Long Live the Billy King!

Expectant crowds await the arrival of Billy King at Ibrox this evening

 

Spew Heevins

By Spew Heevins

 

In scenes reminiscent of the signing of Gazza twenty years ago, Edmiston Drive was packed with Rangers fans this evening to welcome the sensational signing of Hearts wunderkind Billy King.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2012, the jet-heeled winger has established a reputation as Scotland’s hottest young talent and his arrival at Ibrox has energised the club for the Championship run-in.

King’s dream move to Ibrox can only be good news for the Scotland national team, with boss Gordon Strachan said to be closely monitoring his progress ahead of next season’s FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Should he inspire Rangers to automatic promotion this season he will be not so much knocking on the door of the national side as blowing it off its hinges.

The Rangers fans we spoke to outside Ibrox this evening were positively buzzing over this astonishing signing. Billy Williamson of Harthill could hardly contain his excitement as he said, “This is an amazing signing for us. He’s going to get the biggest cheer you’ve ever heard when he steps onto the pitch on Saturday!”

His pal Cammy Williams was equally excited, telling us, “This is absolutely amazing. I’ve been a huge fan of Billy since I first read his name in a Decord match report and it’s a dream come true that he’s signed for us at last!”

Great news for Rangers and their fans indeed, but agony for a host of EPL clubs who were desperate to secure his services, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Southampton and Spurs all having sent scouts to Tynecastle in recent weeks, hoping to see the dazzling winger make an appearance from the subs’ bench.

A source close to Arsene Wenger told us tonight, “Arsene is really disappointed that King chose to go to Rangers. He sees him as someone he could build his team around and was really keen to take him to the Emirates this window.”

Bad news too for Michael O’Halloran, the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks that  he was on the Master Baker’s radar. The player was so excited about the prospect that he was unable to play against Hamilton last week but now it looks as if his hopes have been cruelly dashed.

A Murray Park insider told us, “Yes Warbs had enquired about O’Halloran but that was only ever a contingency plan in the event of Billy’s move falling through. King was the man we wanted all along.”

Angry and bemused Hearts fans plan to stage a protest at losing their star player at their televised league match with Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday. They will be chanting the player’s name in the 16th and 90th minutes to register their dismay.

A source close to the club told us, “We’re all pretty much in shock right now about losing Billy for the rest of the season. It’s not just the two goals he has scored in the league this season – he’s lightning quick and his close control is a joy to watch. We’re challenging for second place with Aberdeen and we don’t know how we’re going to make up the eight point deficit without Billy.”

All this will be of no concern to the Rangers legions, finally seeing Warbs’ masterplan, backed by Real Rangers Man Chairman Dave King, coming to fruition.

With Rangers ready to roar back into the top flight, driven by the youngster dubbed, “The Salt’n’Sauce Ronaldo,” Scottish football’s longest winter is finally giving way to the Govan Spring.

Don’t miss your super 8 page special souvenir pull out marking Billy King’s move to Ibrox, only in tomorrow’s Decord.

 

 

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Celtic and Hibs in Shock FIFA Probe

Craig Prawn

Exclusive by Craig Prawn

 

Anthony Stokes has scored 53 goals during his time at Celtic

Anthony Stokes on being asked if Rangers can finish top of the Championship

 

In a sensational development last night, Decord Sport has learned that Celtic and Hibs are at the centre of a FIFA probe into alleged sectarian links between the two clubs founded in Scotland by Irish immigrants.

In an exclusive interview last night, Rangers First Supporters Trust spokesman Gris Crayon revealed that the Ibrox fans’ group has reported the two clubs to FIFA after the frankly baffling decision by Celtic to loan star forward Anthony Stokes to the Edinburgh side.

Grayon told us last night, “It was with a sense of disbelief that we learned of this sinister decision to send Stokes to Hibs. Celtic have openly admitted that the absence of Rangers from the top flight is costing them £10m a season, so why would they want to make it more difficult for Rangers to get automatic promotion this season?

“This comes on the back of Celtic hijacking our bid to sign Scott Allan, which also involved them sending Dylan McGeouch and Liam Henderson to Hibs, simultaneously strengthening them while weakening Rangers.

“It also surely cannot be a coincidence that the Hibs manager is former Celtic defender Allan Stubbs.

“We all know that Celtic and Hibs were both founded by Republican-leaning Irish immigrants and that between them they introduced sectarianism into Scottish football in the 19th Century, and clearly old habits die hard.”

Strong words from Gris Crayon, and it is difficult to disagree.

When we contacted them on Skype for comment last night, FIFA Vice-President Aloysius O’Brien appeared distinctly uneasy despite the condescending chuckle as he adjusted his dog-collar. He would only say, “Yes we have received a complaint from Glasgow about an alleged sectarian conspiracy to do Rangers down concocted between Celtic and Hibs, but really I can’t see this going anywhere.”

Decord Sport understands though that this is not the case. A Nyon insider told our reporter last night, “These are very serious allegations we have received from Mr Stevens. FIFA is also aware that Scotland’s First Minister has contacted Celtic to ask for an explanation of Stokes’ move to Hibs.

“There are influential people in FIFA who have been concerned about the activities of Peter Lawwell and Celtic for several years, despite vested interests blocking any meaningful investigation. This time, they have Celtic in their sights.

“If it is proven that Celtic and Hibs are colluding to prevent Rangers’ return to their rightful place at the top of Scottish football, this loan move will be immediately blocked.

“After that, there is a distinct possibility that Celtic and Hibs will be suspended from all official competition indefinitely. These allegations are tantamount to match fixing.”

Gris Crayon is convinced that this is the only possible outcome. The Rangers First Supporters Trust spokesman went on, ” Celtic and Hibs are amongst the most Rangers-hating clubs in Scotland and they clearly want to prevent Rangers coming back up. There’s no way that can be allowed to happen but with Peter Lawwell having Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster in his back pocket, our only option was to go to FIFA. We have received information that things don’t end at the Stokes loan move. We don’t have any specifics at this time, but we are certain more is going on. They should be thrown out of football for this.”

Decord Sport has today discovered information that may corroborate Grayon’s suspicions. Sources close to Rangers target Michael O’Halloran have told us that Celtic plan to hijack his dream move to Ibrox, then loan him to Hibs for the remainder of the season.

A close friend of the player told the Decord, “Michael doesn’t want to play in the Championship, he has his heart set on a move to Rangers and is distraught at the idea that he may become caught up in machinations between Celtic and Hibs. He just wants St Johnstone to sit down with Rangers and get the deal done.”

Clearly Celtic and Hibs are allowing their hatred of Rangers to drive their actions, regardless of the damage this will cause to Scottish football. Peter Lawwell may have gone too far this time though as powerful forces are aligning against him with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said to be “spitting feathers,” over the Stokes loan move.

FIFA do not like governmental interference in football, so for the sake of our national game, they must act now.

 

Out of His Depth

Seven matches that prove the Celtic job is too big for Ronny Deila

Spew Heevins

By Decord reporter Spew Heevins

 

Ronny Deila on being asked for a quote for today’s Decord article

 

 

Ronny Deila may be the most inept Celtic manager since the hapless Liam Brady settled into the manager’s chair at Parkhead almost a quarter of a century ago.

Having won a mere two trophies in almost 18 months in the Parkhead hotseat and qualified for the latter stages of Europe only once in two attempts, the Parkhead powerbrokers are already considering where the club should go from here. Decord Sport considers the seven games that prove Deila is out of his depth at Parkhead.

4th July 2015

Celtic 3-5 Dukla Prague

The first signs that the wheels were about to come off the Deila Bus came in this calamitous pre-season friendly hammering at the hands of Czech minnows Dukla Prague.

Keystone Cops defending was the order of the day as the Hoops barely struggled to keep on level terms at half time, then conceded two sloppy goals early in the second to trail 2-4. A late Virgil van Dijk goal looked to have restored some respectability to the scoreline before an 85th minute goal for the Czech side completed the rout.

 

25th August 2015

Malmo 2-0 Celtic

Just 10 minutes into the first leg of this Champions League play-off tie, Deila looked to have finally cracked European football as Celtic raced into a 2-0 lead. The situation was far less promising by the end as they took a 3-2 lead to Malmo, but no one could have foreseen the horrendous collapse in Malmo as two set piece efforts from a distinctly average Swedish side sent the Hoops crashing out of Europe’s premier tournament before it had begun once again.

No Celtic manager should ever fail to qualify for the Champions League group stages, and Ronny Deila is the first to achieve that dubious feat, following the club’s heroics in that competition under legendary bosses Martin O’Neill, Gordon Strachan, and two-time Raily Decord Man of the Year winner Neil Lennon.

12th September 2015

Aberdeen 2-1 Celtic

Celtic desperately needed a win at Pittodrie, but once again Deila failed to deliver when it really mattered, an uninspiring Hoops side going down to a hungry and determined 10-man Aberdeen.

Celtic took the lead from the penalty spot on 35 minutes, but conceded a spot kick of their own early in the second half. The Parkhead side looked nervy at the back and every cross ball into their box created havoc in the defence. Dons’ last minute winner came when a Niall McGinn  free kick was allowed to bounce in the six yard box as a static Celtic defence watched Pat Quinn slot home the easiest chance he will ever have.

No Celtic team should ever lose at Pittodrie and the excuses from the Deila apologists were now beginning to wear thin.

 

22nd October 2015

Molde 3-1 Celtic

Celtic headed to Norway on the back of two decent performances in the Europa League group stages – draws against Ajax in Amsterdam and Turkish journeymen Fenerbahce at Parkhead. There were high hopes of a successful run at this stage against group whipping boys, Molde.

It didn’t turn out that way, despite a bright start as the Hoops piled pressure on the Norwegian minnows. Two breakaway goals left them struggling and despite a Kris Commons counter pulling one back, Celtic conceded a third almost immediately to crash to a 3-1 defeat, their worst reverse in a cup tie since the 3-1 loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in 2000.

Losing to a Norwegian side is unacceptable for a Celtic manager and Deila’s problems were further compounded by a tantrum from star playmaker Kris Commons, angry at being substituted, which served to demonstrate that the hapless Norwegian has lost the dressing room.

 

5th November 2015

Celtic 1-2 Molde

A weekend win over Aberdeen had seen Celtic turnaround a five point deficit on the Dons to establish a seven point lead over the Dandies in third place, Hearts trailing in second place by 6 points. It was in expectation of fireworks then that the Parkhead legions turned up, expecting a revenge mission over the Norwegian minnows.

Things very quickly went pear-shaped as Jozo Simunovic limped off after only a few minutes. Deila unfathomably chose to replace him with on-loan Manchester Uniter starlet Tyler Blackett rather than the steady Efe Ambrose. This proved to be his undoing as Blackett turned in a lamentable performance at the back.

Molde took full advantage to inflict a crushing 2-1 defeat on the Hoops, which left them all but out of Europe after only four matches.

Losing at home in Europe is unthinkable for a Celtic manager and Deila had now ticked yet another unwanted box.

 

26th November 2015

Celtic 1-2 Ajax

Celtic went into this match without most of their first choice midfield due to injuries and suspension, yet still failed to take a point against a very average Ajax side, who are a mere shadow of their great team of the mid-70’s.

Callum McGregor gave the Hoops some hope with a fine strike in the opening minutes, and the impressive Keiran Tierney continued to impress under the tutelage of the hapless Norwegian, but once again calamitous defending cost the Parkhead side dear.

With the game tied at 0-0 going into the final minutes, and Celtic having been desperately unlucky not to have grabbed a lead, they were caught on the breakaway by a quick-thinking Ajax to concede a late, late goal that condemned them to European oblivion.

This match demonstrated Deila’s naivety  once again. Rather than settle for a point, as the great Celtic sides of old would have done, they chased the winner and it cost them in the end.

No Celtic team should ever go out of Europe in the group stages, especially when they have been drawn in one of the weakest groups in the history of Europe’s second tier competition.

 

December 19th 2015

Celtic 1-2  Motherwell

Christmas came early for the Steelmen as Celtic gifted them an unexpected three points with some shocking defending and a display devoid of energy, invention and urgency.

After an uneventful first half, things seemed to be going to plan for Celtic as a Nir Bitton strike gave them an early second half lead. Motherwell quickly hit back as the Celtic defence struggled to cope with high balls in the windy conditions and a penalty kick allowed them to complete the comeback to snatch a 2-1 win.

No Celtic manager should ever lose at home to Motherwell and this shocking defeat must surely sound the death-knell on the hopeless Norwegian’s tenure in the Parkhead hot-seat.

 

Deila may have won the SPFL Premiership title in some style last season. He may have come within a dubious refereeing decision of a tilt at the treble in his first season in charge.

He may have taken Celtic to the last 32 of the Europa League and a creditable showing against Inter Milan in February this year.

His defenders will point to the improvements  in players such as Nir Bitton, Leigh Griffiths and Tom Rogic, and the emergence of an exciting young talent in Keiran Tierney under his tutelage.

They may point out the Parkhead side are a point ahead in the SPFL Premiership with a game in hand and a League Cup Semi-Final against Ross County to look forward to.

But the evidence of these seven games is damning.

The Hoops have lost an incredible seven times this season, five of them to second-rate European opposition who would struggle in the SPFL Championship.

It is bad enough that the Norwegian flop has failed in Europe, where all Celtic managers should be judged. They have also unforgiveably crashed to defeat twice on league duty, something unheard of since the dark days of the 1990’s.

The bare minimum Celtic fans should be expected to accept with Rangers still enduring their enforced absence from the top flight, is the Treble every season and an unbeaten record domestically. Deila has conspicuously failed to deliver.

The real test for any Celtic manager is obviously Europe, where Celtic were traditionally one of the continent’s top sides. Under Deila, Celtic have plumbed hitherto unknown depths in UEFA competition. Never before in over 50 years have they been so abject on the continental stage.

Looking across the city at the incredible transformation Mark Warburton has worked on resurgent Old Firm rivals Rangers, the Celtic support know they are being short-changed by the Norwegian flop. For the sake of all that is holy, Celtic must end Deila’s Parkhead hell now.

 

 

Odds on new Celtic manager:

Owen Coyle 4/1

Alex Neil 7/1

Mark Warburton 10/1

Mark McGhee 12/1

Neil Lennon 20/1

Jose Mourinho 150/1

 

 

 

 

 

Raily Decord Archives: Stein on the Brink

30th April 1965

By Alex Cameron

Speaking candidly and keeping you informed

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The Celtic defence struggles to clear in Wednesday’s demolition at the hands of Dunfermline

 

Under fire Celtic manager Jock Stein may have hoped the rather fortuitous Scottish Cup Final win over Dunfermline last weekend would have eased some of the pressure he has come under following some shaky performances since taking up the reins last month, but if so, he was wrong.

After that 0-5 demolition at the hands of Dunfermline Athletic on Wednesday night, even victory over Rangers in tomorrow’s Glasgow Cup quarter-final might not be enough to save Stein from the axe.

Expectations were high when Stein was announced as Celtic’s fourth manager in January this year, but a series of shambolic performances since he took charge has left many fans at breaking point.

First of all, there was the debilitating 0-1 loss at Parkhead to Saint Johnstone when a lacklustre Hoops side saw their hopes of two points washed away in a torrential downpour, Bertie Auld’s last minute penalty miss merely rubbing salt into the wounds of the long-suffering Celtic fans.

Worse was to come just over a week later, when a Neil Martin hat-trick blew the Hoops away in a 4-2 win for the Edinburgh side as Celtic lost yet again at home. Many fans left the match wondering how much of a future Billy McNeill might have at the club, such was the roasting he received at Martin’s hands.

The Parkhead side left the field at full time with boos ringing around the ground and they never looked remotely capable of redeeming themselves in that second half, when they looked as if they would shoot every time they came within 40 yards of the Hibernian goal. Shoot high and wide, that is. Stein’s side was totally bereft of ideas.

Some of the more optimistic Celtic fans could be heard muttering that things would improve as they left the ground that Monday evening, but even they must have been questioning Stein’s prospects of success in the Parkhead managerial chair after the visit to Brockville two weeks ago.

In a performance as unexpected as it was embarrassing, Celtic were ripped apart by a hungry Falkirk side, and were left shaken and shell-shocked by a 6-2 mauling at the hands of a side sitting third bottom of the league.

It is a measure of how far confidence has fallen in the Parkhead ranks that just 8,000 fans turned up three days later to witness yet another home defeat, this time at the hands of Glasgow rivals Partick Thistle.

Boos and whistles from the sparse crowd greeted every misplaced pass and wayward shot as a disjointed Hoops side crashed to a 1-2 defeat, capping a truly miserable week for the Parkhead side.

The euphoria of that 3-2 victory in the Scottish Cup Final, Celtic’s first major trophy win since 1957, had barely subsided when the Pars inflicted Wednesday’s crushing 0-5 defeat at East End Park.

Now the Parkhead fans are questioning the direction the club are heading in under former Dunfermline boss Stein. In a Raily Decord Hotline Special, they queued up to offer their opinion on Stein’s tenure so far and the verdict is damning.

Gerald McNee from Cathcart kicked things off: “It’s obvious to me that the Celtic job is too big for Stein. It’s all very well winning Scottish Cups for Dunfermline, but Celtic demand more than that. Our league record since he took over is atrocious.”

Next up was Hugh Keevins from East Kilbride: “With Rangers already out before he took over, winning the Scottish Cup was the least we could expect. The way the players capitulated at East End Park shows Stein has clearly lost the dressing room.”

Andrew Walker from Motherwell was equally scathing: “Results since Stein took over in March are totally unacceptable. It’s one thing managing at provincial club like Dunfermline and Hibs but expectations at Celtic are so much greater. This job has come too soon for him.”

Jimmy Woods from Stirling was straight to the point: “There’s a scene in On the Waterfront where Marlon Brando as Terry Molloy is determined to kill mob boss Johnny Friendly. Then Father Barry (Karl Malden) persuades him not to, and to testify against him instead. Molloy has to break the taboo against informing and everybody shuns him as a result. Which brings me to Jock Stein. Bob Kelly has a lot to answer for.”

Ken Fine from Barlarnock revealed some truly damning statistics: “Since Jock Stein took over in March, Celtic have played 13 games. We’ve won 5, lost 6 and drawn 2. That’s horrendous form and you have to wonder how much longer the board will tolerate this situation. It’s time Bob Kelly acknowledged it was a mistake to bring Jock Stein back.”

Brian McFeeley from Paisley spoke for many: “We keep hearing about how Stein has revolutionised training at Celtic. How he’s instilling a new professionalism in the players, changing their diet, insisting they use a ball at training and so on, but results on the park are dire. The experiment is not working.”

Time is clearly running out for Stein and defeat to Rangers in tomorrow’s Glasgow Cup tie will surely result in the end of his short tenure in Glasgow’s east end.

Odds on new Celtic manager:

Sean Fallon 3/1

Mark Warburton 4/1

Bertie Peacock 7/1

Tommy Docherty 8/1

Bobby Collins 10/1

Stanley Matthews 100/1

 

 

Heartbreak behind the smiles for Scott Allan

Scott Allan sitting on the bench

Scott Allan will be putting a brave face on things at Parkhead this afternoon

Craig PrawnBy Decord reporter Craig Prawn

Scott Allan will be unveiled as a Celtic player shortly before 3pm today, with an expected 25,000 crowd there to welcome him to Glasgow’s East End.

He’ll come onto the pitch no doubt draped in a Celtic scarf. The crowd will roar their welcome and Allan will smile and wave, but underneath it all, he’ll be going through a broiling inner turmoil.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The midfield playmaker grew up a huge Rangers fan. His bedroom in his Crookston home was adorned with pictures of his Ibrox idols, especially his all-time hero Paul Gascoigne. It was the young Scott Allan’s lifelong ambition to play for Rangers and it so very nearly happened.

After a difficult spell in England he returned north last summer to sign for Hibs and a hugely impressive season saw him crowned the SPFL Championship Player of the Year in a glittering ceremony in Glasgow in May.

It was there that Allan was initially approached about the possibility of joining Rangers and the player intimated to Rangers’ ambassadors that he would walk over broken glass to join the Govan giants.

All that stood in his way was Hibernian and their manager, ex-Celtic stopper Alan Stubbs.

Rangers’ initial bid of £150,000 was low, no question, but for a player in the final season of his contract it was a reasonable opening gambit. It was simply unfortunate that news of the bid leaked from the Hibs end, something that bitterly disappointed Rangers manager Mark Warburton.

After Hibs rejected Rangers’ second offer of £225,000 and publicly stated they would never sell him to the Ibrox club, a devastated Allan handed in a transfer request in a desperate bid to force the move through.

Rangers though refused to be held to ransom by a greedy Hibs when a further £270,000 offer was rejected last week and had resolved to sign the midfielder on a pre-contract in January, when he would have been free to talk to interested clubs.

That’s when Celtic made their underhanded bid to hijack the transfer.

With the Parkhead club offering £275,000, Liam Henderson on a season-long loan (with Celtic paying his wages in full) and the yet to be confirmed permanent transfer of £200,000 rated Dylan McGeouch, the full value of the deal could potentially amount to around £750,000 for the Easter Road outfit.

Allan is thought to have been given a wage packet in the region of £7,000 to £10,000 a week at Parkhead and felt he could not afford to turn this down, given the circumstances. Football is a short career as it is, and the possibility of a career-threatening injury at any time holds the Sword of Damocles over every professional player. He felt he could not afford to wait for the Govan giants in January.

So Allan is a Celtic player, telling the club’s official website, “I am absolutely delighted to sign for Celtic, such a fantastic club. It is such an honour to be given this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started and play my part in bringing success to Celtic and our supporters.”

Behind the smiles though, is a secret heartbreak, known only to his closest friends.

A source close to the player told the Decord late last night, “Scott is absolutely gutted about this. He had his heart set on playing for Rangers. Like every Rangers fan, it has been his all-consuming ambition since before he can remember.

“His family are devastated by the whole thing. We had a get-together at his parents’ house earlier this week, just family and close friends, to discuss his options. I’ve never seen so many fully-grown adults bawling their eyes out in the one place before.

“Honestly, it was like an episode of Eastenders with Glaswegian accents or something. Scott’s Da was just in bits and his poor mother had to be taken upstairs and given something to help her sleep in the end.”

“That’s what upsets Scott the most – it’s tearing the family apart.”

Even worse for Scott Allan and his brokenhearted family will be the wise words of Rangers Manager Mark Warburton yesterday. The Master Baker told the Decord, “In truth, we only want players who want to be here and want to play for Rangers.”

A Murray Park insider told the Decord yesterday, “The gaffer really rates Scott Allan. We’d have taken him at the right price, but he was never Warbs’ No1 target. We’re close to signing an international midfielder who will make the fans forget about Scott Allan.

This is sure to come as a further devastating blow to the midfielder. All the right scenes will be orchestrated at Parkhead today. All the right platitudes will be spoken, but don’t be fooled by the drama.

Inside, behind the smiles, Scott Allan is a broken man.

Scott Allan signing for Celtic would be bad news for all concerned

Scott Allan is told of Celtic’s interest

 

 

Spew Heevins1By Decord reporter Spew Heevins

Not content with weakening Dundee United by raiding them for their three best players in the past six months, Celtic are today poised to complete the capture of Hibernian’s best player, Scott Allan. Should the move go through as expected, it will mean bad news for everyone involved.

After their miserable midweek showing against Kilmarnock, this move is evidence that under-pressure Ronny Deila has no confidence in his current squad. He has become increasingly alarmed at the lack of creativity and discipline in his Celtic side. The message this signing would send to his players would be disastrous for the morale of the Parkhead squad.

The signing of Allan will seriously weaken Hibernian, putting their promotion bid in jeopardy. Bad news for Hibs, and for Scottish football, which needs the Edinburgh derby on our TV screens four times a season. Don’t expect a big TV deal any time soon if Hibs stay in the SPFL Championship, although there will be an improvement when Rangers return to their rightful place in the top flight.

The move would be bad business for Scott Allan himself. Potentially the biggest mistake of his life in fact. This is an exciting young player, still learning his trade, who would benefit enormously from playing another season at Championship level. Instead, lured by the elusive promise of European football and a bumper salary, the player could find himself rotting on the bench at Parkhead, with Stefan Johansen, Scott Brown, Nir Bitton, Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor all ahead of him for a place in the starting XI.

Sources close to the player told the Decord, Scott’s friends have all told him he’d be better off staying at Hibs this season and signing a pre-contract with Rangers in January. Chances are that would force his move to Ibrox through for the second half of the season.

“Scott is a huge Rangers fan and they just can’t understand why he would sign for Celtic after all the hard work he put into getting to Ibrox. Especially with Legned’s like Barry Ferguson and Derek Johnstone putting themselves out on a limb in their newspaper columns.

“His friends think he is making a huge mistake.”

Perhaps more importantly, this move will be bad for Scottish football as a whole.

We need a strong Rangers in the top flight and that means Scott Allan in the Ibrox engine room. It would be a huge blow to the Warburton Revolution, which is just beginning to deliver on its early promise and anything that threatens to stall Rangers’ development would be bad for our game.

Perhaps most importantly of all would be the message Hibernian and Celtic would be sending out if they complete the transfer of Scott Allan between them.

We spoke to RST spokesman Gris Crayon last night, who had plenty to say on the matter:

“This is a sinister development to say the least. Everyone knows that Scott Allan is a lifelong Rangers fan who only wanted to fulfil his dream of playing for the Rangers.

“Now here we have two Irish-Catholic clubs playing in blatantly green strips, standing in the way of a young boy’s dream. Hibs have explicitly said they will not sell the boy to Rangers and it isn’t rocket science to see the nakedly sectarian motive behind that refusal.

“Ever since 2012, there has been a suspicion amongst the Rangers support that the rest of Scottish football has been out to do us down. This latest move does nothing to dispel that suspicion and I fear there may be trouble at future Rangers-Hibs matches if Allan does sign for Celtic.

“What will it say about modern Scotland if this move is allowed to go through?”

When a shrewd observer of the Scottish game like Grayon voices such fears, the rest of us should sit up and take notice.

Celtic may well have agreed a cash-plus-players deal with the Easter Road outfit, but this saga is set to rumble on. The Decord understands that Rangers are furious about this latest development and are set to make a formal complaint to the SFA about the behaviour of Celtic, Hibernian, and possibly Scott Allan himself, whom Rangers believed was their player.

German visionary Klomp backs Warbs over Dean set-piece slur

Jurgen Klomp in his Fortuna Würtemburg coaching days in 1964

Spew Heevins1 By Decord reporter Spew Heevins

Bitter Brentford defender Harlee Dean has criticised Mark Warburton over his alleged failure to practice set pieces while in charge of Brentford and ridiculously suggests that the Master Baker bears some responsibility for the Bees’ failure to negotiate the EPL play offs at the end of last season.

Warbs need not trouble himself over the spiteful comments of a former player with an axe to grind. He has nothing to prove after transforming Rangers into potential quadruple winners after just a few short weeks in charge, but the journeyman’s comments will still rankle with Rangers and the Ibrox legions.

An unlikely ally for the Warbmeister has emerged though in the form of German football visionary Jurgen Klomp.

Klomp may be 90 years old but the twinkly eyes of the spritely pensioner still display the keen intelligence that saw him play a key role in transforming West Germany into a footballing superpower in the post-war era. Indeed, many analysts of the German game regard his visionary ideas as being the cornerstone of Germany’s stunning FIFA World Cup triumph in Brazil last summer.

Born in Baden Baden in March 1925, the young Klomp was a keen sportsman who in the 1930’s saw football as a way of resisting the Nazi regime. He explained to the Decord last night, “Germany was such a regimented society under Herr Hitler. Everything was geared towards the needs of society as a whole. There was no room for the rights and desires of the individual.

“That’s why football appealed to me so much – it was the one place where I could express my individuality and be myself. Hitler couldn’t touch me on the football field!”

As a young striker with Bayern 1860 in 1945, Klomp was enthralled by tales of the legendary Frenchman Just Fontaine told to him by occupying French soldiers and resolved to base his style on that of the Gallic Goal Machine.

He quickly became a fixture in the West German set up, but was forced to end his playing career due to injury at the age of just 26 in 1951.

His coaching potential was quickly spotted by West Germany manager Sepp Herberger and Klomp was an integral part of the backroom team that engineered a famous 3-2 win over Ferenc Puskas’ Mighty Magyars in the final of the 1954 World Cup – a triumph immortalised in the movie The Miracle of Bern.

Following an outbreak of jaundice in the West German squad, suspected of being related to performance enhancing drug use, Klomp decided to quit the national set up and took charge of struggling amateur side Fortuna Württemburg. Within a few short decades, Klomp took them all the way to the top of the Bavarian amateur league with a brand of exciting, expansive football, involving a concentration on quick passing and movement and an insistence on playing the ball on the ground and clearing your lines quickly. Sounds familiar to Rangers fans since the Master Baker began working his magic on the training ground at Murray Park.

Klomp told us, “I always wanted to play an exciting brand of football. The fans should leave feeling they have been entertained. They should be impatient for the next game. At Fortuna, we always tried to do that.”

Among those enthralled by Klomp’s Fortuna Württemburg revolution was a young Helmut Schön, who believed Klomp’s methods could be successfully translated to the professional game. He implemented Klomp’s methods exactly in winning the World Cup in 1974, repeating the 1954 trick of thumping everyone’s pre-tournament favourites in an enthralling final.

Following the final, a host of German stars, including Schön, Gerd Müller and Franz Beckenbaeur, lined up to credit Klomp as the inspriration for their victory. Indeed, since 1974, Klomp has been known affectionately as Der Groβvater of German football.

Speaking from his modest home in the famous Bavarian spa resort last night, Klomp insisted that Dean’s criticism of Warbs is nonsense.

“I never in my life focused on practising set-pieces in training,” he said. “If you relentlessly practice set-pieces, you are sub-consciously telling your team you have failed. The best teams score goals from open play and practicing set-pieces tells your players they are not good enough to create chance on their own.

“This in turn creates a culture of failure, as can be seen from Brentford’s elimination from the Capitol One Cup last night, now that their new coach is practicing set pieces!”

Klomp has been a keen observer of Warbs’ coaching career, ever since he took over the Watford youth team in the late 1990’s and was surprised to say the least when Brentford opted not to renew his contract last January. “Brentford have blundered in this decision. Throughout Europe Mark Warburton is regarded as the Wunderkind of the coaching world. I fully expect Rangers to be challenging seriously for the UEFA Champions League within the next three seasons under his guidance.”

When a legendary figure like Jurgen Klomp sings your praises, the words of journeyman defender Harlee Dean can be safely dismissed as the rantings of a bitter loser.