Burns criticises Celtic's owner

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The Independent Online
The rift between the Celtic manager, Tommy Burns, and the club's owner, Fergus McCann, came out into the open yesterday. "I won't quit Parkhead to let you bring in a puppet manager," Burns said in a barbed comment aimed at McCann only 48 hours after the club collected the Tennents Scottish Cup, their first trophy for six years.

Burns, who has brought success in his first season, is furious about what he called a "dilution" of his powers as manager and at McCann's ponderous progress in the transfer market since a share issue raised pounds 14m in January.

Some good news came from the European football union, who stated yesterday that Scotland are rated provisionally in Europe's top 16 nations. That would allow Celtic to avoid the Cup-Winners' Cup preliminary round, but Uefa warned their status is still subject to downgrading.

The Hearts chairman, Chris Robinson, has reacted cautiously to reports that an Edinburgh businessman, Jim Glass, is to launch a pounds 9m takeover bid for the club. Glass, confirming his interest, said yesterday: "I'm fed up hearing Hearts being talked about as Scotland's third biggest club. We must aim to be No 1."

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