SPFL chiefs snapped before meeting, second Michael Beale sacking, ex-Rangers foe lands new job, 'Celtic will edge it' - football news

Premiership clubs are represented at Hampden, Sunderland axe manager and Lambert’s title claim

We round up some of the main stories doing the rounds across football this Monday:

Report on the agenda at SPFL meeting

Premiership clubs today met with the Scottish Professional Football League, with the governance review on the agenda. Pictures taken at Hampden showed Celtic and Rangers CEOs Michael Nicholson and James Bisgrove arriving as well as Ben Kensell of Hibs and Andrew McKinlay of Hearts. The meeting comes on the back of Rangers Aberdeen, Livingston, Motherwell, St Johnstone and St Mirren calling for talks with the SPFL hierarchy over the row about the recent governance review, which has now been received by all 42 SPFL clubs. The six aforementioned top-flight outfits put their name to a letter to SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan and chief executive Neil Doncaster. The report followed a three-month investigation by financial accountants Henderson Loggie, which was commissioned last summer when the league apologised to Rangers following a lengthy legal dispute over its main sponsorship deal.

Rangers CEO James Bisgrove was among the group of officials to meet with the SPFL.Rangers CEO James Bisgrove was among the group of officials to meet with the SPFL.
Rangers CEO James Bisgrove was among the group of officials to meet with the SPFL.

Beale sacked by Sunderland

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Former Rangers manager Michael Beale has been sacked as Sunderland head coach after just two months in the role. The 43-year-old former QPR and Rangers boss, who replaced Tony Mowbray at the Stadium of Light helm on December 18, has lost his job just 12 games into his reign following successive Sky Bet Championship defeats to Huddersfield and Birmingham. Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman told the club’s official website: “We are disappointed that Michael is leaving Sunderland AFC. Our desire is to improve and unfortunately that hasn’t been evident, as such we take full accountability and feel that acting decisively is in the best interests of the club. This has been a difficult few months for Michael, who leaves with our best wishes for the future.” It is the second time this season Beale has been axed after he and Rangers parted company last September.

Old Rangers foe takes up EPL role

Crystal Palace have appointed Oliver Glasner as manager having announced earlier on Monday that Roy Hodgson had stepped down from the role. Glasner, 49, who led Eintracht Frankfurt to Europa League glory in 2022 by beating Rangers, has agreed a two-year deal with the Premier Leaguer club. A Palace statement read: “Crystal Palace F.C. are pleased to confirm the appointment of Oliver Glasner as manager. The 49-year-old Austrian has signed a deal to become the Eagles’ boss until the end of the 2025/2026 season.” Palace announced Hodgson’s departure just hours before their league game against Everton and said that the 76-year-old, who was hospitalised after falling ill during a training session on Thursday, was “out of hospital and doing well”.

Lambert says it’s Celtic’s title

Former Celtic midfielder Paul Lambert believes Celtic will win the Premiership title despite Rangers taking a two-point lead with 12 matches to go after the weekend’s results. "I think it is going to be really close, a lot is riding on the Old Firm games at the end of the season,” said Lambert. “If the two of them keep winning and Celtic head to Ibrox and basically just don't lose, then the title will be theirs. If Rangers can win that game, then it is game on. The defining moment of the season will come at Parkhead, this season is much closer than people realise. But it is going to be just edged by Celtic. They've got enough lads there who have the experience of winning titles and have been there before.”

Ashworth put on gardening leave

Newcastle have confirmed sporting director Dan Ashworth has been placed on leave as Manchester United prepare to formalise their efforts to take him to Old Trafford. The 52-year-old has stepped away from his duties at St James’ Park having told the ownership group that he wants to accept the Red Devils’ overtures. Chief executive Darren Eales said: “We are naturally disappointed that Dan has chosen to leave, however our exciting journey doesn’t stop and the process to recruit a new sporting director will begin immediately. We thank Dan for his efforts at Newcastle United and we wish him and his family well for the future.”

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