Airdrie back in business as Archibald battles on

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The Independent Online

The interim liquidators KPMG have confirmed that Airdrie have re-opened for business after accepting a £15,000 cheque from supporters.

The interim liquidators KPMG have confirmed that Airdrie have re-opened for business after accepting a £15,000 cheque from supporters.

Steve Archibald, who runs the Scottish First Division club, was locked out of Airdrie's Excelsior stadium on Thursday after reaching an impasse with KPMG over a security deposit. KPMG wanted £40,000, but Archibald was only prepared to pay £25,000. However, a fans' group, Diamonds Direct Action, have made up the full amount.

The money has been passed on to Archibald, whose lawyers will hold it under the terms of the Interim Management Agreement. "Steve Archibald has also agreed to sign the Interim Management Agreement and to cover the £15,000 outstanding," a KPMG statement said. "These funds are used to pay certain staff wages, heating, lighting, insurance, etc. The money has not been used as any 'fee' to KPMG, nor has the firm received any payment from the liquidation."

Archibald, who confirmed that today's game at Alloa will go ahead, said: "We have remained very positive despite the situation and the players have been flying in training."

"I actually had to calm them down. I thought I might have to lift them up after the events of the last 48 hours, but that has not been the case at all. It has proved we are a solid unit and we are sticking together."

Airdrie had an injury doubt over one unnamed player, but Archibald, the former Tottenham striker, and his team have been unable to gain access to the treatment room and so the player will miss today's game.

The Hibernian manager, Alex McLeish, has won the Bank of Scotland manager of the month award in the Premier League while his striker Mixu Paatelainen collected the player of the month prize.

Top-of-the-table Hibs will give late fitness tests to Franck Sauzée and David Zitelli for tomorrow's visit to Dundee, who have doubts over player-manager Ivano Bonetti and midfielder Alessandro Romano.

Henrik Larsson return to Celtic's line-up for tomorrow's game at Kilmarnock but there is a doubt over Chris Sutton.

Rangers, at home to St Mirren, restore Michael Mols, Jörg Albertz and Ronald de Boer to their squad, but Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Sergio Porrini and Tony Vidmar are all out.

Celtic and Rangers are to meet in the semi-finals of the League Cup on 6 or 7 February. St Mirren play Kilmarnock in the other semi-final. The Celtic manager Martin O'Neill said he was glad to be in the last four after a difficult quarter-final at Hearts.

"We are delighted that we are still in the competition after a couple of moments against Hearts when we might not have been," he said. "But this does not come any tougher."

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