Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...
Members of the Japanese community are hoping the combined generosity of Dundee FC fans and Courier readers will help boost their funds for the rebuilding effort in their home country. A 20-strong group will be auctioning off a signed Dundee FC shirt and two signed footballs which were presented to them at the game against Cowdenbeath, where they were guests of the DFC Supporters' Society. The items are to be auctioned on eBay to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross and other voluntary organisations dealing with the chaos caused by last month's earthquake and tsunami. The group has already raised a significant sum through bake sales and donations and is hoping the Dundee merchandise will help to boost the funds. Dr Kei Sakamoto from the college of life sciences at Dundee University is co-ordinating the effort and said Tayside's Japanese community have been overwhelmed by the generosity of residents, in particular Courier readers. "There have been a few articles in The Courier about the bake sale we were holding and that helped quite a bit we raised over £3000 from that," he said. He said individuals and community groups who could not come to the bake sale but read about it in The Courier have sent donations. He added, "So far, we have raised over £5000 and Dundee FC has been very kind in donating the signed shirt and footballs." Bids can also be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01382 386378.
A new community fund has been set up to help Cowdenbeath FC in its fight for survival. The Courier revealed there are fears the Fife club might go to the wall within a year without a substantial cash injection, with officials warning they need £135,000 to keep going if Cowden are relegated from League Two. The matter was also raised in the Scottish Parliament, where Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Claire Baker urged people to chip in to help support the 137-year-old club. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/politics/scottish-politics/618128/cowdenbeath-fc-crisis-raised-parliament-amid-fears-club-faces-closure-within-year/ Fan Stephen Whyte has now set up a crowdfunding appeal through JustGiving which is hoping to raise the £135,000 required to fill the hole in the club’s finances. Fans are in optimistic spirits after Cowdenbeath’s comprehensive 3-1 win over Elgin City at the weekend. They have been sharing the appeal on Twitter and social media, hoping to raise the financial prospects of their Scottish League Two club. Writing on the JustGiving page, organiser Stephen, said: “Cowdenbeath Football Club is in desperate need of funds to survive in the Scottish League. “Formed in 1881 this Fife town club is in danger of dropping out of the Scottish league and would struggle to come straight back up again. “They no longer own Central Park and do not receive any revenue from the much-attended stock car meetings which occur regularly. Please support this worthy cause and lets save Cowdenbeath FC from extinction.” Donors have already left messages of support on the JustGiving page, with one supporter saying: “Every little helps…Save Cowdenbeath FC.” Another said: “Good luck raising the funds.” Anyone who wants to support the appeal can visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bluebrazil.
Tayside and Fife dodged a blast of Arctic weather which brought chaos to roads across Scotland yesterday. The mercury dropped to as low as -4.6C in parts of the country with several inches of snow landing across the north-east, closing schools and causing a spate of crashes. The coldest place in the UK was Benson, Oxfordshire, where conditions plunged to -5.3C , while Roxburghshire was the chilliest location north of the border at -4.6C. Locally, Leuchars dropped to 0.9C. Flurries of the white stuff reached the Angus Glens, Kirriemuir and briefly as far south as Arbroath, Forfar and Broughty Ferry. However residents in Dundee and Perth avoided the worst of the weather. Slopes at Glenshee Ski Centre continued to fill in nicely with the resort taking to social media to announce the possibility of its Sunnyside run opening on a limited basis on Friday "if the wind dies down". Temperatures in Courier Country were expected to plummet to freezing this morning, with locals warned of the likelihood of ice on roads and pathways. Lying snow was expected to cause the mercury to drop to -8C, or possibly lower in Scotland's most remote areas. A Met Office yellow warning for snow and ice was put in place for Tayside and Grampian at 11am yesterday and will remain enforced until 10am today, with parts of Perthshire, Angus and the Mearns likely to be affected. Met Office spokeswoman Emma Sharples said Courier Country would remain "dry but cold" throughout Friday, with temperatures due to get slightly warmer across the weekend. She said: "It will be cold and frosty overnight (into Friday) with maybe some ice. Across the weekend it becomes less cold, temperatures are on the rise. "Maximum temperatures (for Tayside) were about 2C - 3C on Thursday. The max on Friday might be 4C maybe 5C, and throughout the course of the weekend 8C or 9C. "Snow lying on Thursday night could mean it ends up being cold for some places. I think some areas across Scotland could be -8C, maybe a bit colder. Over snow flats you don't get any warmth coming up from the ground, you lose that benefit." She added that an "airflow coming off the Atlantic" would cause spells of rain across Courier Country come Saturday. Ms Sharples said: "There could be outbreaks of rain throughout the course of Saturday, enough to make things damp and a bit grey for a time. That frontal system clears away southwards. "Sunday is probably mostly dry with breaks developing. That is how we start next week really, with things perhaps turning cold again."
Donald Findlay will not be stepping down as chairman of Cowdenbeath FC, despite receiving a suspicious package addressed to him. The top Scottish QC was the target of a possible sectarian-related incident when the package was found at Central Park, the club's ground, on May 16. It was believed this was a retaliatory gesture after the death threats to Celtic FC manager Neil Lennon and due to Mr Findlay's previous ties with Rangers FC. The package was discovered by staff member John Cameron at the west Fife ground after it was picked up from the Royal Mail depot and he notified the police. Officers, including bomb disposal experts, then sealed off adjoining streets and the football ground was evacuated. A Royal Mail spokesman said, "Royal Mail is aware of a suspect package at Cowdenbeath Football Club yesterday morning. Any inquiries should be referred to Fife Constabulary." The police have confirmed that the suspicious package was not a bomb and was designed to "cause alarm" to Mr Findlay, who was formerly Rangers vice-chairman and is known for his support of unionism in Scotland. There had been some fears that the incident may lead to Mr Findlay standing down as chairman of Cowdenbeath but chairman of The Cowden Trust, Stuart Juner, said he hoped this would not happen as he valued a person of Mr Findlay's "standing." And Scott Brewster, one of the directors at Cowdenbeath FC, told The Courier that he had heard "nothing" of this and that it would be "business as usual" at the club. "I have not been contacted by Donald himself but I have not heard that he will be leaving the club," he said. He admitted that the club had been shocked by the whole incident. "It's a shame that it happened in the first place but it's also hard to believe that it took place outside the Old Firm that's pretty shocking," he added. There have been suggestions that a knife was sent in the package, but police refused to disclose what was actually in it for "operational reasons." A spokesman said, "We don't want to talk about what was in the package in case the same thing is sent again. It's a case of trying to calm and reassure the public. We are continuing our investigations into this incident." Mr Findlay is the latest in a line of high-profile people to be targeted in what are believed to be sectarian-related incidents. Last month packages of explosives were sent to Neil Lennon, Paul McBride and former MSP Trish Godman, a Celtic supporter.
Raith Rovers have requested that the SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan investigates whether Rangers broke the governing body’s rules by bringing Ryan Hardie back early from Scotland Under-19 duty ahead of Saturday’s clash between the two Championship sides at Ibrox. The Kirkcaldy club say that Rangers assistant manager David Weir helped secure the player’s release before the Under-19s face Bulgaria tomorrow night. While Hardie will now be available to play at Ibrox, Raith will be without on-loan Dundee striker Craig Wighton who has remained with the squad. In a statement, the club said: “Ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Championship match versus Rangers at Ibrox, Raith Rovers FC has today asked the Scottish FA’s Compliance Officer to consider whether he agrees that Rangers FC, through David Weir, have breached SFA Articles and Rules by requesting and securing the early release of its player Ryan Hardie from international duty with Scotland Under-19s in Bulgaria, for the sole reason that he is then available to play against Raith Rovers. “Raith Rovers FC also has an important player in the same Under-19 squad, 1st team regular Craig Wighton. Craig remains in Bulgaria and available for selection for Friday evening’s national representative match. “He will fly home with the rest of the squad on Saturday afternoon. We are delighted that Craig is receiving international recognition, and whilst we are without his services for the crucial match with Rangers, our loss is Scotland’s gain. “Naturally we are concerned that if there is any breach of Article 82.1 and Rules 56 & 57, this would in these circumstances result in an unfairness in terms of players available for selection for Saturday’s match, which is to our disadvantage.” Scottish FA Article 82.1 states: “If any player selected to attend any international or other match arranged by the Scottish FA refuses without good and sufficient cause to comply with the arrangements for playing in such match or fails to attend such match, the Judicial Panel may find him to have been in breach of this Article 82.1, and any club or official or Team Official or other member of Team Staff who may be found to have encouraged or instigated or caused such player so to refuse shall likewise be deemed to be in breach of this Article 82.1 and the provisions of Article 95 shall apply.”
A suspicious package addressed to Donald Findlay QC arrived at Cowdenbeath FC's Central Park on Monday in what is believed to be a retaliatory gesture in the latest episode of sectarian-related incidents in Scotland. Streets around Central Park were sealed off as bomb disposal experts investigated the package. It is understood the package was not a bomb but was designed to cause alarm to Mr Findlay. A Cowdenbeath director told The Courier the package "stood out like a sore thumb" and that Mr Findlay had recently been briefed by police that this kind of action may take place following bomb threats to Celtic FC manager Neil Lennon and Mr Findlay's past association with Rangers FC. The package was addressed to Cowdenbeath chairman Donald Findlay at Central Park and discovered by member of staff John Cameron, who then notified Fife Constabulary. Scores of officers then descended on Central Park and the ground was evacuated for safety reasons. Scott Brewster, one of the directors of Cowdenbeath FC, told The Courier the package had been addressed to the QC and that he had been warned this might happen. "The package was addressed to Donald Findlay at the ground and was found by John Cameron," he said. "It stood out like a sore thumb, so the police were contacted. Officers visited the stadium and the ground was evacuated. "Donald thinks it was due to sectarianism a retaliatory gesture after all the bomb and bullet threats to Celtic manager Neil Lennon."Briefed by policeAnd he revealed that Mr Findlay (60) who was born in Cowdenbeath and educated at Harris Academy in Dundee had been told to beware of such incidents. "Donald had been briefed by the police that this might happen in light of the packages sent to Neil Lennon," Mr Brewster added. He said he understood the suspicious package was not "live." "The package was given the all-clear so I guess that it amounted to nothing," he added. Mr Findlay, who is defending a client at Dundee Sheriff Court, declined to comment to The Courier on the matter yesterday. Celtic boss Lennon has been the target of a concerted hate campaign with packages sent to Celtic's training ground, bullets sent to his home address and last week he was attacked by a fan at Tynecastle Park in Edinburgh. Mr Findlay was previously vice-chairman of Rangers and is known for his staunch support for Unionism in Scotland. In May 1999, he was accused of sectarianism following footage of him singing at a private party organised by a Rangers Supporters' Club after the Scottish Cup Final that year when Rangers beat Celtic 1-0. This led to his resignation from the club. Mr Findlay was cleared of misconduct by the Faculty of Advocates in 2007 after a complaint regarding his conduct at a Rangers Supporters' Club in Larne in 2005 when he is alleged to have made a joke about the death of Pope John Paul II.Small-mindedHe became chairman of Cowdenbeath FC in June last year. Stuart Juner, chairman of the Cowden Trust, said he found the situation "absolutely ludicrous" and feared that it might lead to Mr Findlay cutting his ties with the club. "I had heard about this. It's awful that small-minded individuals can do this," he said. "However, there are people who bear grudges for a long time. The world would be a better place without them. "It's awful that this has come to Cowdenbeath. The worry now is that we would not want to lose a man of such calibre and standing as Mr Findlay due to the likes of this." He added, "When he was appointed chairman of the club, we agreed to move along with the plans for a new stadium at his pace." A spokesman for Fife Constabulary said officers were stood down around 1pm. He said, "Fife Constabulary can confirm that officers were called to Central Park, home of Cowdenbeath FC, in relation to a suspicious package which had been delivered to the address this morning. Initial police resources at the scene have now been stood down. "Police were called at around 9am. We can't give details of the package for operational reasons." Cowdenbeath FC who were relegated to the second division on Saturday following defeat in the two-leg play-off against Brechin have submitted plans with Fife Council for the sale of Central Park, which they hope will allow them to move to a new "community-based" stadium in Broad Street.
A 123-year-old page of The Courier is to hang in the offices of the Spanish Football Association after it was revealed that, thanks to an article in the paper that day, Sevilla FC can officially claim to be Spain’s oldest club. The Courier revealed in September that the discovery of the club being founded 15 years earlier than previously thought was due to the story on page four of the paper from March 17 1890, which details how a group of young British, mainly Scottish, men met in a pub in Seville on January 25 that year to celebrate Burns Night. Along with some Spanish friends, they decided to form the country’s first official football club, and, word having reached back to Dundee, The Courier carried an article documenting the club’s act of constitution. As a result, current members of the club say the article can be considered the founding document of Sevilla FC. The president of Sevilla FC, Jos Mara del Nido, was presented with a copy of the page, certified by the British Newspaper Archive, by the club’s history department on January 25, 123 years after the club’s formation. Another print of the page will be presented by the club to the Spanish FA. Grant Millar, marketing executive of Dundee online company brightsolid, which hosts the online version of the British Newspaper Archive, was told of the presentations by Spanish researcher Javier Terenti. Javier said: “The page in question contains a treasure for the history of Spanish football, since it is an article that describes in detail how the club was founded 15 years earlier than it was thought, thus being Spain’s oldest football club. “The article that is extremely rich in detail shows how the club’s founding date was not a coincidence. “Everything suggests that that Saturday 25 January, 123 years ago, a group of young British, mainly Scots, along with other young men of Spanish origin, met at one of the cafes in the city and celebrated Burns Night with the excuse of founding the first football club in Spain. “Among the most prominent Scots was the club’s first president, EF Johnston, and first captain, Hugo MacColl, who later, upon returning to the UK, became chairman of Sunderland Burns Club. “The discovery of the club’s Act of Constitution within an old edition of the Dundee Courier has been published not only in Spain but also in several important newspapers outside the country.” Mr Carlos Romero, director of the club’s history department, said: “It’s a beautiful article that chronicles the adventures of those first ‘Sevillistas’, in which the following paragraph appears: ‘Some six weeks ago a few enthusiastic young residents of British origin met in one of the cafs for the purpose of considering a proposal that we should start an athletic association, the want of exercise being greatly felt by the majority of us, who are chiefly engaged in mercantile pursuits. After a deal of talk and a limited consumption of small beer, the “Club de Football de Sevilla” was duly formed and office bearers elected.” Mr Miller added: “The reason why this important report was published in the Dundee Courier is probably due to the fact that, at that time, tonnes and tonnes of Seville oranges were loaded on steamships, travelling from Seville to Dundee for the manufacture of the city’s famous marmalade. “However, this connection between Seville and Dundee could even go further if we take into account that two of the members of the Sevilla Football Club at that time, D Thomson and Robert Thomson, could have been related to DC Thomson, founders of the Dundee Courier.”
Cowdenbeath’s board of directors have pledged to pull out all the stops as they aim to keep the club in the league starting with the creation of a special fund designed to help bring in new players. Chairman Donald Findlay recently told supporters at an open meeting that the club’s number one short-term goal is to retain their place in the Championship, and it is hoped the new Managers’ Fund will raise at least £10,000 over the next few weeks to achieve that aim. The ring-fenced fund will allow boss Jimmy Nicholl to bring in new players to augment the squad, be they loans or otherwise; to fund additional wages as necessary and to allow some flexibility. And even though the fund has only been operating for little more than a week, the club have revealed that £3,530 has been donated already. “The board is actively engaged on a number of fronts trying to deliver ‘game-changing’ outcomes for the club,” a statement read. “To help deliver these outcomes, the Blue Brazil really must secure its position in the Championship. That is potentially a key catalyst to help allow the club to take a great leap forward. “To that end, the directors of Cowdenbeath FC have confirmed that they will do all in their power to achieve this goal.” In a bid to boost the Managers’ Fund coffers, the club say every penny from the sale of replica shirts at this weekend’s home game against Raith Rovers will go straight to the fund. Fans donating £50 or more will also be included in a prize draw where two winners will each receive one share in Cowdenbeath FC. The statement added: “The board does not own the club or have a controlling shareholding. The board are fans running this club for the town, the local community, for those of us who still believe that sometimes football dreams can come true.”
Supporters of Cowdenbeath FC had the opportunity to give their backing to the club's planned move to a new stadium. A petition was available to sign in the away end at Saturday's first division clash between Raith Rovers FC and the Blue Brazil. The club want to demolish Central Park and have a supermarket and housing built in its place. It is hoped that the money raised through the sale of the ground will allow Cowdenbeath FC to move to a "community stadium" in Broad Street. Scott Brewster, director at Cowdenbeath FC and also director of Innovate (Cowdenbeath) Ltd, explained the petition. "We, as supporters of Cowdenbeath FC, which was established in 1881, are concerned for the future viability of the club if planning for redevelopment of Central Park is not granted," he said. "The redevelopment of Central Park provides an opportunity to regenerate this prime town centre site which, in turn, would support the economic revitalisation of the High Street, the provision of new housing, and the relocation of the club to a fit-for-purpose community stadium. "If planning permission is not granted for the redevelopment of Central Park we are concerned for the ongoing economic competitiveness of Cowdenbeath and the future viability of its football club. "We are also opposed to development at North End Park and land at Lumphinnans as we see this as contrary to the best interests of the club and local community." Vico Properties plc plans to build a 30,000 sq ft supermarket at North End Park in Cowdenbeath. The company also plans to build a sporting facility at Gagarin Way and Hope Street in Lumphinnans as part of its plan.The petition can be signed at Central Park, Cowdenbeath, and there is also an online petition on the club's website.