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Foulkes wants Romanov departure
Foulkes wants Romanov departure

Happier times for ex-Hearts chairman Foulkes with Romanov
Former Hearts chairman George Foulkes says it may now be time for club owner Vladimir Romanov to leave Tynecastle.
"Vladimir seems to have lost interest and Hearts require a hands-on owner," he told BBC Sport, following the 4-0 home defeat to Rangers.

"He seems to have written this season off but Hearts can't afford to do that.

"It looks like the club will be stuck in the bottom six for the first time since the SPL began, and that would be awful for a proud club like Hearts."

Interview: Former Hearts chairman George Foulkes

Stephen Frail is currently caretaker manager of the Edinburgh club, and the loss to title-chasing Rangers ensured Hearts now languish in eighth place.

In addition, the club's leading scorer, Andrius Velicka, has joined Norwegian side Viking Stavanger with no sign of a replacement being sought.

And Foulkes lamented: "I sat through the whole game despairing at the lack of spirit in the side.

"Bringing out Andrius Velicka at half-time seemed to rub salt into the wounds.

"Supporters are talking about not renewing their season tickets, and I can understand that frustration."

People have been saying that we need a new manager with authority, and Romanov seemed to agree - but that was months ago

Ex-Hearts chairman George Foulkes
Romanov took over a majority shareholding at Hearts in October 2005.

Foulkes, who was chairman two seasons ago when the Jam Tarts split the Old Firm in the SPL table and won the Scottish Cup, believes the club has been increasingly lacking direction.

"Hopefully Mr Romanov will take the supporters concerns into account, but he's a kind of Jekyll and Hyde figure so I think it's a difficult situation.

"People have been saying that we need a new manager with authority, and Romanov seemed to agree - but that was months ago.

"This is something that needs to be done now," he added.

"I thought it was a terrific irony at the Rangers game that the best manager we had (George Burley) who steered Hearts to their best start to a season since 1914, was actually sitting in a tv studio commentating on what was happening.

"When I saw him I wondered what might have been, and it underlined the importance of having a good manager."

Hearts are expected to announce their financial results within the next few weeks.

Speaking of his concern, Foulkes said: "The club debts have escalated in recent years, and £20-£30m may not be enough for a takeover given the financial problems and lack of clarity regarding the accounts.

"It is difficult to see the way forward and perhaps now there is greater fear than the most troubled times of the past."

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