Rumour Mill: Rangers crisis | Celtic | Scotland

Ibrox Stadium. Picture: SNS
Ibrox Stadium. Picture: SNS
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Rangers deny the club will slip into administration for a second time as fans demand answers; Ally McCoist says he has more important things on his mind than Celtic winning 10-in-a-row and Scott Brown backs Hoops team-mate Leigh Griffiths to shine for Scotland

Rangers refute ‘second administration’ rumours

RANGERS moved quickly last night to reject rumours that the club would enter administration for the second time on Wednesday, but still faces demands from fans to answer claims that former Ibrox chief Charles Green is still pulling the strings at the club.

A Rangers spokesman insisted last night: “There is absolutely no truth in these claims, which appear to come from agenda-driven bloggers who are out to damage the club. There is no chance of administration while there is no board meeting tomorrow. This is all completely false.”

But the Union of Fans coalition group has demanded clarity over what happened to Charles Green’s 7.68 per cent stake in the club after his second stint at the club - as a paid consultant - ended last August.

The demands follow Dave King’s comments at the weekend that he feared it was ‘quite possible that Green is still de facto controlling the club.” (The Scotsman)

‘There’s more important things than Celtic’s 10-in-a-row’ - McCoist

ALLY McCoist has stated that Rangers are ‘miles away’ from winning the Scottish Premiership title following claims by Dave King that Celtic would break the nine-title record jointly owned by both clubs if the current regime wasn’t ousted. And while he admitted that it would hurt if Celtic did rack up 10-in-a-row, McCoist believes Rangers have more important matters to worry about.

One of only three Rangers players - alongside Richard Gough and Ian Ferguson - with nine medals from the run, McCoist told the Daily Record: “In the grand scheme of things our concerns are very much the last 24 months and the next 24 months. That’s the most important thing.

“We can’t forget what happened, we can’t let it happen again, and we have to keep rebuilding.

“Of course I don’t want Celtic to go to 10. But at the same time I think our club has far more important issues coming up.

“It’s safe to say unless there’s a dramatic change in Scottish football, Celtic are everyone’s favourites for the foreseeable future. (Daily Record)

Celtic chief demands more competition in Scottish Premiership

CELTIC chief executive Peter Lawwell has said the lack of competition in Scotland’s top flight needs addressed. The Hoops are 21 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership as they close in on a third straight title.

And Lawwell has said that the ‘perceived lack of competition is an issue that we need to find a solution to’.

The Parkhead chief stressed that the gap between big nations and small nations is ‘huge’ and that a solution for Scottish football as well as Celtic is needed in order to bridge the gap.

He added: “It’s put Celtic and other Scottish clubs at a competitive disadvantage in terms of wages and transfer fees.” (Daily Express)

Ruddy: I should be ahead of Forster in England pecking order

NORWICH goalkeeper John Ruddy claims he should be ahead of Fraser Forster in the England pecking order because Scottish football is ‘weak’. Ruddy, who let in four goals at the weekend, believes plying his trade in England’s top flight should give him an advantage - but praised Forster for his clean sheet record.

Ruddy, who had a spell on loan at Motherwell, added: “He’s a top-quality keeper and the clean sheet record speaks for itself.

“But I hope being in the Premier League will give me that edge. (The Sun)

Poland v Scotland: Scott Brown backs Griffiths

CELTIC skipper Scott Brown has backed Celtic new boy Leigh Griffiths to shine for Scotland following his late call-up. ‘Sparky’ netted a hat-trick against Inverness CT at the weekend as Celtic romped to a 5-0 win at Parkhead, leading to an international call-up for the former Hibs striker after Norwich City forward Robert Snodgrass pulled out of the squad.

And Scotland midfielder Brown is thrilled that his Celtic team-mate will be joining him in Warsaw, saying: “I’m delighted for Leigh that he’s been called up.

“As you could see against Inverness, he will bring goals. He creates chances for other people as well. He runs down balls that no-one else thinks he is going to get and somehow he gets them.

“He’ll be a great addition to the squad. He is sharp, fit and really strong at the moment.” (The Scotsman)

Hanley pulls out; Strachan to wait on Sunderland duo

SCOTLAND will be without Blackburn defender Grant Hanley after the stopper pulled out of the friendly trip. Hanley missed his side’s match with Bolton at the weekend, and Gordon Strachan is believed to be mulling over calling up a replacement.

Meanwhile, Strachan is waiting on Sunderland pair Phil Bardsley and Steven Fletcher to confirm their fitness after the Black Cats’ League Cup final loss at the hands of Manchester City. (The Scotsman/Daily Express)

Police probe alleged racist chanting at Peterhead match

POLICE have launched an investigation following allegations that fans shouted racist abuse at 17-year-old East Stirlingshire player Jordan Tapping.

He was allegedly subjected to monkey chants and name-calling in the second half of his side’s 4-0 defeat by Peterhead at Balmoor.

The schoolboy was substituted 15 minutes before the end of the League 2 match because he was so upset by the taunts, according to East Stirling’s chairman. (The Scotsman)

News in brief

• Dundee United’s Paul Paton has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for their match with Cyprus. Paton qualifies through his estranged father who is from Larne

• Aberdeen chief Stewart Milne is set to open contract talks with Derek McInnes, who has just led the Dons to their first top six finish in five years

• Former Celtic striker Maciej Zurawski is making a bid to become a Member of the European Parliament for his homeland of Poland

• Southampton and Poland goalkeeper Artur Boruc has praised ex-Celtic boss Gordon Strachan for kick-starting his career

• Hibs striker Danny Handling is aiming to make it third time lucky as he seeks a first cap for Scotland Under-21s

Scottish Premiership goals

• 19 goals in the SPFL Scottish Premiership this weekend - over 3 per game. Watch all 19 here:

• Leigh Griffiths scored a hat trick for Celtic on Saturday. This was the pick of the three:

• Motherwell’s Lionel Ainsworth has a habit of scoring great goals. Watch his latest golazo from the Well’s 4-1 victory over Hearts:

• Richard Brittain is arguably the best free-kick taker in Scotland. He scored another free kick (his second in as many games) in Ross County’s draw with Partick Thistle:

Tricks, skills and funny clips

• Nadir Ciftci shows yet again why he’s a fan favourite at Dundee United with this lovely piece of skill against Hibs on Friday night. Watch here:

• Hearts’ player Paul McCallum faceplants over an advertising board during the 4-1 defeat to Motherwell, but sees the funny side of it. Watch here:

• Gary Mackay-Steven missed a penalty on Friday, and took to Twitter to take the mick out of himself. Watch why here:

• St Mirren talisman Steven Thompson gets the ball kicked into a rather sensitive area... Watch here:

• Gavin Gunning celebrates his goal for Dundee United by doing a rather simplistic imitation of Robbie Keane’s somersault! Watch here:

Match highlights

• Celtic 5-0 Inverness Caledonian Thistle - Watch here:

• Hibernian 1-3 Dundee United - Watch here:

• St Mirren 2-0 Kilmarnock - Watch here:

• Aberdeen 1-0 St Johnstone - Watch here:

• Motherwell 4-1 Hearts - Watch here:

• Ross County 1-1 Partick Thistle - Watch here: