The Rumour Mill: Monday’s football news and gossip

In today’s Rumour Mill: Neil Lennon in hot water again over semi-final remarks; Pat Fenlon says all-Edinburgh final must be played at Hampden; Rangers administrators hit back over takeover delay; plus the rest of the day’s football news and gossip.

Semi-finals aftermath

• Celtic manager Neil Lennon could face a fourth SFA disciplinary charge in as many weeks after an angry reaction to his team’s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Hearts at Hampden. He also took to the social networking site Twitter after the match to claim two crucial penalty decisions that went against his team were “personal”. (Various)

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• Hibs manager Pat Fenlon has insisted the Scottish Cup final must be played at Hampden, following calls to stage the match at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. He said: “Hampden is the home of Scottish football and that is the right place for the game.” (Record)

• Hearts manager Paulo Sergio was kidding nobody last night when he claimed the first Edinburgh derby Scottish Cup Final for 116 years will carry no special significance for him. “For me to play Hibs in the final will just be the same as playing any other team,” said Sergio. “It’s just another game against an opponent who we respect and, when the time comes, we will be ready for it.” (Scotsman)

• Hearts’ goal hero Craig Beattie says he had a premonition that he would score a penalty in the match the whole day. (Sun)

• Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald admitted the enormity of an Edinburgh derby final would probably not hit home until nearer the time. “I don’t think words can describe it,” he said. “I’m just absolutely delighted we’ve got a Scottish Cup final to look forward to, especially against our local rivals as well.” (Scotsman)

• Hearts’ victory over Celtic yesterday has ensured three different clubs will claim Scottish football’s top prizes this season for the first time in 17 years. (Various)

Rangers takeover latest

Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps have denied unnecessarily holding up the sale process after Paul Murray, who is leading one of three contenders, urged them to name a preferred bidder. Join administrator Paul Clark said: “We saw the comments from one bidder in the media on Saturday but it is not us who are holding up the process or moving the goalposts and all the bidders are aware of that. Before selecting a preferred bidder, it is vital to the club’s interests that bidders have made in writing their full financial commitment.” (Various)

• Rangers supporters groups last night called on the administrators to announce the preferred bidder “as a matter of urgency”. The three groups will demand to know the reasons for a delay if that announcement is not made today. (Record)

Boruc used psychologist at Celtic

Former Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc has revealed he used the services of a psychologist earlier in his career. The Polish international said: “He helped me stay focused and helped my level of concentration. He helped me set targets and I tried to achieve them... I worked with him for four years. I met him a few times after I joined Celtic.” (Record)

Croft targets comeback

Lee Croft has refused to give up hope of playing again for St Johnstone this season despite suffering a torn hamstring. The on-loan Derby midfielder, injured in last week’s draw with Inverness, told the Saints’ website: “It’s been diagnosed as a grade two tear, which normally means a five or six-week absence, but I’m a positive person and I won’t rule anything out.” (Scotsman)


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