Wolves react furiously to Rangers' signing of Muscat

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The Independent Football

Wolves yesterday alleged that the transfer of their full-back Kevin Muscat to Rangers was in contravention of the game's rules. The Australian international will move to Ibrox this summer on a Bosman free transfer, but only after a stinging rebuke from the club he leaves behind.

"I am very, very unhappy at the situation," said the Molineux chief executive, Jez Moxey. "We believe rules have been broken because the laws about players signing pre-contractual agreements were changed for this season.

"The player has admitted signing this contract after first denying it and I feel no need to protect him, although I suspect ignorance has played a part with what he has done.

"Rangers are saying they have not broken any rules and I am sure they will defend their corner, but I have to express our anger and disappointment at what has happened."

Muscat, who was stripped of the captaincy by Dave Jones last summer, missed Wolves' last seven matches of the season, initially through a three-match ban and then because of an Achilles injury.

Jones was critical of the defender for getting himself sent off against Grimsby at the start of Wolves' fall from the top two places in the First Division and there has been an uneasy relationship between the two for many months.

Moxey added: "This issue raises all sorts of questions but I don't think we'll be able to demonstrate that Rangers are in breach of any regulations. It's not a witch-hunt, I'm just stating facts."

Birmingham City are expected to take a huge band of supporters to the First Division play-off final against Norwich City, with tickets selling fast. The Blues received over 34,000 tickets for the game at the Millennium Stadium and around three-quarters of them have already been sold.

The Gillingham chairman, Paul Scally, is to take a pay cut in the wake of the collapse of ITV Digital. In an effort to reduce the club's overheads following the shortfall of cash clubs will now receive from television revenue, Scally is to reduce his own pay by 60 per cent.

Peter Lovenkrands' agent claims Barcelona and Real Madrid are battling for the players' signature – but he insists he has no intention of leaving Rangers. Lovenkrands' agent, Ivan Benes, said: "Barça are certainly interested and Madrid coach Jorge Valdano has already asked me about Peter a few times because he likes him very much as a player. But Peter wants to stay in Scotland for at least one more season."

The Rangers striker Tore Andre Flo will cut short his celebrations of the club's Scottish Cup triumph over Celtic with his team-mates in Marbella to have surgery on his nose. The Norwegian international broke his nose in a match against FC Copenhagen last year and has been troubled by it ever since.

Ricardo Fuller is set to play his final game for Heart of Midlothian on Sunday. The Tynecastle side were desperate to hold on to the highly rated Jamaican striker, who has impressed since joining on loan in October.

The Hearts head coach, Craig Levein, wants Fuller to remain at the Edinburgh club for the new season, but his agent, Phillip Graham, said: "It is very unlikely Hearts will be able to do a deal."

The Dundee chief executive, Peter Marr, admits he cannot be sure if Ivano Bonetti will still be the club's manager next season. The Italian has one more year left to run on his contract, but, after marrying in February, he will become a father in August and Marr believes the change may affect whether he will want to remain in Dundee.

Marr said: "He's contracted for another season but, when you live in a foreign country and things change back home, you've got to think about what you want to do."

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