SPFL legend retires as Hearts and Hibs rivals face Hampden Park 'crisis'

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Scottish football prepares to say goodbye to SPFL icon following retirement announcement - here are the latest SPFL news headlines from outside of Edinburgh.

Both Hibs and Hearts are now well into pre-season training with the Easter Road side preparing for their first campaign under new manager David Gray. Hibs enjoyed a win over Greek side POAK in the Netherlands on Saturday while Hearts will prepare to face EFL club Leyton Orient this Saturday, July 13, following a warm-weather training camp in Tenerife.

As Hearts prepare for their pre-season friendlies - during which time they will also take on Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs - and the Hibees look ahead to this weekend’s Scottish League Cup group stage clash against Elgin City, here is the latest news from around the SPFL

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SPFL Legend retires

The Scottish Premiership legend Andy Considine has announced his retirement from football following a career that has spanned 20 years. The 37-year-old defender enjoyed the bulk of his 645 senior appearances for first club Aberdeen after making his debut in May 2004. The defender has since spent the last two seasons at St Johnstone.

Taking to Instagram, the ex-Dons icon said: “Sad because it’s over but smiling because it happened. Thank you football.”

Considine reportedly had the option of joining Rangers as a youth but opted for the Pittodrie side as he believed he had a greater chance of breaking into the first team there.

He would remain with the club for 18 years, amassing 444 league appearances for the Dons and helping the side to win the Scottish League Cup in 2014. This would prove to be his only medal but in 2020, Considine won three Scotland caps and represented his country in two UEFA Nations League clashes.

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A regular scorer, the left-sided player bagged a hat-trick against Dundee in 2017, eventually amassing 43 club goals.

Edinburgh club rivals face Hampden crisis

Hearts and Hibs Scottish rivals Rangers are facing a club ‘crisis’ over where they could begin their 2024/25 campaign with Ibrox Stadium set to be out of action until potentially October.

Renovations are underway to improve the Copeland Road Stand and while it had been hoped said work would cause as little disruption to the upcoming season as possible, it now appears Rangers will be seeking a temporary home with the club’s chairman John Bennett close to confirming a deal with Hampden Park.

According to the latest reports from Record Sport, a representative from Ibrox visited Hampden last week, receiving a full tour of the available facilities. Scotland’s national rugby stadium Murrayfield is also said to remain a possibility but Hampden remains the frontrunner after talks have been said to ‘gather pace’.

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The latest delays to the renovations are understood to have resulted from materials needed for the development not being ordered on time. They are now unlikely to arrive in Glasgow until August. It is also noted that there are unprecedented logjams in the global shipping industry caused, in part, by the ongoing conflicts in both the Middle East and Ukraine.

Rangers are due to kick-off their 2024/25 campaign with a trip to Tynecastle on August 3 but will be hosting Motherwell the following week. As yet, it is not known where.

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