Rumour Mill: Rangers | Gary Locke | Walter Smith

Banners such as this have become increasingly common at Rangers games. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL
Banners such as this have become increasingly common at Rangers games. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL
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Walter Smith admits he has never seen the Rangers board take so much criticism from fans, bust SPFL clubs may face relegation under new proposals, and Scott Robinson claims he is being “picked on” by Hearts manager Gary Locke

Walter Smith: Board has never taken so much flak

Former Rangers manager and chairman Walter Smith has admitted that he has never seen a Rangers board so heavily criticised. Banners condemning the Ibrox hierarchy have been prominently displayed at recent games - and Smith warned that the board should take heed of the fans.

“We’ve seen the banners at games,” said Smith, “if you’re a manager you expect fans to show discontent in that way. But it’s the first time I can recall the board taking criticism like that, which has to be an indication of something.” (Daily Record)

MORE: Rangers: More pain ahead at Ibrox, says Walter Smith

Bust SPFL clubs may face automatic relegation

SPFL clubs who enter administration could face relegation as footballing authorities are set to debate a change in the rules. Signing embargos and points deductions have seen Hearts and Rangers punished for entering administration, and they could yet be in further trouble if SPFL chiefs approve such a rule.

Dave King earlier warned that Rangers could be back in administration by Christmas following losses of £14.4 million, while Hearts have given no indication of when or if they may be able to exit administration. (Daily Express, The Sun)

Scott Robinson unimpressed by latest Hearts substitution

Hearts midfielder Scott Robinson has accused manager Gary Locke of “picking” on him after being replaced at half-time for the second successive game at the weekend.

Robinson has confessed to deserving his early substitution in the 0-0 draw with Dundee United 11 days ago, describing his performance as “really poor” before he made way for Callum Tapping.

However, the midfielder was unhappy at his latest departure from the field, saying: “I put my hand up and admit that last week (against Dundee United) I wasn’t in the game at all. I made a few errors and it was one of those days for me. I was really poor in that game. On Saturday there, I think it was a case of ‘I’ll just pick on him again and take him off’.” (Scotsman)

Fraser Forster deserves England chance - Butcher

Inverness manager Terry Butcher has backed Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster’s England bid to establish himself in the England squad, despite reservations some have expressed over the 25-year-old playing in Scotland. Butcher cited his own experience of playing for Rangers while captaining England under Bobby Robson, and said that Forster’s presence in Roy Hodgson’s squad - together with the accumulation of caps - would give the Scottish game a huge boost.

“He has youth on his side and he’s growing all the time in the role,” Butcher said. “There are English and European clubs who would love to take him off Celtic’s hands. He has got something, without a doubt. He’s a talent and a big boy. He is still very young for a goalkeeper. ’Keepers don’t really start hitting their peak until their late 20s or 30. He has all the attributes to be a top-class international ’keeper.” (Scotsman)

Craig Bryson desperate for Scotland chance

Derby midfielder Craig Bryson said he lost hope of a recall to the Scotland squad under Craig Levein’s reign. Despite impressive performances in the Championship, Bryson was often overlooked, and revealed that he had “stopped looking” at squad announcements before the appointment of Gordon Strachan as Scotland manager.

Bryson said: “When I signed from Kilmarnock, I thought, ‘if I can come down and establish myself in the Championship I might have a chance of getting in the squad – but in my first season at Derby I was Player of the Year and I never got a sniff.

“I built on those performances last season, and at the start of this season, and that must be what got me back in.” (Scotsman)