Hamilton Academical

Scottish Premiership
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Scottish FA extends suspension to June 10

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Scottish football has extended its COVID-19 suspension of activity until June 10.

That date is some six weeks longer than the initial expectation of April 30, and includes training.

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“The message is very clear: The government restrictions introduced to save lives must be adhered to and there is no prospect of an early resumption of training let alone organized football in Scotland for several weeks,” said a statement from the Scottish FA.

Celtic is running away with the title though there’s some minimal hope for stumbling Rangers, who have a match-in-hand as part of their 13-point deficit on Neil Lennon’s leaders.

The relegation picture is a lot cloudier. Hearts are in the automatic relegation spot with 23 points, four points back of playoff side Hamilton. St. Mirren and Ross County have 29 points.

The Scottish season traditionally divides into top six and bottom six after 33 matches, so there would be plenty of chances for teams to affect their fate.

Scottish manager reports himself for breaching gambling rules

Scottish manager breaches gambling rules
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GLASGOW, Scotland — A manager in Scotland’s top division reported himself to the country’s soccer federation for breaching gambling rules.

Hamilton Academical manager Brian Rice has struggled with a gambling addiction in the past, and said Monday: “My disease has returned.”

Rice was charged by the Scottish Football Association for breaching rules in each of the past five seasons and faces a hearing on Jan 30.

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“I have apologized to those at the club in whom I have sought counsel,” Rice said, “and I apologize today to the players, fans and colleagues I have let down through my gambling addiction.”

Rice, who has coached Hamilton since last January, said he reported himself “to remove the stigma attached to this horrible, isolating disease, in the hope that those involved in Scottish football who are similarly in its grasp feel they can seek help.”

“After committing to recovery, I cannot believe that I have found myself back in the grip of gambling addiction but this disease is not cured with a finite course of treatment,” he said. “You are an addict for life and through my commitment to the 12-step recovery program, I am confident I can stay on top of this disease one day at a time.”

Hamilton is in 11th place in the 12-team Scottish Premiership.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man Utd linked with Benfica mid; Moyes targets duo

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Erling Haland has moved to Borussia Dortmund and Pedro may be departing Chelsea, so what’s next?

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Manchester United is looking toward Benfica center midfielder Gedson Fernandes, according to Sky Sports.

Fernandes, 20, has a big price tag attached to him but that fee may take a dive given the player has dipped down his manager’s pecking order.

The report says it could be a loan deal with a $45 million option to buy, well shy of the player’s $134 million release clause.

He was twice-capped by Portugal in 2018, and has three goals and seven assists in 58 first team matches.

The low obligation loan-to-buy would likely be tempting for any number of teams, as Fernandes is yet to meet his potential but certainly had loads of it.


New West Ham boss David Moyes is already being tipped to chase two familiar names as he demands better from the Irons’ most recent buys.

Neither has starred in the top flight in recent days, as Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has just one goal in 282 minutes this season. But he was a Europa League monster last season, and put together 13 goals and 10 assists in 45 matches last season.

Then there’s Joe Allen, who’s scored three times in 23 Championship appearances for Stoke City this season. He stayed with the club following its relegation but may be open to a top flight return.

The 29-year-old has 199 Premier League appearances.


Newcastle United is turning its eyes to Scotland for another attacking threat.

Lewis Smith, 19, has caught the attention of the Scottish Premiership at Hamilton Academic, where he’s scored four times with three assists this season.

He’s played in the center of the park and at right midfield as well on both wings. Smith has repped Scotland as the U-17 and U-21 levels.