ROY Keane reveals he signed for Celtic to spite Gordon Strachan; Graham Wallace set for £160,000 Rangers bonus; Rangers fans accuse Mike Ashley of damaging club, but former Newcastle United star backs Toon owner, plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Roy Keane joined Celtic ‘to spite Strachan’
Roy Keane considered quitting Celtic just one day after joining - and only arrived because he knew that manager Gordon Strachan didn’t want him. The former Manchester United captain made the revelations in his explosive new book as he laid out details of his six-month stay at Parkhead.
After writing that Strachan showed little enthusiasm for recruiting Keane, he said: “So I said to myself, ‘F*ck him, I’m signing.”
He also revealed that he nearly quit after the first training session at the club over a hip injury he sustained on the first day, but talked himself out of it to avoid losing face.
“I couldn’t leave after my first day. Imagine how that would have looked,” he said. (The Sun)
Rangers chief Graham Wallace set for £160k bonus
Under-fire Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace is set to be awarded a £160,000 bonus. Wallace, who pockets more than £300,000 a year, is entitled to a discretionary bonus of 100 per cent of his salary - but the chief executive has instead accepted a scaled-down payment of £100,000 in cash, while another £60,000 will be awarded via the purchase of normal Rangers shares.
The board is yet to accept the latter request, but has ratified the £100,000 bonus payment. Rangers fans are expected to be dismayed that Wallace has paid himself any sort of bonus given the club’s seemingly perilous financial state. (The Sun, Daily Mail)
Kris Boyd cleared as Rangers fans hit out at Ashley...
Rangers striker Kris Boyd will be free to play in his club’s forthcoming games against Raith Rovers and East Fife after the Scottish Football Association compliance officer’s charge of violent conduct against him was found “not proven” by a disciplinary panel.
The 31-year-old had been offered a two-match ban for an alleged breach of Rule 200 – “violent conduct by headbutting or attempting to headbutt an opposing player” – in his club’s league match against Hibernian last week.
Meanwhile, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s intervention in Rangers has breached rules on dual ownership of clubs, according to the Union of Fans. The umbrella body of Rangers supporters has accused Ashley of deliberately discouraging investment in the Ibrox club, and has urged the Scottish Football Association to take “appropriate action”. (The Scotsman)
...but ex-Rangers star Oliver Bernard backs Newcastle United owner
Former Rangers defender Olivier Bernard has backed Mike Ashley’s involvement in the Ibrox club after the Sports Direct owner upped his stake in the side. Bernard, who now owns Durham City, sought to assuage fears that Ashley would bring success back to Rangers and propel them to the Champions League.
He said: “Rangers fans must have been envious seeing Celtic take on the likes of Juventus and Barcelona but they’ll be able to get their passports out again for the big games once Ashley’s worked his magic.
“He will make sure he has the right people around him and Rangers will become a major forice again if he gets his way and that’s great for Scottish football.”
He added that the Newcastle United owner is not popular in Tyneside because “he runs the club on business lines rather than put the club’s future at risk in search of glory.” (The Sun)
Alan Stubbs praises improved Cummings
Alan Stubbs has admitted he was “a bit surprised” to be voted SPFL Championship Manager of the Month for September – one of two awards to be presented to Hibernian yesterday. Jason Cummings was named SPFL Young Player of the Month, an accolade that Stubbs said was down to a willingness to change his lifestyle after having what he euphemistically called “a good summer”.
He said of Cummings: “His training is much improved. When he first came back he wasn’t fit. He’d had a good summer, by the looks of it, and he needed to get back in training and start living the lifestyle of a professional footballer. That’s taken a little bit of time, and we’ve had to try and guide him and educate him in what the lifestyle of a modern-day footballer is now, compared to 20 years ago.” (The Scotsman)