The Scottish Premier League is set to change the date of the traditional New Year Celtic v Rangers clash following police advice.
The game is usually played on January 1 or 2, both public holidays, but this Friday´s announcement of the 2011/12 fixture list could see it moved to the last week in December to reduce trouble related to heavy drinking.
SPL secretary Ian Blair told the Scottish Mail on Sunday: “We’ve been working with the police and government and their view is a midweek Old Firm derby is easier for them to deal with compared to the challenges presented by bank holidays, such as January 2.
“While the crowd situation at the actual games has been very good in recent years, their view is that what happens at the stadium has an effect on various parts around Scotland, excessive drinking etc, and the problems created.”
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Magpies eye Celtic skipper.
According to the Sunday Sun, Newcastle United are eyeing Celtic skipper Scott Brown,
The 25-year-old midfielder has been watched by first-team Coach Steve Stone, who has also ran the rule over left-back Emilio Izaguirre, after Toon boss Alan Pardew said he needed ´big characters` to perform at St James´ Park next season.
Brown has already appeared in more than 200 SPL games for both Hibernian and Celtic since making his debut in May, 2003, and holds 25 Scottish caps. Despite his abrasive manner Brown has been watched by a number of Premiership clubs over the past two seasons, and his name has now been thrown into the mix as part of Newcastle´s summer rebuilding plans.
Goalkeeper Fraser Forster, on a season-long loan at Parkhead last term, is wanted by Hoops boss Neil Lennon and could be used as bait in any deal.
Hoops target Palace ace.
Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers could be involved in yet another tug-of-war for a player this summer as both are keen on Crystal Palace midfielder Neil Danns, reports the Sunday Express.
The 28-year-old is out of contract at Selhurst Park and features on a list of targets drawn up by Hoops boss Neil Lennon as well as being the subject of interest from Rangers manager Ally McCoist.
Lennon is looking to cover his options in case Beram Kayal decides to leave and Danns´ agent Derek Green admitted: “Neil is aware of the interest from Scotland and he wouldn’t dismiss the possibility if the offer was right for him and his family.
“For Neil it is not all about finance. I must stress that there has been no dialogue yet, but it is early in the summer and Neil will look at all his options.”
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