English League 2

Linganzi key for Stanley

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Thu, 28 Feb 2013 19:31:00

Sir David Murray says the decision to pursue oldco Rangers over undisclosed payments to players amounted to a "witch hunt".

A commission appointed by the Scottish Premier League found there was a failure to properly disclose side-letter arrangements in relation to Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) under Murray's ownership.

A fine of ?250,000 was imposed on the now liquidated oldco, but the commission ruled there was no reason to strip Rangers of league titles won between 2000-2011.

A statement from Murray in response to the verdict: "The problems arising at Rangers brought no credit to Scottish football and have been a tragedy for the club and its fans. They cannot be condoned.

"Similarly, however, and as stated previously, efforts to bayonet the wounded are equally unjustified and of no benefit to the club or Scottish football.

"Despite knowledge of the existence of EBT arrangements for 10 years, the SPL has never explained why this was only raised as an issue last year.

"The imposition of an irrecoverable fine on an entity which is now in liquidation is futile and only prejudices the ability of existing creditors to recover any money.

"It is saddening that so much time, effort and money has been expended in pursuing a retrospective witch hunt against an entity in crisis, as opposed to seeking to promote and further Scottish football for the benefit of the game and country as a whole."

The midfielder was given his marching orders during the first half of Town's 2-1 home defeat to Doncaster for a challenge on Iain Hume, with the score goalless at the time.

Manager Graham Turner immediately expressed his anger at the decision post match and vowed to appeal the red card and consequent suspension.

And that appeal has been successful, with McAllister free to face Walsall at the Banks's Stadium this weekend.

Turner told the club's official website: "You just feel a little bit bitter towards the referee (Oliver Langford) as the decision may well have cost us a point, perhaps even three.

"It was an absolutely shocking decision, but fortunately justice has prevailed."

Wright cited changes in the nature of his role along with a desire to spend more time with his family as reasons behind his decision.

Wright and Lord Solicitors, where Wright is a senior partner, will continue their sponsorship agreement with Morecambe, which includes the main hospitality suit at the Globe Arena.

"During my time with the club, it has gone from the Conference to the Football League and from Christie Park to the Globe Arena," Wright told the Morecambe Visitor.

"There have been changes behind the scenes in that time. When I started the club was run by a board of volunteer non-executive directors in their spare time.

"Since then, the role of the volunteer director has reduced somewhat. As the club became majority owned by Peter McGuigan, the business operations at the Globe broadened and full-time executive directors were appointed.

"It has been very time-consuming and I need to make time for other important aspects of my life. I am part of a happily growing business and a happily growing family.

"Wright and Lord have been major sponsors of the club since 2004 and that is set to continue. The firm is committed to supporting the club long into the future."

The Tynecastle club on Thursday parted company with manager John McGlynn after his side were shot down 2-0 by Lennon's men in Paisley on Wednesday night.

The defeat left Hearts sitting second bottom of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, but Lennon claims the former Raith Rovers boss was doing a good job under severe financial restraints that had already seen many of Hearts top earners depart.

He said: "It's disappointing because I don't think John got enough credit for the difficult job he had at Hearts.

"It's a club that is going through financial strains at this minute in time, but when your club suffers and your results suffer, it is the manager whose head who is on the line.

"However, I thought he was doing a terrific job. There's a lot of kids that are getting valuable experience and that is only going to set Hearts up for the future.

"But we've been through this ourselves. Bleeding younger guys in, you are going to get that inconsistency and hit lows."

McGlynn is the ninth man to be given the job of managing the Gorgie club on a full-time basis since owner Vladimir Romanov bought them in 2005.

But Lennon, whose side will face the Jambos again at Hampden on March 17, is wary about just who will want to be the 10th.

"There have been many there before John, prior to him getting the job," said Lennon.

"I don't like speaking about other clubs but looking at the amount of managers Hearts have been through the past number of years, any future employee has got to be very careful and do their homework first."

Saints reached their second League Cup final in four years by beating Celtic in the semis, as they overturned a run of eight defeats that had seen the Hoops build up an aggregate score of 22-0.

They now face the Glasgow giants once more on Saturday hoping to cause a second upset by knocking the SPL leaders out of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

And Lennon is hopeful of his team's quarter-final prospects.

He said: "Our performances in my time here against Celtic before that semi-final were not great, never scoring a goal, never mind winning a game.

"So we know we need to be at our best. A lot of people have written us off already. A lot of people have asked if lightning can strike twice? My answer is why not?"

Machala, who held the position since July 2010, will remain a major shareholder in the League Two club as well as a director, juggling those responsibilities with his other business interests.

Azeem takes over having spent two years on the board as non-executive director.

His priority will be to lead Aldershot through their continued period of financial restructure, including the attraction of new investment needed to further the strategic aims of the Hampshire club.

An official statement from Aldershot read: "On behalf of all the directors, staff and supporters we take this opportunity to formally thank Kris for his dedication and commitment during his tenure as owner and chairman.

"We formally welcome Shahid to the role of chairman and have every faith that with everyone supporting him he will lead the club through a difficult but improving position."

The news comes a week after Shots manager Dean Holdsworth was sacked and replaced with Andy Scott.

Redknapp takes QPR to the south coast on Saturday as the Premier League's bottom-placed side look to kick-start their fight against relegation.

That is something he tasted at the Southampton helm, finishing the 2004/05 season bottom of the table as the club's 27-year spell in the top flight came to an end.

Redknapp quit later that year to rejoin bitter rivals Portsmouth, which the home fans will no doubt remind him of when he makes his first return.

Pochettino, who like Redknapp celebrates his birthday on Saturday, is aware of the strength of feeling towards his QPR counterpart but is only focused on the game itself.

"I do know the past of Southampton, but I do not know every single detail of what happened," the Argentinian said.

"I am always interested in football matters so I have become interested in this matter as well.

"But I think my main goal is always to generate a positive atmosphere for my team and always respect what the people say.

"I will thoroughly respect whatever they want to say on Saturday, but I think what is truly important is that they get behind the team and push us to try and get the three points as best as we can."

Victory for Southampton would move them further away from the relegation zone and leave QPR deeper in the relegation mire.

Redknapp has highlighted 37 points as the tally required to beat the drop but Pochettino does not buy into such talk.

"We haven't set ourselves a certain amount of points," he said.

"We have just set out to win every single match and then at the end of the season we will look at how far close we came to achieving the ambitions we have."

It is now six weeks since Pochettino replaced fans' favourite Nigel Adkins at the Saints helm.

The former Espanyol boss is getting into the swing of things and is impressed by the level of support he receives.

"It is very different to being in Barcelona," he said. "Joking aside, we (the coaching staff) are very happy to be here.

"We have found ourselves in a very tranquil city, a very calm place during the week.

"We spend from 7am to 8pm at the training ground so we don't get to see much of the city, but it is true that we experience football in a much more intense way here.

"We are very aware of the passion of the English fans and of those in the Premier League.

"I think every game we have played at St Mary's we have felt that warmth and kindness from the fans.

"So far so good, we have just experienced good things so far."

One trait Pochettino shares with predecessor Adkins is a coyness when it comes to injury news.

"I have not given the list yet," he said, speaking through his translator. "Tomorrow I will give the list.

"I will provide the list to the people that really matter to me before any other third party so the players will know beforehand if they are in the squad or not."

The former Blackburn midfielder, 23, is pushing for his first Stanley start having impressed in a half-hour cameo at Rochdale in midweek, during which time all three goals in a 3-0 win were scored.

Richardson said: "He's a player I'd seen a few times and identified and as soon as he became available through circumstances at Blackburn Rovers, geographically and everything else, we were able to do something.

"The lad's still young. He had very, very good potential and he definitely comes into our squad and makes us better.

"It's important, if we are going to add it must be for the better and Amine gives you that."

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