League Championship side Derby County CEO Sam Rush has insisted that the club's near £8M ($12.8M) loss for the last financial year is "in line with expectations," according to the BBC. The loss of £7.9M ($12.6M) for the year ending June 30 "was slightly up on the previous year's deficit" of £7.7M and leaves the Rams' debt at around £34M ($54.4M). That figure includes a £15M ($24M) mortgage on Pride Park (BBC, 1/17). Rush said: "The results posted are very much in line with our expectations, and although they relate to a time prior to my arrival at the club, they do offer evidence of one of the key factors that attracted me to Derby." He added: "The simple truth is that somebody has to cover our working capital needs, as well as make continued investments in our squad and wider infrastructure. The ownership group’s strength offers the club that much needed financial stability" (DERBY TELEGRAPH, 1/17).
The Scottish Premier League has "lifted the transfer embargo" on Heart of Midlothian, however, it "will only be able to sign players under 21, and there will be a policy of ‘one in, one out,'" according to the SCOTSMAN. Thursday's "lifting of the ban also comes with the condition that any player being signed by Hearts must cost less than the one leaving." Hearts Manager John McGlynn said that it will be "one of the youngest Hearts squads ever" (SCOTSMAN, 1/17). The BBC reported the Tynecastle club "had been placed under a signing ban last year due to late payment of wages and it was extended over a 'remuneration default.'" Hearts "were informed in December that these restrictions would come into force if and when the transfer ban ended." An SPL spokesperson said: "The board of the SPL has received information, including details of January salary payments to players and coaches, as a result of which it is satisfied that the recent remuneration default is no longer ongoing" (BBC, 1/17).
Scottish Third Division Rangers Manager Ally McCoist "called for Rangers to be fast-tracked into Scottish football’s second tier," according to Colin Duncan of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The Ibrox manager "is against proposals to introduce a 12-12-18 setup next season" which, if voted through, would mean the Ibrox side will not be promoted regardless of whether they are crowned Division Three champions. Rangers "have always insisted they did not want to be fast-tracked into the top flight, but McCoist feels there is a precedent for the bottom league winners going up when a new structure is introduced" (DAILY RECORD, 1/17).