Azeem now calling the Shots

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.