John Guidetti faces SFA charge over Dutch TV interview as Martin Odegaard loan rumour grows legs; Kyle Lafferty eyes a return to Rangers and Paul Murray claims the ousted Rangers board should be ashamed of themselves
Celtic ‘surprised’ at Guidetti SFA charge
JOHN Guidetti has been charged by the Scottish Football Association with singing an allegedly “offensive” song about the demise of Old Firm rivals Rangers.
In an interview on Dutch TV, he repeated a chant sung about him by Celtic supporters: “Oh John Guidetti, puts the ball in the net-y, he’s a Super Swede and the huns are deid, walking in Guidetti wonderland.”
Followers of Rangers claim the term “hun” is a sectarian slur, although supporters of other clubs oppose that viewpoint.
SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan has accused the 22-year-old Swede of breaching disciplinary rule 73, stating that “on or around March 6, 2015, you did in the course of a interview given to the Dutch Television Programme FC Rijnmond, make a comment of an offensive nature”.
Guidetti has until 3pm on Monday next week to respond to the complaint. A principal hearing date has been set for Thursday 9 April.
A Celtic spokesman responded to the charge by saying: “We are very surprised and disappointed that this has even found its way to an SFA judicial panel. John Guidetti will be defending this charge.” (Various)
Scott Bain a target for Celtic
DUNDEE goalkeeper Scott Bain has emerged as a target for Celtic.
The Hoops are planning for the summer when they expect to lose out-of-contract No 2 Lukasz Zaluska, and are keen to install a challenger to Craig Gordon.
Bain, who was brought to Dens Park from Alloa by Paul Hartley, has impressed for the Dark Blues this season and is contracted to Dundee until 2017 and valued at around £400,000.
Celtic are also thought to have a number of potential targets on a shortlist, including stoppers from England and across Europe but Bain has emerged as a serious contender. (The Sun)
Celtic not ruling out Odegaard loan
CELTIC could yet bring Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard to Glasgow on loan after Ronny Deila revealed his close working relationship with the Norwegian prodigy and his father.
Deila, who was credited with an interest in Odegaard prior to his moved to Spain, told the Daily Express that he had tried to get the highly-rated teen to sign for Celtic, adding: “I was speaking with him. I met them and talked with them but I knew all the way that it was going to be very hard. I didn’t put much into it.
“I just said that we were an option, that he would have a better chance of playing. He could have used us as a stepping stone to a bigger club.
“I knew it was going to be hard to get him to sign for Celtic with all the options he had. I have a good relationship with Martin and his father. They called me the day they chose Real Madrid. It’s not going to ruin his career. I understand the choice.”
And pressed on the possibility of being reunited with Odegaard on a loan deal, Deila admitted: “You never know in football.” (Daily Express)
Celtic ‘sold crown jewels’ during my reign - Lennon
NEIL Lennon has claimed Celtic ‘sold the crown jewels’ during his tenure as manager in an interview with Goal magazine.
The Northern Irishman - who watched Gary Hooper, Fraser Forster, Joe Ledley and Victor Wanyama all leave Celtic for big money moves during his time in charge - blamed Scottish football’s financial state, adding: “It’s very difficult to keep churning out those players but that was the financial situation.
“There’s no doubt the Scottish game is significantly weaker - Hibs, Hearts and Rangers are in the Championship and they were a big loss in terms of revenue, crowds, quality and competition.
“It’s lacking at the minute, it’s not in a great state. There’s seven or eight teams in the Premiership who have average gates of 4-5,000 and with that it’s very difficult to compete with other European countries.” (Goal.com)
Larsson tells Guidetti: Stop talking about transfer
CELTIC legend Henrik Larsson has urged John Guidetti to button his lip over transfers and concentrate on playing for the Hoops.
Fellow Swede Larsson - who also played for Celtic and Feyenoord - warned Guidetti that Celtic and the Parkhead faithful don’t ‘appreciate’ the talk.
Larsson added: “I don’t believe Celtic will appreciate John’s comments about Feyenoord. He is in the position now where he has to choose his next move.
“I did it, of course, in my last year at Celtic when I announced I was not going to renew my contract because I said I wanted to play somewhere it is warm.
“But my situation was very different because I had delivered consistently when I was there.”
Guidetti said in an interview with a Dutch TV station earlier this month that he was keen on returning to Feyenoord, where he had spent a successful loan spell. (The Sun)
Lafferty keen on Rangers return
FORMER Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty has dropped heavy hints that he would jump at the chance to return to Ibrox, saying: “Some Rangers fans have asked me if I’d go back there and I’d jump at the chance.”
Lafferty, who left Rangers when he objected to his contract being transferred to a newco set up by Charles Green following the club’s liquidation three years ago, added: “Whether that’s an option or not is another thing.
“What happened for me at Rangers was disappointing. That wasn’t how I wanted to end my career there. But it had to be done.
“I’ve supported Rangers since I was a young boy and still support them now. It would be good to go back to change people’s perceptions of me. If I went back now I’d let my football do the talking.” (The Scotsman)
Previous Ibrox board ‘should be ashamed’ - Murray
RANGERS interim chairman Paul Murray has accused his boardroom predecessors at Ibrox of “appalling recklessness” as the new regime continue their assessment of the club’s fragile finances.
In a bid to lessen Mike Ashley’s influence on Rangers, the club cancelled the drawdown of a second £5 million tranche of the £10 m loan arranged with Sports Direct at the end of January.
To address ongoing funding issues, Rangers have instead accepted unsecured, interest-free loans totalling £1.5m from the Three Bears consortium. Rangers issued a statement in which Murray hit out at the actions of every controlling faction at the club since Craig Whyte purchased it in 2011 and led it into insolvency.
Murray is especially critical of Ashley’s associates Derek Llambias and Barry Leach, who were suspended from their roles as chief executive and finance director respectively in the wake of the general meeting of shareholders on 6 March which saw them ousted as directors and Dave King sweep into power.
“Many of the people who have occupied the Ibrox boardroom during that period should be ashamed of themselves for the parts they played in dragging this great institution towards near financial ruin,” said Murray.
“It is actually difficult to look closely at the club’s finances and understand the rationale behind some of the decisions taken. (The Scotsman)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Hibs striker Jason Cummings is expected to be fit for the trip to Raith Rovers on Saturday, while goalkeeper Tomas Cerny has been sidelined with mumps, the club has confirmed
• Paul Hartley believes Dundee are a match for Aberdeen as the Dark Blues push for a top six finish
• Aberdeen striker Cammy Smith has been called up to the Scotland U21 squad after Jason Cummings pulled out
• Mark McGhee thinks it’s ‘inevitable’ that Stuart McCall will stay at Rangers