklin moves in to take control of Kilmarnock as Henning Berg linked with managerial post; and Gary Hooper could remain at Celtic.
Americans investors could save Hearts
A group of Americans could save Hearts according to insiders at the club, as the Tynecastle outfit revealed that there could be as many as six potential bidders for the stricken club, who were revealed today to be just days away from administration.
A Scandinavian group is also reportedly interested in buying Hearts, but any organisation looking to buy the Gorgie side will not be able to buy a controlling stake in the club due to the majority of club shares still lying with UBIG and Ukio Bankas, with the former’s assets already frozen by Lithuanian courts.
The Foundation of Hearts organisation are also planning to make a bid for the club.
Kyle: I’d go back to Hearts to help out Locke
Former Rangers striker Kevin Kyle could return to help out former teammate and friend Gary Locke, if he struggles to get players into Tynecastle. Kyle, who was released by Rangers during his recovery from a troublesome ankle injury, has been working on earning a coaching licence at the SFA centre in Largs, and has revealed he would ‘go back in a heartbeat’ if Locke needed cheap players - if Hearts are still going next season.
Kyle, who is nearing full fitness, added that he ‘hopes and prays’ that the club can be saved, saying: “Even if they end up in the Third Division like Rangers did, the only thing that really matters is that there is still a Heart of Midlothian football club.”
Marie Macklin in third Killie takeover bid
Property tycoon Marie Macklin could be set to launch a third bid for her hometown club in the wake of angry fans calling for Michael Johnston’s head. Ms Macklin has twice tried and failed to seize control of Kilmarnock, but has hinted that she is ready to wade in once more, saying: “I have indicated many times I won’t stand by and watch the demise of this great club.”
She even claimed she’d bring back Kenny Shiels as manager if she became majority shareholder, after the Northern Irishman got the boot from Kilmarnock last week.
Ms Macklin referred to Shiels as a ‘great ambassador for the club’ in a response to a question posed on Twitter, and revealed that she had made an offer for the club before - despite Johnston claiming he had received ‘no credible offers’ for the club.
Already a major shareholder, Ms Macklin - who heads up the Klin Group - could take advantage of Kilmarnock fans’ displeasure at the way chairman Michael Johnston has handled the club in recent years.
Berg backed for Rugby Park hotseat
Former Blackburn boss Henning Berg has received the backing of former teammate and Scotland striker Kevin Gallacher, should he land the vacant managerial position at Rugby Park. Berg, who also had a spell with Manchester United, has the ‘cool head’ needed to handle the Kilmarnock job according to Gallacher, and could battle it out with former Killie star Allan Johnston.
Speaking to The Sun, Gallacher revealed that the Norwegian ‘never seemed to get flustered’ as a footballer and felt he was harshly treated during his 57-day tenure as Ewood Park boss.
Hooper set for Celtic stay?
Gary Hooper could yet be at Celtic next season, despite offers for the striker coming in thick and fast. Hull City had a £5 million bid knocked back by Celtic, but the former Scunthorpe striker could open talks on a new contract at Parkhead.
The 25-year-old was the subject of no fewer than four failed bids from Norwich in January, and has already been linked with Reading, QPR and Nottingham Forest. However, Hooper could still be at Parkhead next season after keeping quiet about his future last year. Should Hooper fail to agree a new contract, potential suitors could open talks with the striker from January 2014 onwards.
Sandaza reveals Rangers boot anguish
Former Dundee United and St Johnstone striker Francisco Sandaza has admitted he has suffered a ‘horrible few months’ since Rangers sacked him for revealing details of his contract and expressing a desire to move to America in a hoax phone call. The Spaniard, who has returned to Madrid, is hopeful that an SFA judgement will rule in his favour, despite losing an internal appeal.
The then Rangers chief executive Charles Green axed the striker, saving £1.2 million in wages, and Sandaza has admitted that he isn’t clear what his future holds. Speaking to The Sun, he said he ‘can’t do anything’ and has been working on his fitness.
The Spaniard added: “I just want to get back to playing football, but I don’t think the club were right to sack me.
“Things are still in the hands of the lawyers and I will have to wait for them to decide.”
Amido Balde ‘can’t wait’ for Celtic’s European nights
New Celtic striker Amido Balde has revealed his desire to be a part of Celtic’s future European adventures - by claiming he’ll score the goals to take the Parkhead side to the Champions League knockout stages for a second successive season.
The towering striker spoke of his admiration at Celtic’s stunning victory over Barcelona, adding: “I believe [Celtic] can do it. We did it last season and then qualified from the group we were in, which was very difficult with Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow.
“Celtic beat Barcelona in Scotland. That proves to me what a big club they are and what they are capable of.”
Jimmy Nicholl joins Hibernian as assistant manager
Former Kilmarnock assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl has been appointed assistant manager of Hibs, filling the vacant role left empty since Billy Brown’s departure last season. Liam O’Brien will focus on his role as first team coach, having assumed assistant boss responsibilities following Brown’s departure.
Dunfermline administrator: League reconstruction a boon for Pars
Dunfermline will benefit from league reconstruction according to their administrator - but only if they survive the summer. Bryan Jackson believes that the First Division’s new income will be a ‘carrot’ as the Pars battle back from relegation and financial hardship. It is believed that money will filter down from the SPL to Scottish football’s second tier when the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) is created. And a play-off between Division One and Two remains, which could be vital for Dunfermline’s promotion hopes if Rangers win Division Two.