Ashley wants King thrown in jail for breaching gagging order; Sports Direct ‘in bid to block Rangers charity cash; Bitton boosts Hoops with new deal and police probe reports of 12-year-old Hibs fan ‘spat on’ by Rangers supporter
Mike Ashley in bid to ‘jail Dave King’
MIKE Ashley is angling to get Dave King jailed - for breaching a gagging order over Sports Direct’s dealings with Rangers, according to reports.
The Daily Record report that Ashley has accused King of breaching an injunction during an interview with Jim White of Sky Sports during the summer, during which the Ibrox chairman confirmed he was holding talks with Sports Direct over contracts signed by the last Rangers board.
Ashley’s legal team have reportedly asked the High Court in London to fine Rangers for allowing King on camera, while legal papers have been served on John Gilligan and Paul Murray.
And according to an insider, the tycoon’s lawyers ‘believe King [made the comments] quite deliberately as an attempt to force a renegotiation of commercial contracts and therefore must be found in contempt of court.
“They want to see him hammered for it and the club given a hefty fine into the bargain.” (Daily Record)
Sports Direct in Gers charity cash bid
SPORTS Direct has also reportedly attempted to block a Rangers supporters group from raising funds for the Rangers Former Players Benevolent Fund over an alleged breach of trademark.
A letter from August appears to suggest that season ticket wallets sold by the Sons of Struth group that helped raise over £1,000 for the charity caused the problem.
The letter, from the Rangers International Football Club Ltd company secretary raises concerns on behalf of Sports Direct that ‘such use [of the Rangers five-star logo] may have an adverse effect on sales of genuine Rangers products and the validity of the relevant registered marks’.
The letter then instructs the group to ‘take immediate action to defend this infringement’. (Evening Times)
Cops probe reports of Rangers supporter ‘spitting on young Hibs fan’
POLICE are investigating after a 12-year-old Hibs fan was spat on before Sunday’s game against Rangers.
The incident took place on Easter Road shortly before 12.20pm on Sunday.
Police Scotland chief inspector Richard Horan said: “An unknown male, who it is believed to had been travelling on a Rangers supporters’ bus, spat on a young Hibernian fan as he walked on Easter Road.” (The Scotsman)
Bitton boost for Hoops as midfielder extends contract
CELTIC have enjoyed a positive start to one of the most important weeks of their season by agreeing a new contract with Nir Bitton.
The Israeli international midfielder, who has emerged as one of the Scottish champions’ most impressive and influential players over the past 12 months, has signed an improved deal which keeps him at Parkhead until the summer of 2020.
Bitton was linked with a move to the English Premier League during the last transfer window but is content to pursue further success with the Glasgow club in the more immediate future. (The Scotsman)
Molde skipper says Celtic Park atmosphere will ‘inspire him’
MOLDE captain Daniel Berg Hestad has warned Celtic that a rocking atmosphere in Glasgow will help inspire him.
The veteran midfielder, who will hang up his boots at the end of Molde’s Europa League campaign, said: “These games become more motivating and it gives you an extra boost in these battles.”
Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that the 40-year-old will start against Celtic. (The Scotsman)
St Mirren chase ex-Ibrox boss
ST Mirren are ready to offer former Rangers caretaker boss Kenny McDowall a route back into football as they search for a new assistant manager.
Mark Spalding left the club yesterday by mutual consent and now the Buddies are keen on recruiting McDowall - who helped St Mirren to Scottish Cup glory in 1987 - as Ian Murray’s new right hand man.
Jack Ross, who parted company with Hearts last month, is also in the frame. (The Scottish Sun)
Hands off O’Halloran, warns Wright
TOMMY Wright has issued a ‘not-for-sale’ warning to clubs circling star winger Michael O’Halloran.
The former Celtic kid has been in inspired form for St Johnstone, helping them to victory over Rangers in the League Cup and there have been calls for him to receive a Scotland call-up.
And Saints boss Wright insisted: “Michael’s not for sale unless we get an unbelievable offer for him. Even then it would have to be right for the player because he is happy here and signed an extension recently to 2017.”
Wright added that the McDiarmid Park side are ‘not in a position where we have to sell players in January’. (The Scottish Sun)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Hearts defender Juwon Oshaniwa has admitted he’ll be crocked if he continues to play through the pain barrier. The Nigerian full-back struggled back to the first team after a hamstring issue to help Hearts to a 4-0 win over Partick at Firhill
• Kevin Thomson could return for Dundee against Partick Thistle this weekend, with the Dens Park skipper hoping to have shaken off a knee injury sustained last month against Motherwell
• Former Hibs boss Alex Miller has agreed to ‘join St Mirren to help out Ian Murray’ with first-team affairs
• SPFL clubs are to receive a bumper payout in prize money this season, with STV reporting around £21m will be handed out to Scotland’s 42 senior sides - an increase of around £2.5m on last season