Rangers take the initiative

SCOTTISH FOOTBALL
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The Independent Online
Rangers season-ticket holders are being asked to invest £399 for the right to buy a season ticket for the next 25 years, and have their name in writing at a 51,000 all-seated Ibrox. Rangers hope their "Ready for the Future" initiative will raise at least £5m, and the Rangers chairman, David Murray, says Walter Smith, the manager, will be handed "between £7m and £10m" to buy new players this summer.

Rangers can seal their seventh successive Scottish Premier Division championship before they play Hibernian at Ibrox tomorrow, should Celtic fail to take three points at Pittodrie.

Two games in four days could decide Aberdeen's future as a Premier Division side. The Dons - facing relegation for the first time in their 92-year history - play Celtic at home today and travel to Motherwell on Tuesday. They are four points adrift of second-bottom Dundee United, and five behind Partick Thistle.

Tommy Burns, the Celtic manager, who is likely to be without Peter Grant and Pierre van Hooijdonk, said: "It must be absolute torture for Roy [Aitken, the Aberdeen manager] right now. That said, that is something which accumulates over a season."

Elsewhere, the race for European places and Premier Division survival dominates the other three games. Motherwell go to Falkirk with their sights set on a return to Europe.

At Tynecastle, Hearts hope to beat Partick Thistle to arrest a run of four successive defeats which have seen them crash out of the Cup and plunge towards the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Dundee United search for their first win under Billy Kirkwood at home to Kilmarnock.

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