The exciting shock in last night’s big game saw Icelanders Valur record a 1-0 home win over Rosenborg in the first qualification round of the Champions League. Whoever wins this tie faces Celtic (caveat acknowledged) in the second round.
There is a long way to go for Valur, Wednesday’s game in Norway will be a major test, but even if Rosenborg emerge, it is encouraging to see them stretched, rather than comfortable winners. Let’s hope Valur have a famous day in Trondheim.
Sports Direct were back in court against Newco yesterday, with a judge confirming their case had merit and deserved High Court consideration. A judge would not agree to hear a civil dispute unless steps had been taken by the pursuer to settle the matter out of court.
This raises the obvious question: Why didn’t Sports Direct and Newco just get his sorted out before incurring significant legal costs, not to mention the embarrassment of yet another ‘favourable settlement’?
It is possible that the Newco’s day-to-day management do not have the levers in place to make decisions like this, and that those who are able to make such decisions exist in a fantasy land. But there is another possibility: one party might want to take this all the way.
Newco have already made it known that delivery of replica shirts will not happen until next month at the earliest. If Sports Direct are in in for the long haul, that could be very optimistic. Not that Newco have done or said anything to create ill feeling at Sports Direct.
It is clear Celtic want John McGinn but he will not be crucial to their plans next season. If the player is happy to wait, Celtic are too. They can offer him a pre-contract in five and a half months. Moreover, they can use the £2m they offered Hibs for McGinn to strengthen elsewhere. An option is being considered.
You would think Hibs would figure where this is heading and accept an offer, but Rod Petrie is still chairman, so don’t expect anything logical to happen. This one has a 1 January 2019 feel about it.