Rumour Mill: ‘Even treble might not save us’ says John Collins | Rangers to repay loan

JOHN Collins says even if Celtic win the treble it might not be enough to save him and Ronny Deila; Dave King is ready to pay back Mike Ashley’s loan in a bid to regain control of the club’s assets; Mark Warburton to get £30m to fund Rangers’ Euro ambitions and more in Saturday’s Rumour Mill

John Collins admits even a domestic treble might not be enough to save him and Ronny Deila. Picture: SNS

John Collins says even if Celtic win the treble it might not be enough to save him and Ronny Deila

Speaking after the defeat against Ajax on Thursday, John Collins said: “We’ll be judged at the end of the season” – before adding: “If we’re still here.”

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Collins was asked if winning the Treble might not be enough to save his job. He said: “It would be pretty unique in world football I imagine. But it could be the reality.”

Collins said: “I’m not saying we shouldn’t be doing better in Europe. If you don’t win in Europe with Celtic, everyone is talking about you and saying you are no good.

“That’s not easy for new players, young players. Like any situation, the only way you learn and get better is through the experience.

“If you are Real Madrid, PSG or Manchester United, you go and buy £30 million players. Everyone knows we can’t do that. But we can try to develop players. You can’t think it is guaranteed when you are changing players all the time.

“That’s never going to change, the expectations at a massive club. Everyone wants us to be in the Champions League.

“But we are still sitting at the top of the Premiership, scoring goals most weeks and entertaining. We are in the semi-final of the League Cup and still in the Scottish Cup.

“People will say: ‘That’s nothing’. But a lot of clubs in the world would like to be going for a domestic treble.” (Record)

‘At least we are not Rangers’ says John Collins

When prompted on supporter’s anger about the lack of decent signings by the club the Celtic No. 2 responded: “Look what happened to our opponents across the road, do you want to be where they are? Would Rangers fans like to be where we are just now?” (Sun)

Dave King yesterday made a dramatic U-turn at the Rangers AGM by announcing that a controversial £5 million loan was being repaid to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct

King surprised many of the shareholders gathered at Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium by announcing that the loan would now be paid back.

The money to do so has been raised by regular investors George Letham, George Taylor and Douglas Park – known as the Three Bears – as well as King and director John Bennett. They have also provided a “soft” loan of £2.5m, needed for running costs for the remainder of this season.

King said: “I just think it gives us more flexibility. We felt it was the right thing to do at this moment in time. We’re not in a position to speak about Sports Direct but I just felt it was the right thing to do. Previously, I had no intention. I can’t comment because of the injunction as to why I’ve done it but I think it’s the right time.”

The decision to pay back the Sports Direct loan releases Rangers from some very tight clauses and returns the Rangers Retail Limited agreement to a 51 to 49 per cent split on profits in the Ibrox club’s favour.

Under the terms of the loan, Sports Direct had security over Ibrox, Murray Park, the Albion Car Park and Edmiston House as well as all of the club’s trademarks. Sports Direct also had the opportunity to appoint two people to the board, but this has now been removed. (Scotsman)

Mark Warburton to get £30m to fund Rangers’ Euro ambitions

Mark Warburton has been assured he will have the necessary funding to ensure Rangers’ return to the Premiership and that the squad will be bankrolled all the way back to the European arena.

Chairman Dave King reiterated yesterday that he still feels that £30 million may be needed to produce the quality of squad he desires to compete at the top even if Warburton has achieved more in a short space of time than he expected.

King, speaking at yesterday’s annual general meeting, said: “I wouldn’t move away from that figure but a lot of it depends on Mark.

“It really was uncommonly successful for Mark – in very short notice – to bring in the number of players that he brought in without being able to do too much preparation and they have all, more or less, worked.

“So in a sense we are in a fortunate position right now because we have had reasonable value for the players we brought in.

“The overall requirement as we advance to the Premiership – promotion this season is essential – and more importantly Europe is we will need a better quality in players.

“How much we will have to spend at that time will depend on development and how successful Mark has been.

“I would still say that £30m is a number that still makes sense to me.” (Scotsman)

Chris Sutton: Celtic are negligent off the park, naive on it and totally leaderless from top to bottom

Chris Sutton blasts his old team after their Euro flop and believes blinkered transfers policies and the boardroom approach is costing the club dearly.

He said: “From top to bottom at Celtic Park, there are individuals who should be held accountable for the shambolic European campaign this season. Mismanagement in terms of policy, lack of direction in terms of the football.

“From Dermot Desmond to Peter Lawwell, to Ronny Deila and to the players, each has to take their share of the blame for what has been a horrific failure.

“When I heard Deila speak before the game about needing some experienced players in January, I felt like pulling my hair out. Myself and the fans have been saying that for two years. They said it in January when it was clear signings would need to be made and bedded-in for the Champions League qualifiers and they were saying it in June when there was still time.

Nothing happened. Celtic signed untested players such as Nadir Ciftci, Saidy Janko and Dedryck Boyata and the result was an exit. Tyler Blackett, Scott Allan, Jozo Simunovic. Projects. Ryan Christie will now arrive in January. Where is the balance?” (Record)

Paul Hartley pleased with point in Perth

It finished 1-1 against St Johnstone in Perth last night and that meant it was the fourth successive time the Dens men have finished all square with their opponents.

Hartley said: “We have drawn a lot of games but, of course, we’re not losing them.

“We’re not too far away. That is because we have good players and a good work ethic.

“The performances in the last two matches have been excellent. Hearts and St Johnstone were the form teams in the league and we have put in two very good performances.” (The Courier)

News in brief:

Jamie Vardy will make Premier League history today if he scores against Man Utd to become the first player to score eleven games in a row. (Mirror)

Jose Mourinho tells Spurs to stop whingeing about their fixture pile up “because they’ve had it easy for years” (Mirror)