A SIGN OF INGS TO COME?: Don’t get too excited just yet Rangers fans but in a surprising move, Sky Bet have slashed the odds on Liverpool front man Danny Ings signing for the Ibrox club to just 8/13. It would be a move that would surprise everyone, including us at back4. There is no doubting Ings’ ability but it is his ability to stay away from the treatment table that is a cause for concern seeing as the £8million signing from Burnley played just six games a cruciate ligament injury suffered in training kept him out for the season.
THISTLE UNHAPPY WITH FIXTURE LIST: It’s no surprise that when the SPFL announced next season’s fixture list there was going to be some problems, it was inevitable. Partick Thistle have made their frustration at some of the SPFL’s decision public with the focal point being only two home fixtures against the Old Firm compared to the four home fixtures other sides will get against the Glasgow clubs.
The statement said: “In previous seasons where both Rangers and Celtic were in the Premiership, pre-split fixtures have been organised to ensure that every club plays three home games against the Old Firm. Without any notification from the SPFL to the contrary, we had expected that this practice would continue this season and that is the basis on which we and other clubs have budgeted.
“However, this season we, Motherwell and Hamilton have been handed only two Old Firm games at home whilst Dundee, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Hearts have four home games. That means an expected loss in revenues for the Club of £120,000 before a ball is even kicked, whilst other clubs will get an unexpected bonus of a similar figure.”
The statement also notes that for the second time in three seasons Partick will be without a game in the second weekend of the campaign.
And to make matters worse for the Jags while most people will be preparing for Christmas on Christmas Eve, Thistle fans will be making the trip to Dingwall to face Ross County. Poor souls.
DUNDEE WIGHT-ON WITH NEW DEAL: There was delight in the Dens Park boardroom today as young striker Craig Wighton committed his future to the club until the end of the 2018/19 season. The 18-year-old featured 15 times for the Dark Blues in the second half of last season and scored the winning goal in the Dundee derby on May 2 that relegated bitter rivals Dundee United.
RAITH SIGN A NEW ROVER: No, Raith Rovers haven’t linked up with NASA or bought a new car, instead they’ve signed a new player. Former Hearts and Kilmarnock defender Kevin McHattie has put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the Fife club. Rovers boss Gary Locke seems to be a fan of the 22-year-old with the defender playing under him at both Hearts and Kilmarnock.
The young lad will bring a host of Premiership experience to Starks Park having made 93 appearances in Scotland’s top flight.
FIXTURES CAUSE FLAG FRUSTRATION FOR HOOPS: There will be a change to Celtic’s flag-raising tradition for the forthcoming season. Normally the Premiership champions would unveil their league-winning ahead of the first game of the new league campaign, however, next season Celtic will kick-off their title defence with a trip to Tynecastle to take on Robbie Neilson’s Hearts. With the Hoops also having postponed the following week’s meeting with Partick Thistle to partake in a glamour friendly with Inter Milan meaning that their only other option, and the one they’ve opted for is to unveil the flag when they kick-off their Champions League qualifying campaign next month.
LEDLEY FIT FOR RUSSIAN TEST: And in some Euro 2016 related news. Joe Ledley, who you’ve probably heard numerous times already broke a bone in his leg just several weeks ago, has declared himself fit for Wales’ crunch final group game against Russia.
The former Celtic midfielder limped off in Wales’ 2-1 defeat to England in Lens yesterday with many fearing that it may have been due to more damage to his leg. But the Crystal Palace star insisted there was nothing to worry about: “It is okay, I felt my calf tightening up a bit during half-time and once I got a bang on it, it stiffened up a bit and we needed to take the precaution with it.
“I did not need to risk it as there is another game to go. I could have played on but the lads said not to risk it.
“I did not expect to play 90 minutes out there and it was just good to start the game.”