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Summary

  1. Hearts' Robbie Neilson travels south to speak to MK Dons
  2. Rangers boss Mark Warburton calls Neilson 'a very talented manager'
  3. Ex-Kilmarnock director Russel Smith joins board of fans group Killie Trust
  4. One-third of Scottish players surveyed report threats of violence on match day

Live Reporting

By Keir Murray and Thomas McGuigan

All times stated are UK

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Robbie Muirhead

Richard Wilson

BBC Scotland

Robbie Muirhead scores twice as Hearts beat Rangers to go second in the Premiership in what could be Robbie Neilson's last match in charge.

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Goodbye and tune in

That's all from us today folks. However, there is more about that report revealing threats of violence from fans in tonight's Sportsound, which is about to start on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW.

There will also, of course, be discussion of the potential move from Hearts to MK Dons of the Tynecastle club's head coach, Robbie Neilson.

Child abuse probe launched

Police Scotland has become the latest force in the UK to confirm it is looking into allegations of historic child abuse within football. 

It says it has received reports following claims of sexual abuse in England by former players. 

A UK hotline set up for sexual abuse victims in the wake of the claims has received more than 250 reports since launching less than a week ago. 

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "We can confirm we have received reports in connection with non-recent child abuse within football. 

"We are working with both Operation Hydrant and the NSPCC to ensure there is a co-ordinated UK police response."

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John Barnes

BBC Scotland

The former Kilmarnock director Russel Smith has joined the board of the Kilmarnock Supporters' Society (Killie Trust).

Smith resigned from his position on the football club's board in October after becoming frustrated by the way it was being run.

Last weekend Smith held a question-and-answer session with supporters following the annual general meeting of the Killie Trust and a special general meeting of the Kilmarnock Football Club Supporters' Association. During the session Smith said he felt the club seemed to move from crisis to crisis with no long-term business strategy in place.

The Killie Trust see the appointment of Smith as invaluable in their quest for their long-term goal of achieving fan representation at the Ayrshire club.

The position of Michael Johnston on the Kilmarnock club board has in recent months come under close scrutiny with calls for him to step down. Supporters and shareholders believe his presence is hindering the club securing investment from the business community.

Supporters, who've already drawn up a petition calling for Johnston's removal, plan to demonstrate during this weekend's home match with Dundee.

Kilmarnock's Rugby Park
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Kilmarnock's Rugby Park

A 'disconnect' between fans and players - Boyd

Clive Lindsay

BBC Scotland Sport

Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd feels there is a "disconnect" between the players and the fans at too many clubs and claims that the game has lost some of its fun.

Discussing the Fifpro survey of 169 Scottish players, of whom one-third said they had been threatened by fans on match day, the former Scotland international said: "In football the connection has to be there with the fans. 

"There should always be a level of banter. Everything is too serious now. There's a disconnect between the fans and the players and I think social media has a big part to play in that.

"But there are times when it oversteps the mark. When the racial abuse and sectarian abuse comes in to it, then you've got a problem. There needs to be a line drawn when it is serious and it is not."

January 2009: Rangers fans show their support for Kris Boyd during a 2-0 win over Dundee United
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January 2009: Rangers fans show their support for Kris Boyd during a 2-0 win over Dundee United

From the archives

'Hearts' focus as strong as Rangers' is'

Hearts v Rangers (Wed)

Of Wednesday's game at Hearts, Rangers boss Mark Warburton said: "The most important people are the players.

"We do what we do in our capacity but at the end of the day it is about the players.

"It is an important game and I am sure their focus will be equally as strong as ours.

"It [speculation about Hearts boss Robbie Neilson going to MK Dons] doesn't affect our preparation, we go there and respect them but it is just about Rangers from our perspective."

Hearts v Rangers team news.

Mark Warburton
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Warburton will face Hearts as a manager for the first time

Neilson a very talented manager - Warburton

Hearts v Rangers (Wed)

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has been talking about Hearts counterpart Robbie Neilson, who is due to hold talks with MK Dons about their managerial vacancy.

Hearts host Rangers on Wednesday evening.

"All I know is I had Robbie at Brentford, he was a top professional as a player, he is a very talented manager and he has a very big future in the game," said Warburton.

"I like him enormously. I am very impressed with Robbie and he has a very bright career ahead I am sure but I am only focused on Rangers and he will deal with what he has to deal with."

Robbie Neilson
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Neilson was at Brentford in 2011

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Hearts v Rangers (Wed)

Get your predictions in for tomorrow night's Scottish Premiership match, Hearts v Rangers.

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Hearts v Rangers
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Feel the tension

Neilson expected to be in dugout for Rangers visit

As things stand, Robbie Neilson is expected to be in charge of Hearts for tomorrow's league visit of Rangers. But will he have a job offer in his back pocket?

Neilson heads to Milton Keynes for talks

Robbie Neilson is heading from Edinburgh to Milton Keynes this afternoon for talks with League One club MK Dons. The Hearts head coach was thought to have arranged to travel south after tomorrow night's Premiership match against Rangers, but he may secure a deal with his new club before kick-off. We'll bring you more on this as we get it.

Has Robbie Neilson taken his last training session at Hearts?
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Has Robbie Neilson taken his last training session at Hearts?

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Iwelumo takes on assistant role

Chris Iwelumo
SNS

Chris Iwelumo, remember him? He's only gone and become assistant manager at Chester.

The 38-year-old, who will be working under Jon McCarthy, will always be remembered by Scottish football fans for missing an open goal in Scotland's 0-0 draw with Norway at Hampden in 2008.

He spent most of his club career in England. It wasn't all bad for the big striker north of the border, however, as he was part of St Johnstone's Scottish Cup-winning side of 2014.

Chris Iwelumo
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Ouch!

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Tough as teak

Hearts v Rangers (Wed 19:45 GMT)

Hearts defender Callum Paterson has been passed fit for the Premiership game with Rangers tomorrow evening. The Scotland right-back went off in the first half of his team's victory over Motherwell on Saturday with a cut and swelling around his eye, but he was back training on Monday. Midfielder Sam Nicholson remains on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery.

Provisional squad: Hamilton, Paterson, Rherras, Rossi, Souttar, Ozturk, Kitchen, Buaben, Djoum, Walker, Cowie, Watt, Sammon, Muirhead, Johnsen, Nowak, Oshaniwa, Currie, Smith, Noring.

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Unacceptable 'in any other workplace'

Our colleague Phil Goodlad interviewed PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart earlier this morning to seek his thoughts on the Fifpro survey of 169 players.

Wishart told the Good Morning Scotland programme that abuse at matches should no longer be tolerated.

"Players are telling us they have been on the receiving end. I think they're telling us it's not acceptable. There is a level that football players are subjected to boos and jeers - that's all part of the game," he said.

"But when it comes personal and discriminatory then players don't want that at football grounds. We've all seen it, pictures of supporters who have completely lost it at the side of the pitch. 

"Some of the things players are telling us is horrific - the abuse of them and their families. Of course players want to be passionate but there is a line where players are saying this is our workplace and that would not be acceptable in any other workplace."

Scottish players three times more likely to be threatened

More than a third of footballers in Scotland say they have had violent threats from the stands on a match day, a players' union survey has found.

The figure - three times the global average - is revealed in a survey into the working conditions of nearly 14,000 male players in 54 countries.

A fifth in Scotland said they had suffered discrimination relating to race, religion or sexual orientation.

Worldwide, 7% of those polled said they had been approached to fix matches.

Full story.

August 2005: Hearts midfielder Paul Hartley seems to be making light of some goading by Hibs fans at Tynecastle
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August 2005: Hearts midfielder Paul Hartley seems to be making light of some goading by Hibs fans at Tynecastle

On the back pages

By now you'll know we love nothing more than a gallop through the back pages of Scotland's papers. Here's what's catching our eye in the online editions today:

  • Newcastle United assistant manager Ian Cathro and former Hearts defender Gary Naysmith are on a shortlist to replace Robbie Neilson should he leave Tynecastle for MK Dons
  • Supporter organisation Club 1872 will look to increase their stake in Rangers as part of any future share issue to raise cash at Ibrox 
  • Defender Darren McGregor insists Hibs' players are being driven on by the fear of not winning a new deal at the Championship leaders. McGregor and his Hibs team-mates face title rivals Dundee United on Friday
  • Motherwell fans will soon have a "unique" opportunity to influence policy at their club, according to director Douglas Dickie.

Read the Scottish gossip column.

Scottish gossip column
BBC

Good morning

A very good morning to you all. Today in our live text commentary we'll be looking at the results of the Fifpro survey, which shows that about one-third of Scottish players have suffered violent threats on a match day, we'll take a look at MK Dons coming in for Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson and we'll hear from Mark Warburton ahead of Rangers' Premiership match away to Hearts tomorrow. Thanks for joining us.