Heart of Midlothian

Danny Wilson provides relief for Hearts in troubled times

Written by Ruaraidh Mackay.

THE signing, or rather, extension, of Danny Wilson’s contract at Hearts last week provided yet another swirl of controversy around the Tynecastle club as fans of opposing clubs voiced their outrage at the player signing a two year deal in Gorgie.

The reason for their indignation is of course that Hearts have a transfer embargo placed on them as long as they remain in administration. Job cuts at Tynecastle have led to regrettable redundancies for many of Hearts’ workers, all of whom are victims of the previous regime’s reckless spending for too many years.

Danny Wilson’s signing was therefore seen as Heart’s bending the rules to suit them. However, the club is well within their right to exploit a registration loophole to improve a completely threadbare squad that stands a slim chance at the moment of survival next season, starting with a -15 point deduction.
 
 
Hearts fan are used to Hampden trips but face tough 12 months.
 
Not only did Wilson take a 50% wage cut (an incredible gesture considering he had offers to play elsewhere), his signing is a huge asset business wise to Hearts and any prospective new owners will see it as a massive positive in any thoughts to purchase the club. This alone justifies the Scotland international’s signing.

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Heavy Hearts, light wallets

Written by Matt Ward.

Yesterday afternoon’s press releases indicating that the Heart of Midlothian owners had finally accepted that the money had indeed run dry came as no surprise to anyone. Nonetheless, the news was still a sore one to take for everyone connected with the football club. These types of news headlines and rumours have been brushed under the carpet for many years, but the writing has sadly been on the Tynecastle Stadium wall ever since it was reported that the players and staff’s wages were more frequently being received late.

I’m not a financial specialist and don’t claim to have all the answers, but whatever the post mortem results produce regarding the full extent of the dire mess that the club is in, Hearts fans have shown in the past, and will no doubt show it again through fundraising events, donations, ticket sales and other projects, that they will rally round and fight tooth and nail to keep their club alive. This is a fantastic thing to witness and not all clubs are fortunate enough to have such caring and passionate fans.

However, I would like to remind some fans that not every supporter of the club has spare money lying around unaccounted for which they can just hand over to the club or any other organisations, at the drop of a hat. The majority of us have monthly repayments such as mortgages, credit cards, student loans, nursery/school fees and car loans to name a few and times are tough. So its been disappointing to read on social media sites some fans trying to, in my opinion, pressure other fans into parting with their hard earned money.
 
 
 
I appreciate that when the headlines came out about the state of things down Gorgie Road, tensions were high and some fans were quick to voice their opinions about the best way forward. This is because people care and are extremely passionate about the club and that is understandable, but I feel this could be channelled differently. If someone can’t purchase a season ticket on instant demand, or pledge money to the Foundation of Hearts at this current juncture, for whatever reason, does that make them any less of a fan? Of course it doesn’t.

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Could we as Hearts fans have done more?

Written by Scott Cockburn.

MONDAY'S announcement that Hearts have entered Administration comes not only as little surprise but also perhaps the first step in protecting a Club founded 139 years ago.

Quite simply Hearts have been run into the ground by the current board to the extent that there is literally no cash in the Tynecastle bank accounts. Ultimately, it has been the summer months and the lack of immediate income that has brought this eventuality.

Certainly it is my opinion as a long-life Hearts supporter – although no finance expert – that the directors should have called 'time' at least a year ago when HMRC first threatened to wind the club up. Instead they have battled away and used up every revenue stream in an attempt to keep the wolf from the door to the extent there is for example, no 2013-14 season-ticket money to work with even as early as June.
 
However the overriding conclusion for me is that the directors were always reluctant to renege on the debt to UBIG who were effectively the paymasters of the club. Had it been a British bank Hearts would have been in administration in 2004 when the club was being forced to sell off Tynecastle to repay Bank of Scotland.
 
The irony is that owing huge sums of money to UBIG/UKIO has not only kept the club alive but also nearly killed it.
 
Are Hearts fans culpable for the mess Romanov has left?
 
Instead we now have a club that is bereft of cash, left with a squad that is low on both quantity and quality, and in short a business that is considerably harder work for the administrator than may have been the case. The hope now is that the Jambos can survive the summer and start taking in money from the new season. It strikes me that the hardest part of the administrator's job is to get the business into a trading one given that many cuts have already taken place, perhaps there is even worse news to be revealed when they get into the detail at Tynecastle?

The question is now - was it worth it?
 
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Will my son be able to watch Hearts in five years?

Written by Christopher Russell.

ADMINISTRATION has stalked Hearts for years. A dark, lurking creature, withdrawing to the shadows of a dark corner after each cup win or European qualification. Poking it’s unwelcome head into the public consciousness when players wages weren’t paid or tax deadlines were missed.

In my time as a Hearts supporter, I can’t recall a time when the financial management of the club was far from the news. As a youngster Wallace Mercer and his proposed merger was the talk of the day but I wasn’t old enough to comprehend it all. Then along came Chris Robinson and his cold, detached approach to the club’s fate, willing to sell off the stadium with no long term plan for relocation.

Tynecastle was saved by a Russian born millionaire based in Lithuania. Not just saved, soon propelled to the top of the table with a batch of international quality players.

Questions were always there, but could easily be dismissed as xenophobia or bitter retaliations from journalists stung by Romanov’s latest outburst at the Scottish media. The management of on-field affairs was a growing frustration to the fans, managers came and went but at least the funds were there for all the contracts that had to be paid up when Vladimir lost his patience.

But now he has lost more than his patience. A fortune has disappeared, his sporting interests abandoned. Perhaps it was not always destined to be thus.
 
 
The cup win over Hibs now seems a long time ago
 
The financial climate has claimed many a victim. Administration in 2013 does not validate the accusations of financial skulduggery that have dogged Vladimir Romanov since he arrived in Scottish Football.

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Ian Murray fears Hearts being broken

Written by Matthew Harold.

ALMOST 13 months ago Hearts were celebrating their greatest triumph as they lifted the Scottish Cup after a resounding 5-1 victory over Hibernian. Now they stand on the brink of administration.

After failing to pay their players on time on Friday, the Tynecastle club were handed a registration embargo by the SPL, which puts into the doubt the signing of Liverpool defender Danny Wilson, who was on-loan to the club during the second half of last season.

Now Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, the head of The Foundation of Hearts, a fans group that is looking to gain control of the club admitted administration is close.

“Anything which clears up the ownership of the club certainly helps," said Murray. "But nobody wants the club to go into administration; there is a significant human cost.

“People tend to think football clubs are about scoring goals - but there are 150 staff in these buildings and we don't want them to suffer administration.
 


“But, certainly, if it was then there would be some certainty around those drawers. Even the liquidator of Ukio Bankas does not know what the position is with UBIG, so perhaps some clarity would help.”
 
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Fraser Mullen disappointed at Hearts exit

Written by Ruaraidh Mackay.

ON the same day that David Goodwillie and Kris Boyd were linked with fanciful moves to Hearts, right back Fraser Mullen has surprisingly tweeted his disappointment at being told he no longer has a future at Tynecastle.  

Mullen, 19, has been at the club since he was 12 years old and was part of the youth team graduates that have stepped up to the first team in Gorgie during this season. His debut for Hearts was against Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup last season, where he missed a penalty. Despite this, manager Paulo Sergio described the youngster as his ‘man of the match.’

Therefore the decision to release Mullen at the end of his current contract next month will come as a big surprise to Jambos who have seen him in action. Mullen’s technical ability alone makes him stand out from the other options in the right back area next season - Dylan McGowan and Jamie Hamill - who played at RB at the weekend. Hamill’s distribution in the weekend’s derby defeat was particular painful to watch, constantly punting aimless balls forward.
 
Mullen made his debut against Auchinleck Talbot

Mullen said on Twitter: “Not being offered a contract for next season at hearts. Enjoyed being at the club since I was 12 but annoyed the way last few months ended with the injury. Absolute gutted at leaving some of the boys gona miss them a lot.”  

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Hearts: Must do better next term

Written by Ruaraidh Mackay.

SATURDAY'S result at Pittodrie and all round general toothless performance was a good example of how Hearts’ end of season report card will look like – “Must do better next term”.  A drab affair at Pittodrie saw a number of chances created, and as usual, not taken, whilst two were conceded at the other end.

It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better as well. Experienced Scottish Cup winners Darren Barr, Danny Grainger, Andy Webster and Marius Zaliukas are all out of contract in the summer, and it is widely expected that at least Grainger and Zaliukas are set to depart Gorgie as the club continues to try and keep itself afloat following the collapse of the Romanov regime at Tynecastle.

Webster remains one who could potentially remain at the club if Hearts and the Scotland international defender could negotiate a reduced deal. However interest in Webster is likely to be high around the SPL, so Hearts will need to offer competitive rates to keep the experienced campaigner, who has played in consecutive cup finals in his last two seasons for the club.
 
Barr is another who will most likely be offered a deal to remain at the club, and the Hearts fan may feel that even with a wage cut there are not many better options available to him in the SPL. With the possible permanent addition of the so far underwhelming Danny Wilson to the backline there remains hope for Jambos that an experienced spine could be saved from the thinning skeleton of the Hearts squad.

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Who should be the next Hearts manager?

Written by Andrew Southwick.

JOHN McGlynn has left Tynecastle by mutual consent, leaving Hearts looking for yet another new manager.
 
The Jambos have gone through many men since Vladimir Romanov took over, and with his departure likely in the summer the feeling was he had made his last managerial appointment.
 
However with McGlynn leaving weeks before the Jam Tarts bid to win their first League Cup in 50 years, the search for a new boss begins again.
 
It is fair to say Hearts fans rarely see their first choice appointed, with a strange array of managers given the post in recent years. Can any non-Jambo list the names given the job under Romanov without a trip to wikipedia?
 
This list is: George Burley, John McGlynn (caretaker), Graham Rix, Valdas Ivanauskas, Eduard Malofeyev (caretaker), Riabovas Eugenijus (advisor for two games), Valdas Ivanauskas (again), Anatoly Korobochka (caretaker), Angel Chervenkov, Stephen Frail, Csaba Laszlo, Jim Jefferies, Paulo Sergio and John McGlynn.
 
So we can probably expect a surprise appointment when the new man is unveiled, or will the fact it will most likely be Director of Football John Murray who makes the appointment mean a more familiar name gets the post? Predicting who that new man is likely to be could be an impossible job anyway, but here The Away End bravely give it a bash with a run down of possible favourites.
 
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