Rumour Mill: Dundee United | Hibs | Hearts

Dictators: United chairman Stephen Thompson blasted the SFA. Picture: SNS
Dictators: United chairman Stephen Thompson blasted the SFA. Picture: SNS
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DUNDEE United chairman Stephen Thompson brands the SFA ‘dictators’ over cup ticket row; Alex Harris may not feature for Hibs until next season; Kevin McHattie desperate for Hearts to avoid relegation at the hands of Hibs plus the rest of the day’s football news and gossip.

SFA being economical with truth, claims Thompson

STEPHEN Thompson has launched a blistering attack on the SFA, branding them ‘dictators’ and accusing them of being economical with the truth, as the row over Scottish Cup tickets rages on.

An SFA statement released yesterday claimed that Dundee United indicated that an initial ticket offer of 11,063 - including the entire Broomloan Stand - would exceed demand.

But Thompson predicted a figure between 12,000 and 14,000 adding: “We never said at any point that we only wanted 8,000 tickets.

“We will not need 20,000 tickets. I reckon 12,000 to 14,000 will probably be more accurate. But if we wanted 20,000, we should have been offered 20,000. It’s the way it was handled.

“We were dictated to from the start, and the SFA were more interested in looking after their commercial sponsors than neutrality and sporting integrity.” (The Scotsman)

McCoist: Part-time fans don’t deserve tickets

RANGERS manager Ally McCoist has waded into the row, insisting that Rangers deserve a bigger share because their fans turn up for every game.

The Ibrox boss said: “I don’t have a problem with Dundee United or Jackie’s team getting half the tickets.

“But it is strange that the last semi-final they played was at Hampden and the entire crowd was only 24,000 when they were playing Celtic.

“There is an argument that our fans don’t just turn out for big semi-finals - they turn out every week.’ (Daily Express)

Alex Harris may not feature for Hibs until next season

HIBERNIAN winger Alex Harris may sit out the rest of the season - as his confidence is too low.

The 19-year-old winger - who broke into the first-team squad last season - spent the first five months of the season sidelined with a broken ankle that required surgery to insert pins, and despite making his comeback as a late substitute against Aberdeen in January, manager Terry Butcher feels the midfielder’s confidence is shot, adding: “We’ve got to build it back up. I think he’s found it difficult in the first team, there’s no doubt about that. So, we’ve probably got to take him back and just re-introduce him a lot more gently and make sure that we’ll see the benefit of that next season.

“So, his time will come next (season), after a good pre-season with us.” (The Scotsman)

We can’t let Hibs relegate us, warns McHattie

HEARTS defender Kevin McHattie has warned his Tynecastle team-mates that they can’t let Hibernian relegate them, when the two teams meet in Gorgie later this season.

Hibs make the short trip across the city to face their bitter rivals a week on Sunday, and McHattie is desperate to avoid Hibs sending the Jambos to the Championship.

Propping up the Scottish Premiership, McHattie and the Hearts camp know avoiding relegation is a very tall order - but he insisted: “We can’t let Hibs send us down. No chance. All our concentration is on Friday’s game.”

Hearts take on Dundee United this Friday evening, and have been boosted by the potential return of David Smith after a six-week injury lay-off. (Daily Record)

Scott Vernon eyes new Aberdeen deal

ABERDEEN striker Scott Vernon has his eyes on a new contract - because he can’t contemplate leaving Pittodrie just as the good times have returned.

Vernon struck a confident penalty as the Dons saw off Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the League Cup final by way of a shoot-out, and is desperate to stay on in the Granite City, with his current contract up in the summer.

And even though manager Derek McInnes has installed a ‘one game at a time’ mentality into his squad, Vernon said: “I want to stay. Definitely.

“The gaffer is trying to do something at Aberdeen. He is implementing what he wants and everybody in the dressing room wants to be a part of that. I am no different. We’ll see how it goes between now and the end of the season.” (Daily Record)