Celtic vow to ‘battle all the way’ over Tonev appeal; Ally McCoist given nod to look for new players; Kilmarnock star Michael Ngoo accuses Virgil Van Dijk of trying to ‘do him’ with tackle and more in Sunday’s Rumour Mill
Celtic vow to ‘battle all the way’ over Tonev appeal
If Aleksandar Tonev loses his appeal against an SFA charge of racially abusing the Aberdeen defender, Shay Logan, Celtic will take the case to the Court of Arbitration in Sport, according to Ronny Deila.
In a forceful condemnation of the indictment against Tonev as “word versus word”, the Celtic manager said: “I can’t understand this case.”
The SFA disciplinary panel banned Tonev for seven games, but Celtic appealed against the verdict and their case will be heard at Hampden Park on Thursday. He was left out of the Parkhead squad for what Deila called “diplomatic reasons” when Celtic beat Aberdeen 2-1 at Pittodrie on Nov 9.
Celtic have insisted that they do not dispute that Logan believed he had heard an abusive remark but say that he misunderstood what was said. Deila said: “If there is nothing new in the Tonev case on Thursday, we will take it all the way. I’m not a lawyer and I would speak to the club about where we take it but we have to do everything we can for Alex. I can’t understand this case because it’s not fair when it’s word versus word. If it’s clearly proved to the public that Tonev is guilty, I would never excuse it.
“We really don’t like racism and if our player did a thing like that it would be unacceptable – but it’s word versus word and I still believe my player.” (Various)
Craig Whyte - world wide traveller
Fraud suspect Craig Whyte is reported to have travelled from country to country since his involvement with Rangers ended in disaster.
Arrested in Mexico, where he was said to be travelling to from Japan en route to Costa Rica, the Sunday Mail have revealed a list of countries the disgraced businessman is said to have travelled to. A source told the Mail: “In the last couple of years Craig Whyte is believed to have been in Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, France and Japan.
He’s not been in Monaco since his dealings with Rangers made the headlines. The authorities in Monte Carlo don’t care for negative publicity.” The paper also revealed his Swedish girlfriend hadn’t seen or heard from him in tow years. (Mail)
Ronny Deila says he may need armour for trip to Tynecastle
He has never set foot inside Tynecastle before.
But after hearing that Neil Lennon was once attacked by a fan in Gorgie – Ronny Deila joked that he might need a CAGE when his Celtic side take on Hearts today.
The Hoops boss wasn’t surprised to hear that his predecessor, Lennon, was assaulted by a crazed punter on the touchline and often needed a bodyguard at Tynie.
He might abhor that kind of behaviour but Deila can’t help but admire the passion of Scottish supporters.
He insists an incident like that would never happen in his homeland – because the fans here care more about the game than in Norway.
Ahead of the fourth-round tie, Deila said: “I’ve never been to Tynecastle before so I’m looking forward to it. I know it’s going to be very intense and the fans are very close. It’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere.
“I’ve heard that I’ll maybe need a suit of armour and might have to sit in my cage!
“Seriously, I watched their game against Rangers last week and I saw the intensity. There was a lot of emotion and passion on the pitch and that will be the case on Sunday as well.
“When I heard that Neil was attacked there, I could actually understand it. Because the passion for football here is much more than I was used to before.
“But you have to behave in the right way. If I do that hopefully I’ll get a good result – and I won’t get attacked! I heard Neil had a bodyguard but we have to keep things inside the ground and not outside. The passion in Scotland is fantastic here and I love it.” (Record)
Ally McCoist given nod to look for new players
Ally McCoist has revealed Derek Llambias has offered him the pick of Newcastle United’s talented kids. He said: “I spoke to Derek Llambias on Wednesday and I’ve spoken to him a good few times. He has been positive about the team and is obviously keen to help the team progress.
“We’re still very, very hopeful we can get promoted this year and we’re all aware of the challenges ahead so we’ll see what the January window brings.
“You cover as many games as you can. We were down south last week at a couple of games, not just Newcastle, we’re trying to look all over the place.
“There have been no discussions in respect of ‘you’ll have x-amount to spend’ or ‘you need to get rid of him’. That will be for further down the line. He said continue to do your job and go and look at players, then we’ll have discussions. I’ve been for a look at some of Newcastle’s young players already.” (Various)
Michael Ngoo accuses Virgil Van Dijk of trying to ‘do him’ with tackle
Kilmarnock striker Michael Ngoo has accused Celtic star Virgil van Dijk of deliberately trying to “do him” with a horror tackle.
The 22-year-old faces months on the sidelines after a crude van Dijk challenge left him with a huge gash in his leg during the 2-0 loss at Parkhead last month.
The 22-year-old will have an op this week and has no idea when he’ll return.
Van Dijk escaped punishment from ref Willie Collum but Ngoo told MailSport: “I told our physio right away that van Dijk had tried to do me. Before the tackle there were a few words said between us.
“Then he came through the back of me. I think it was deliberate. I took off my sock in the changing room and there was a horrendous cut. I have the pictures to prove it.”
Van Dijk declined to comment on Ngoo’s comments yesterday. (Record)
Robbie Neilson: We’ll take Celtic clash seriously
After a week when they have again been making headlines, this time for all the right reasons, Hearts today will have the small matter of trying to put Celtic out of the William Hill Scottish Cup.
Victory over Rangers in the Championship last Sunday gives Hearts a rare chance to do the double over the Old Firm in successive weekends. Yet this is a cup match today, and that could be something different for Hearts.
“Right at the start of the season, we said the league is the priority,” said Neilson last week, “then it’s the Scottish Cup, then the League Cup and then the Petrofac in that order in terms of what we feel is beneficial.
“We focus on the league, but we take the Scottish Cup seriously as well and we will be putting a strong team out on Sunday. Ultimately, the aim for the season is to get promoted and if we can get promoted and have a good run in the cup and do well then it’s an added bonus, but the league is the main one.” (Scotsman)
Legia Warsaw hammered by UEFA again
The Polish Champions have been charged again by UEFA, this time for their fans’ racist behaviour after a 1-0 loss to Lokeren on Thursday night. The disciplinary panel will meet this week to judge charges of racist behaviour, crowd disturbances, damage and the throwing of fireworks by unruly Legia fans. (Sunday Mail)
News in brief:
• Arsenal to swoop for Everton and Scotland star James McCarthy in January. (Mail)
• Real Madrid have been warned off of approaching Man City about Sergio Aguero’s availability by club manager Manuel Pellegrini. (Mail)