Lennon offers word of warning

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?”