Rumour Mill: Willie Collum demoted | Hartson tips Stubbs for Celtic job | Celtic slam Champions League plan

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Willie Collum demoted amid fears his confidence has gone; John Hartson tips Alan Stubbs for Celtic job and Hoops slam Champions League plans

Collum demoted after more blunders

Willie Collum has been demoted to Scottish football's second tier for a further two rounds of matches after high-profile blunders. Picture: Michael Gillen

Willie Collum has been demoted to Scottish football's second tier for a further two rounds of matches after high-profile blunders. Picture: Michael Gillen

REFEREE Willie Collum has been demoted to Championship duty for another two rounds of matches after more high-profile blunders.

School teacher Collum was slammed for his performance in Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s 3-1 win over Aberdeen, awarding a spot kick to the Highlanders while appearing to miss two at the other end.

And having taken charge of Raith’s home match with Livingston, Collum is set to continue refereering in the second tier for another two weeks. (The Scotsman)

Hartson tips Stubbs for Celtic

JOHN Hartson has suggested Alan Stubbs would be a perfect replacement for Ronny Deila, as questions mount over the Norwegian’s tenure.

With Celtic having been eliminated from the Europa League before the new year, and knocked out of the League Cup by Ross County, some sections of the Celtic support have called for Deila to be replaced.

However, Hibs head coach Stubbs added: “If I keep winning games of football there’s going to be speculation. It’s part and parcel. I don’t want to turn round and say I want to stop it, because that means I want to be losing games of football. But I can’t comment [on Hartson’s column] because it’s John’s personal opinion.” (Various)

Celtic slam Champions League wild card plan

CELTIC are preparing themselves for a European battle of a different kind - as the Hoops last night hit out at plans for wild cards in the Champions League.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is keen for elite clubs to quality for the premier European competition - regardless of their domestic success.

And Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has already floated an invite-only format. But the Hoops are expected to receive support from counterparts in Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands. (Scottish Sun)

Hoops in flares plea to fans

CELTIC have called for an end to the use of flares among their fans after they were fined more than £10,000 following their latest Uefa charge.

The Hoops were punished after fans set off fireworks during their Europa League draw against Fenerbahce and for “improper conduct of the team” due to number of yellow cards picked up.

Celtic issued indefinite bans to two supporters following the Fenerbahce incidents in Turkey and revealed in December that they were considering legal action against individual fans. (The Scotsman)

Warburton wary of Hibs

MARK Warburton has admitted he is only too aware of the threat carried by Hibs as the season reaches an exciting climax.

Warburton told Sky Sports News that if he was Hibs boss, he would know exactly what to say, adding: “I’d be saying if we win our game in hand we’re five points behind. If they lose one, then we win, we’re now two points behind and then we play them. All we can do is control our end, perform week in week out and put wins on the board.”

The Gers are currently eight points ahead of Hibs, who play Morton tonight at Easter Road, where a win would cut the gap to five points. (Sky Sports)

‘I should have got more time,’ claims McNamara

JACKIE McNamara has suggested he should have been given more time to turn things around at Dundee United.

The York City boss, who was axed last year after winning just one game in nine, believes he inherited ‘other people’s problems’.

The ex-Celtic defender added: “My record at United speaks for itself in terms of win ratios and getting to finals. I regret certain things but a lot of other things were outwith my control.” (BBC)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• Mixu Paatelainen is expected to slash the size of the Dundee United squad during the summer - whatever league they end up playing in

• Dundee defeated Dumbarton 5-0 last night to set up a quarter-final cup clash with Rangers

• Adam Rooney has been tipped for an Ireland call-up ahead of the Euro 2016 finals in France

• Hearts duo Juanma and Callum Paterson are set to return against Kilmarnock after missing the defeat at Dundee United