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Charles Green pledges to give Ally McCoist 10m to spend from Rangers" flotation on LSE

Green pledges to give McCoist a 10m war chest from Rangers' flotation on LSE



00:01 GMT, 20 December 2012

Charles Green pledged 10million from the club’s share issue for Ally McCoist to spend on new recruits — with the promise of more to follow.

The Rangers manager cannot add to his squad in the coming transfer window due to a one-year embargo but can bring in free agents as of September 1 next year.

McCoist this week sought clarity from Green over transfer budgets after the chief executive failed to deliver the five players he had been hoping for before the August deadline.

And Green responded by insisting that 10m will be ring-fenced from the 22.2m raised ahead of the club being floated on the London Stock Exchange, with unspecified further funds on the horizon if season-ticket sales are again healthy.

Cash injection: Charles Green has vowed to boost Rangers' coffers to the tune of 10m

Cash injection: Charles Green has vowed to boost Rangers' coffers to the tune of 10m

Green said: ‘We’ve allocated 10m for Ally to spend on players as soon as he’s able to do that. But we’re not saying it’s 10m and only 10m — if Rangers fans buy season tickets next year, there’s another 20m there.

‘We have a transfer ban for another year but Ally and his team are looking at who is out of contract when we can sign pre-contract agreements in January then, on September 1, we can sign them.’

If Rangers do sign players on pre-contracts next month, no money can change hands until the end of the transfer ban in September, but Green still expects top players to jump at the chance.

‘Why wouldn’t you sit on your hands and wait if you had the chance to play for Rangers’ he asked.

‘In Europe, clubs are in meltdown and can’t pay players’ wages.

‘We know that (former Rangers keeper) Allan McGregor was having difficulty getting paid (at Besiktas), although I understand that has now been resolved.

‘But other players have gone into Europe on a gravy train and soon found out there’s no gravy.

‘So there’s a chance for them to sit on their hands or to leave their contracts and sign a contract for Rangers — who can pay salaries when we are allowed to do so. That is quite attractive.’

Ahead of the stock exchange flotation yesterday, Green had vowed that Rangers ‘will rise again’.

And the chief executive, who cannot cash in his shares for two years, believes success on and off the park over that period will result in Rangers amassing financial muscle that will ‘scare’ opponents.

Money to spend: Ally McCoist will have the chance to strengthen his squad

Money to spend: Ally McCoist will have the chance to strengthen his squad

‘We’ve sold 37,500 season tickets this season and we didn’t put them on sale until August.

‘Remember, no one was going to buy a ticket off me in July, because I was “a snake-oil salesman”.

‘With added goodwill, I’d assume if we’ve won the Third Division we’ll see no less season tickets next year.

‘We reduced the price to 315 this year but, if they went to 400 next year, then that’s another 18m in the bank.

‘That must be the scary thing about Rangers, looking from the outside.

‘In the past we might have needed 100m to get a squad together, but those days are long gone.

‘Last year, Theo Walcott would have cost up to 50m but now he may end up leaving Arsenal on a free.

‘That’s happening everywhere and we have to be aware of the options available to our Theo Walcotts, like Barrie McKay and Fraser Aird.

‘Football is changing. We don’t need to be paying 12m for Tore Andre Flo. When was that ever good business

‘What we have done is set a structure in place where Rangers are no longer a boom-or-bust club. This is the springboard for the rebirth of Rangers.’

Rangers shares sold for 70p and were worth 76p by close of trade, with Green hailing a successful flotation.

‘It’s an enviable position,’ he said, ‘and if Rangers was in any other league in the world, this club would be worth 400m, bigger than Aston Villa, Tottenham, Everton and others.’

Craig Levein: Scotland are not out of race to Brazil

Levein rubbishes suggestion Scotland are already struggling to reach Brazil



15:04 GMT, 10 September 2012

Craig Levein has described as 'nonsense' the notion that Scotland's 2014 World Cup qualification hopes are up for debate after one Group A game.

The consensus following Saturday's goalless draw against Serbia at Hampden was that while the result was not fatal, a hefty blow had been dealt to the Scots' hopes of reaching Brazil.

Consequently, pressure has been heaped on the Scotland boss ahead of Tuesday night's visit of Macedonia in a fixture widely believed to offer a another good chance to rack up three points.

Confident: Craig Levein believes Scotland have what it takes to qualify

Confident: Craig Levein believes Scotland have what it takes to qualify

However, Levein, who has called Craig Samson into his squad following concerns over No 1 keeper Allan McGregor and back-up Matt Gilks, moved to quash any suggestions that it is already win-or-bust for his side.

'It is nonsense to be talking about qualification or non-qualification just now,' he said.

'We still have 27 points to play for.

'We are very positive about what we are doing just now.

'It is interesting, if we win and other results go our way we could be top of the group and all of a sudden the point becomes important and who knows, come the end of the tournament it might be the one that makes all the difference.

'Maybe some people don't understand the quality of teams we are playing against.

'We did a lot of work on Serbia, we looked at their strengths and weaknesses and we knew we were in for a tough game on Saturday.

'Tonight, we will look at Macedonia and analyse how they play.

'We have to give them respect, if you look at their recent results they have performed exceptionally well and should have got a point against Croatia the other night.

Should have gone to Specsavers: Levein's glasses were called into question

Should have gone to Specsavers: Levein's glasses were called into question

'We have had our own troubles with Macedonia in the past so this will be a tough match for us, a different type of game but I am looking forward to it.

'We have players who didn't hit peak form at the weekend and they are determined to put that right on Tuesday night.'

Levein, speaking at Scotland's Mar Hall training base on the outskirts of Glasgow, joked about the less than complimentary reaction in the media to the new tinted glasses he was wearing in the technical area at the weekend, saying: 'More than anything else, what has really annoyed me in the last couple of days has been self-acclaimed experts – I mean what do they know about glasses'

However, the former Hearts and Dundee United boss was serious when flagging up the media negativity following Saturday's result.

'I have been a little bit annoyed at the hysterical reaction,' he said.

'We have played one game and we can go top of the group tomorrow night if things go our way.

'I was reasonably pleased with Saturday. What is important to me is that there is an overwhelming feeling of positivity about our national team.

Missed chance: Scotland striker Kenny Miller fluffed his lines against Serbia

Missed chance: Scotland striker Kenny Miller fluffed his lines against Serbia

'Going on to that pitch and having the whole stadium behind you, everyone in the press behind you and everyone is contributing towards us going to Brazil, I think that is really important.

'If the press, players and supporters are all working together to help us qualify then it is so much easier.'

Levein claimed that he had not yet settled on a team for Tuesday and hinted that he will resist the clamour to hand a start to Jordan Rhodes.

The Tartan Army were calling for the 22-year-old Blackburn forward to come on long before he eventually replaced Kenny Miller with around 10 minutes remaining.

Levein admitted that he could understand the frustration of the fans but appeared to dampen down any expectation that Rhodes, who earned his 8million move to Ewood Park after a 40-goal season for Huddersfield last season, will lead the line.

'Jordan Rhodes, in time, will be a fantastic striker for Scotland, he will be a hugely valuable player for us,' he said.

Close: Steven Naismith (right) had Scotland's best chance at Hampden

Close: Steven Naismith (right) had Scotland's best chance at Hampden

'But my job is to try to pick the best team for every situation and you have to understand, while Jordan scored a lot of goals in League One, he hasn't even really begun his career in the Championship in England.

'I have guys here who are Premiership players, who are experienced and have been involved in these types of occasions before.

'So I have to have some degree of calmness in this and not get caught up in everything.'

Levein assessed his three injury doubts and confirmed St Mirren keeper Samson had joined up with the squad.

He said: 'Charlie Adam has a wee problem, Matt Gilks picked up a problem in training yesterday and Allan McGregor has the same thing (groin complaint) but nowhere near as bad as he was. I am hopeful that all three will make it.'

Asked if the Besiktas keeper would require an injection to play, Levein said: 'I don't think so and I don't think it is something that we would do, that's more for his club to undertake.'

Aleksandar Kolarov dismisses Scotland threat

Kolarov dismisses Scotland threat as Serbia set sights on Wales clash



15:36 GMT, 9 September 2012

Serbia defender Aleksandar Kolarov is convinced his team are better than Scotland following the goalless Hampden clash.

Scotland had the better chances in the opening World Cup qualifier for both teams but Allan McGregor made an excellent last-minute save from Dusan Tadic.

Serbia now host Wales on Tuesday and Manchester City left-back Kolarov feels they are well-prepared for the game given they have just played fellow 'long-ball' teams Scotland and Republic of Ireland, who drew 0-0 in a Belgrade friendly last month.

Superior: Aleksandar Kolarov (left) believes Serbia had the better of Scotland

Superior: Aleksandar Kolarov (left) believes Serbia had the better of Scotland

Kolarov, who drew a good save from McGregor with an early free-kick, said: 'I think we are a better team than Scotland.

'They played at home but I think we are a better team than them. And we are going to try to win against Wales.

'I think all the squads from the island play in the same way, with the long ball.

'We had this game and the last friendly game against Ireland, so we are used to playing against a team like this.'

Kolarov says he was not surprised in any way by Scotland.

'We know how they play, with long balls. They are good on the second balls and from set-pieces,' he said.

'We made some mistakes and they could have scored but nil-nil in the end was okay for both sides.'

Serbia captain Branislav Ivanovic was more complimentary towards his opponents.

'I think Scotland can beat us and also we can beat Scotland so a draw is okay for both teams for a start,' the Chelsea defender said.

Missed opportunity: Kenny Miller rues a missed chance for Scotland

Missed opportunity: Kenny Miller rues a missed chance for Scotland

'They had some opportunities from our mistakes. We had two or three opportunities and the draw was correct.

'We said before the game it was going to be a very tough game, and it was.

'Both teams had good chances to win the game but I thought it was a fair result and we can be happy with a draw in one of the hardest away games for us.

'Maybe we should have created more but we had a great chance at the end of the game when the player was one-on-one against the goalkeeper.

'Also the Scottish team had good chances to score and I think a draw is enough.'

Meanwhile, Scotland defender Christophe Berra felt there were plenty of positives to take from the match.

The Wolves defender said: 'I thought we had the better chances in the game, Greegs only had one save to make towards the end.

Confident: Christophe Berra (right) believes Scotland can qualify

Confident: Christophe Berra (right) believes Scotland can qualify

'We're disappointed not to get the three points but we'll take a point and take a lot of positives from the game and we're looking forward to Macedonia on Tuesday.

'I thought from back to front we defended well and were solid.

'They had a lot of the ball at some points during the game but we frustrated them and had chances on the counter-attack.'

Berra accepted that Scotland fans will expect to win home games, which continue with the visit of Macedonia.

But he added: 'I think the way we performed against Serbia, who are a top team, when we go over there to play them we won't have any fears.

'We deserved to win the game, we had the better chances and we were just unlucky the ball didn't fall for us in the box a couple of times.

'If win on Tuesday we walk away with four points and I think that would be pleasing all round.'

Allan McGregor in talks with Besiktas

McGregor could swap Rangers for Besiktas as Turks hold talks with Scotland keeper



15:21 GMT, 10 July 2012

Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor is in talks with Besiktas.

McGregor, 30, is one of several players who have, following advice from PFA Scotland, rejected the chance to transfer their contracts from Rangers to Charles Green's newco.

Steven Naismith has moved to Everton, Steven Whittaker has signed for Norwich and Jamie Ness has joined Stoke.

Heading out of Ibrox: Allan McGregor could be on his way to Turkey

Heading out of Ibrox: Allan McGregor could be on his way to Turkey

Northern Ireland duo Steve Davis and Kyle Lafferty are at Southampton and Swiss side Sion respectively, and McGregor could be next to leave Govan, with the Besiktas website stating that the club 'began talks with goalkeeper Allan McGregor'.

Despite Lafferty making his debut for Sion in a 1-1 friendly draw against Marseille on Sunday, none of the five players who have found new clubs have received international clearance as Rangers newco continue to dispute the players' status.

Green rejects the claim that the players are free agents and the former Sheffield United chief executive sent letters to clubs across the UK warning them that the players who objected to the switch to the newco were in breach of contract.

Lee Westwood has an Open injury scare

Slip-up gives Westwood an Open scare with injuries to knee and groin



13:25 GMT, 7 July 2012

Lee Westwood has had an injury scare just 12 days before the start of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham.

England's world No 3 tweaked a knee and strained a groin when he slipped walking to the first tee for the third round of the Alstom French Open at Le Golf National near Paris.

It looked serious as he double-bogeyed the opening hole and bogeyed the next five, but with the pain easing he managed to play the remaining 12 holes in two under.

Injury worry: Westwood

Injury worry: Westwood

That still meant a five over par 76 – his worst score in Europe for over three years – and he still had some concern as he spoke afterwards.

'I was talking to Richard Sterne's caddie and not looking where I was going,' Westwood told Sky Sports.

'I slipped on wooden sleepers down the side of the cart path. My left foot went forward about two feet and my right foot stayed where it was.

'It left like I strained something at the top of my right leg and tweaked my right knee as well.

'I didn't really have much confidence in it and as the round went on I just kept stretching my groin out. It seems to have eased off, but I am still a little bit wary of it.

'I felt if it stopped it might make it worse by seizing up, so I thought it was better to keep it moving.

'I didn't try to overdo it over the first few holes, but lost everything to the right – I couldn't put any weight on it.

'I don't know what I've done to it. Hopefully I've just tweaked it and not done anything more serious than that.

'You don't have the confidence to load up on the right side and then all my weight is too far forward on the way through. I was just blocking everything straight right and there's not much room on this golf course anyway.'

Westwood was planning to ring his trainer Steve McGregor for advice on whether to have treatment or just rest the injury.

Playing it safe: Westwood

Playing it safe: Westwood

The 39-year-old is currently without regular caddie Billy Foster after he suffered a knee injury in a kickabout and he has unhappy memories of Le Golf National.

Two years ago he had to go to hospital for what was initially feared to be a deep vein thrombosis, but turned out to be a ruptured plantaris muscle in his calf.

He still managed a runner-up finish in The Open just afterwards, but pulled out of the USPGA Championship and did not play again until the Ryder Cup.

Birmingham reject Southampton"s 6m Jack Butland bid

Birmingham reject 6m Butland bid from Southampton as Pannu says only 'eye-popping' offer would spark sale



22:00 GMT, 27 June 2012

Birmingham City have turned down a 6m bid from Southampton for Jack Butland.

The keeper, who was part of Roy Hodgson’s England squad at the Euro 2012, has yet to play a game for the Championship club.

But the Saints have been tracking Butland for the past two years and have followed up an initial opening offer of 3.5m with a far more substantial bid.

Big money move: Southampton have bid 6m for Butland (third left)

Big money move: Southampton have bid 6m for Butland (third left)

Nigel Adkins is hoping that a swift move for Butland, 19, may be sufficient for the Barclays Premier League new boys to steal a march on several rivals who have also been watching the teenager.

Birmingham’s cash problems are well known but acting vice-chairman Peter Pannu has indicated that only an 'eye-popping' offer for one of their young prized asset would be considered.

There are indications that a fee of around 10m would be too much for the club to resist and Butland’s valuation could rocket if he performs well in the upcoming Olympics.

New manager Lee Clark has opened negotiations with former Ireland Under-21 international Colin Doyle in a bid to keep him at the club, along with veteran Steven Carr.

Grabbing it with both hands: Lee Clark

Grabbing it with both hands: Lee Clark

Clark expected that Ben Foster would be sold to West Bromwich Albion but with Alan McGregor now available for a fraction of the money that it would cost to secure the signature of the former England international, Baggies’ chairman Jeremy Peace is likely to consider the option of plundering Rangers for a new keeper.

Meanwhile, Clark has been told he will not receive any of the money from Butland’s proposed sale and is unlikely to profit either from the 3m fee the club will eventually bank for Jordon Mutch.

And he defended his time at Huddersfield. He was surprisingly sacked midway through last season, despite leading the Terriers into the top three.

He said: 'It was stale when we arrived. We created an exciting squad and we created value on the pitch.

'The value of the squad rocketed massively and we sold two players for substantial amounts of money.

'My biggest hurt was being away form the training pitch. Now I’m back I’m determined to grab this chance with both hands. It’s not about proving people wrong or getting rid of the hurt. I honestly haven’t got time for that.'

Rangers in crisis: Kyle Hutton commits to club

Hutton joins McCulloch and Wallace in committing to newco Rangers



18:27 GMT, 27 June 2012

Committed: Hutton will report for pre-season training

Committed: Hutton will report for pre-season training

Kyle Hutton has become the third player to commit his future to newco Rangers.

The midfielder follows the lead of Lee Wallace and Lee McCulloch, who have both indicated they will report back for the start of pre-season training on Thursday as planned.

Steven Davis, Allan McGregor, Kyle Lafferty, Jamie Ness, Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker, Sone Aluko and Rhys McCabe have all refused to transfer their contracts to Charles Green's Sevco company.

However, Hutton – who spent last season on loan to Partick Thistle and then Dunfermline – is determined to make an impact upon his return to Ibrox.

The 21-year-old told Rangers official website: 'Like everyone else in the first-team squad, I've had a good long, hard think about the situation.

'With the other players that are leaving, I look upon what has happened as something which presents me with a chance to play more games for the club.

'As sad as everything which has been going on is, this is still Rangers we are talking about and it's an extremely attractive team for people to play for.

'For me, it is in my best interests to stay where I am and to try to establish myself in the side next season.

'I feel I've got a lot more to give the club.

Staying put: Lee Wallace also looks set to remain at Ibrox

Staying put: Lee Wallace also looks set to remain at Ibrox

'I'm still a young player who is learning his trade and hopefully I've got a long career ahead of me so this is a great place for me to keep learning.'

Hutton has urged those who are undecided over their own futures to follow his example.

He added: 'I'd say the same to other young players who have yet to make their decisions on their futures known.

'There are quite a few other boys coming through who can make an impact and hopefully they can look at things in the same light as I have.'

Green's application to join the Scottish Premier League looks doomed and he could be forced to relaunch the club in the Irn-Bru Third Division, although a 'soft landing' in the First Division has also been speculated upon.

Hutton said: 'I enjoyed it in the First Division with Partick last season.

High hopes: Lee McCulloch will be trying to get Rangers back in the top flight

High hopes: Lee McCulloch will be trying to get Rangers back in the top flight

'If that's where we were to end up playing, I'd know what to expect and it's a tough league.

'For the players who are remaining with Rangers, it's still a good level to play at and it'll be a bigger test for us than some might think should we go into that competition.

'Being a First Division player definitely toughened me up and my mentality changed for the better.

'I learned to appreciate some grounds aren't as fancy as others but you still need to dig in and get results wherever you go. That has helped me a lot.

'Whatever league we are in, there will be pressure on us to win it and the players who are at Ibrox will rise to that.'

Scotland players are not on holiday – Peter Houston

This is no holiday! Houston warns Scots to be on their game against the States



13:02 GMT, 20 May 2012

Scotland assistant boss Peter Houston says the build-up to the World Cup qualifying campaign begins now and this week's trip to Florida is not an excuse for an end-of-season holiday.

Scotland play the United States in Jacksonville on Saturday before the road to Brazil begins in September against Serbia.

'We are looking forward to the trip because we see this game as being the first in the build-up towards the qualifiers for the World Cup, so it's a very important game in many ways,' said Houston, who reported no call-offs from the 22-man squad.

Out to impress: Craig Gordon is without a club but in the Scotland squad

Out to impress: Craig Gordon is without a club but in the Scotland squad

'It's one that we're looking forward to but we're not there for a holiday. We're here to try to win a match against the United States so the preparation will be as thorough as ever.'

Joining manager Craig Levein and Houston in leaving from Glasgow were Celtic captain Scott Brown and his team-mate Charlie Mulgrew, goalkeeper Allan McGregor and his Rangers colleagues Lee Wallace and Steven Whittaker and another keeper in Craig Gordon, who was last week released by Sunderland.

Dundee United striker Johnny Russell was also on the flight after receiving his first senior Scotland squad call-up.

Following Saturday's match, Russell will join up with the Scotland Under-21 squad for their European Championship qualifier against Bulgaria on May 31.

Hurt: Matt Phillips (right) suffered disappointment in the Championship play-off

Hurt: Matt Phillips (right) suffered disappointment in the Championship play-off

Defender Andy Webster was set to take part in Hearts' William Hill Scottish Cup victory celebrations in Edinburgh today and be among a group of players departing later, with the majority of the English-based contingent set to leave from Manchester on Monday.

Among them will be midfielder Matt Phillips, who suffered npower Championship play-off final defeat with Blackpool but will hope to end the season with a first Scotland cap.

'It's great the amount of players who have turned up,' Houston added.

'Some are flying out tomorrow and the Scottish-based lads are already here.'

West Brom want Steven Naismith and Allan McGregor from Rangers

West Brom signal intent to poach injured Naismith and McGregor from Rangers



23:03 GMT, 10 April 2012

West Brom signalled their desperation to land Steven Naismith by launching a fresh bid for the crocked Rangers attacker.

And Sportsmail understands the latest offer, believed to be worth less than the 2million previously reported and heavily weighted with add-ons, is actually the third attempt the Premier League side have made to land the Scotland international in recent weeks.

Asked if he had submitted a new offer for Naismith, manager Roy Hodgson — also in for Rangers keeper Allan McGregor — was non-committal, saying: ‘That might be so.

‘It’s not really my department, it’s sporting director Dan Ashworth you’d have to ask about that.’

Target: Naismith

Target: Naismith

Naismith renegotiated the terms of his contract last month when Rangers players accepted swingeing pay-cuts following the club’s descent into administration.

Now believed — in common with other key first-team players — to be available for a fraction of his true value, West Brom have repeatedly bid low, arguing the player’s injury problems make him a risky signing.

Naismith, 25, is now back running after suffering a cruciate-ligament injury against Aberdeen on October 29.

And manager Ally McCoist hopes the Scotland star, a major miss for his side this season, will return to first-team action before the end of the campaign.

McCoist told Blues News: ‘Stevie is doing really well and he was going for a scan today to make sure everything is OK.

‘It would be nice to see if he could get a game in somewhere, although we’d obviously take advice from the medical team on that.

‘For his own peace of mind, if nothing else, it would be good if he could get 45 minutes somewhere and then he could go away and have a holiday knowing he is absolutely fine.’

McCoist expects Lee Wallace and Steven Whittaker to recover from less serious injuries before Rangers go to Hearts on April 21.

West Brom want Rangers" Allan McGregor and Steven Naismith

Baggies plot Ibrox raid as Hodgson eyes Rangers duo McGregor and Naismith



08:45 GMT, 30 March 2012

West Brom manager Roy Hogdson plans to take advantage of Rangers' financial crisis with a double summer swoop for Allan McGregor and Steven Naismith.

Both players negotiated release clauses as part of the agreement to take a drop in wages after the club entered administration.

The Scotland internationals are available for a cut price
3.5million – a whopping 10m less than the Ibrox club would normally

Superman: Allan McGregor is a reported target for West Brom

Superman: Allan McGregor is a reported target for West Brom

Goalkeeper McGregor has long been a target for Hodgson who is struggling to tie down Birmingham's Ben Foster on a permanent deal, according to The Sun.

The Championship club value their stopper at 6m, placing him way beyond the 2m set aside by West Brom.

McGregor, 30, has also previously been a target for Arsenal after establishing himself as Scotland's No 1 following Craig Gordon's spate of injuries.

On the mend: Steven Naismith is recovering from a long-term injury

On the mend: Steven Naismith is recovering from a long-term injury

Naismith, 25, has emerged as one of Rangers' brightest talents since joining from Kilmarnock but has spent a considerable length of time on the sidelines and will not play again this season after suffering cruciate-ligament damage.

Before suffering the knock, he had looked in ominous form, scoring 10 goals to follow up the 16 he grabbed last season.