Rumour Mill: McCulloch | Hearts | Lennon | Shiels

Lee McCulloch: Accused Craig Whyte over SPL title bonus cash. Picture: SNS
Lee McCulloch: Accused Craig Whyte over SPL title bonus cash. Picture: SNS
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Hearts battle fresh administration fears over £25 million debt, while Craig Whyte is accused over £400,000 SPL title bonus by Rangers captain Lee McCulloch

£25m debt brings fresh administration fears for Hearts

Hearts are under renewed threat of being placed under administration after it was revealed that the club owes £25 million to Ukio Bankas and parent company UBIG £25 million.

A Glasgow-based auditing firm has been alerted to the possibility of the club’s administration, which, depending on other results, could instigate a points deduction that would condemn Hearts to relegation.

If Hearts stave off administration by June 1, they would still face a minimum 12 point deduction. (The Sun)

Craig Whyte refused to pay £400,000 SPL title bonus - Lee McCulloch

Rangers captain Lee McCulloch has revealed that warnings about the club’s finances came just two months into Craig Whyte’s reign in 2011 when the former owner refused to pay bonuses owed to the players for their SPL league title.

The Rangers squad were due £400,000 for winning the trophy, but weeks later further red flags emerged after newspapers were removed from the canteen and the coffee machine had run out.

“It’s hard to put an exact figure on it,” McCulloch said, “but I reckon there should have been around £400,000 to split between the players. We felt he treated us with contempt.” (Daily Record)

Danny Racchi forced out of Kilmarnock after tweet

Kilmarnock midfielder Danny Racchi has been kicked out of Rugby Park after a tweet that appeared to mock Kilmarnock’s failure to make the top six.

It is understood that manager Kenny Shiels ordered him to leave during a training session, and has effectively exiled him from the club.

Despite launching an appeal against a fine of four weeks’ wages, Racchi looks to be on his way out after being told to say goodbye to team-mates.

The tweet that landed him the fine read: “Karma today was all about karma,” believed to be in reference to goals from former Kilmarnock players Gary Harkins and Rory Boulding that cost Kilmarnock a top six spot. (The Sun)

Kenny Shiels tells Neil Lennon to lighten up after Paranoid FC jibe

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels has told Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon to “lighten up” after Shiels branded Celtic “Paranoid FC”. Lennon, unhappy with comments made by Shiels about the PFA Scotland shortlist, which saw Leigh Griffiths, Michael Higdon, Niall McGinn and Andrew Shinnie nominated, compared Shiels to The Office character David Brent.

But Shiels has hit back at Lennon, saying: “Unfortunately, Neil takes life too seriously and he has to lighten up.

“He is at a really good club. They need to be represented by dignity and class.

I have always been frank and honest with everyone and sometimes you have to be critical of people.

I like Neil and I have nothing against him. I am an avid supporter of him. It was a joke about Paranoid FC, but it seems to have hit a nerve.” (The Sun)

Peter Houston told me: ‘I’ll make you disappear from football’

West Bromwich Albion midfielder Scott Allan has revealed how Peter Houston threatened to make him disappear from football shortly after being offered a contract extension.

Allan quit the Arabs for West Brom in 2011 despite being offered a contract extension by United, but says he would have stayed had it not been for the way he had been treated by the now-departed Houston.

“He tried to belittle me in front of the other boys. He publicly criticised me for being greedy when he knew I wasn’t.”

He added: “I didn’t appreciate what he did to me and that’s why I decided not to sign.” (The Sun)