Celtic limp into Europa League knockout stages but Ronny Deila tips Hoops for glory; Rangers desperate for cash as they eye Mark Wotte as director of football; ex-owner Craig Whyte prepares to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court and Hibs boss Alan Stubbs says he can handle the club’s Scottish Cup pressure
Hoops through despite Salzburg defeat
CELTIC went down 3-1 to Red Bull Salzburg in Glasgow last night, but Astra Giurgiu’s victory over Dinamo Zagreb meant that Ronny Deila’s men would have progressed whatever the result at Celtic Park.
Alan scored a double for the Austrian side in the opening quarter of an hour, and although Stefan Johansen pulled one back on the half-hour mark, Keita scored a late third as Salzburg made history as the first Austrian side to win in Scotland.
Celtic still have one match left, against Dinamo Zagreb.
Elsewhere, English clubs Everton and Spurs advanced to the knockout stages finishing top of their respective groups. (The Scotsman)
Deila calls on Celtic to win Europa League
DESPITE a somewhat lacklustre performance at Celtic Park and a favour from Astra Giurgiu, Ronny Deila still believes his side have what it takes to taste glory in the European competition.
The Norwegian boss doesn’t believe any club dropping into the Europa League from the Champions League will be any better than Salzburg.
Hailing Celtic’s progress as his best success as a manager so far, he said: ““Anything can happen in football, and this squad is capable of going all the way in Europe.
“Everything is possible over two games in a tie. Three months is a long time until we play the last 32 tie. So we are going to prepare very well. I’m looking forward to it.” (Scottish Sun)
Gers need £8m over next 12 months
RANGERS have revealed that they need £8 million over the next 12 months, after yesterday’s figures showed an £8.3 million operating loss last season.
The Ibrox side were handed a lifeline thanks to Mike Ashley’s two-part £3m loan but after releasing their annual accounts, admitted that they need nearly three times that amount over the next year.
The accounts report states: “ Without taking account of the possibility for refinancing the £3million short term loan facility falling due for repayment in April 2015 or of the impact of any cost reduction measures or of any other potential sources of revenue, such as player transfer or loan fees, the forecast identifies that the group will require up to £8million by way of debt or equity finance within the next 12 months.
“The forecast indicates that these significant further funds will be required in early 2015, the first tranche of which being required in January 2015, to meet day to day working capital requirements.” (Daily Record)
Rangers want Wotte as director of football
RANGERS are believed to be eyeing up a shock move for ex-SFA performance director Mark Wotte as director of football.
The Dutchman, who has over 20 years experience managing clubs in the Netherlands, Egypt, Qatar, Romania and England stepped down from his position at Scottish football’s governing body in October, and is believed to favour a return to club level.
However, it is unclear how Ally McCoist - who opposed the appointment of former Gers midfielder Christian Nerlinger in a similar role - will react to the proposed move. (Scottish Sun)
Craig Whyte set for Glasgow court appearance
FORMER Rangers boss Craig Whyte is due to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court today, after he was detained in Mexico and flown back to the UK.
Whyte was escorted north from Heathrow to Glasgow by a team of Police Scotland officers, with reports he had been intending to travel on to Costa Rica from Mexico.
An arrest warrant was issued two weeks ago for the 43-year-old in connection with an investigation into the sale of Rangers in 2011. (The Scotsman)
Stuart McCall refutes Rangers job rumours
FORMER Motherwell boss Stuart McCall has laughed off rumours that he is being lined up to replace Ally McCoist at Ibrox.
McCall, who quit Fir Park at the start of this month, dismissed the speculation linking him with ousting his former Rangers team-mate and added that he doesn’t expect the vacancy to arise.
The Scotland coach said: “For me it’s a lot of nonsense. My brothers-in-law are big Rangers fans and they’ve said to me, ‘All his nine-in-a-row mates will come out and back him’.
“But nobody connected with Rangers, players, staff, fans, would’ve thought there’d be a nine-point gap at this moment in time.”
And as for his activities since leaving the Steelmen?
“In the morning I’ve been helping my daughter muck out stables when I’d much rather have been mucking in at the training ground.” (The Scotsman)
Stubbs can handle Scottish Cup pressure
Hibs boss Alan Stubbs has insisted Easter Road side’s failure to lift the Scottish Cup since 1902 doesn’t phase him.
Hibs travel to Alloa tomorrow to take on the Recreation Park outfit at the same venue where they lost Farid El Alagui to serious injury and the game 2-1.
But Stubbs isn’t concerned by the history involved.
He said in a press conference yesterday: “Scottish Cup week does bring something different, it is a competition that quite a few of our boys will have been brought up dreaming about winning.
“We enter the competition aiming to get to a final. If you don’t enter with that thought then there is no point being in it.” (The Scotsman)