The Mirror, 25/10/2005, p6
By SHAUN MILNE
SO ROMANOV becomes Vlad the Impaler in the eyes of Scottish football…
The abrupt ending of his relationship with George Burley on the eve of Saturday’s match against Dunfermline sent shock-waves rippling through Gorgie.
Pubs around the ground were packed out with stunned Jambos scratching their heads, asking how? Why?
Yet the majority, are simply confused.
Pundits have long predicted that the Hearts’ bubble would burst with a pop.
It seemed more like a bang, as the club apparently shot itself in the foot just as it was heading for possible greatness.
Bleeding Hearts, all over again. A club destined to be always the bridesmaid. Or so many would gleefully accept.
The pundits are queuing up to take pot shots at the man who 24-hours earlier was being lauded as the very saviour of the club.
Everywhere you turn, someone accuses Romanov, a millionaire Johnny Foreigner, of knifing Burley in the back.
Ruthless for ditching Burley hours after chairman George Foulkes described him as the best manager in Scotland, was among the kinder comments.
But the people who mattered most – the fans – refused to jump on the bandwagon.
In the stands on Saturday, certainly there were none of songs of weeks gone by, but there was no chants of “There’s Only One George Burley..” either as some might have been expected from a supposedly disaffected following.
For now, the questioning should be directed not just at the owner, chairman or the chief executive.
It should be at George Burley himself.
The man who was riding high yet never really looked settled.
A guy who, it appears, had told everyone who would listen what a terrible time he was having under Romanov.
Someone who knew fine that after 10 games unbeaten, his stock was at an all-time high, and the clubs in England would come knocking if he appeared unsettled.
Perhaps they already had. And let’s face it, a £250,000 plus pay-off no one can legally talk about ain’t bad for a few weeks work, especially if you won’t be out a job for long.
Was he really the man to lead a charge into Europe?
Opinion remains divided. He did a great job, but then who wouldn’t given the resources he had to turn a mediocre team into a serious team of title challengers.
But where doubts remain for the fans, hope persists. Hope we can now land a manager to lead us into Europe.
Someone who rather than grinding out results as Hearts have had to do in their last three or four games, will cruise to victory as we did at the start of the season.
After years of disappointment and run ins with Wallace Mercer and Chris Robinson, Hearts fans hope to have found someone they can trust to take their club forward.
It is still early days, and in the coming days that trust will be tested to its limits. Romanov, Phil Anderton and George Foulkes all know this.
And if Hearts suffer greatly as a result of the weekend, the fans won’t be forgiving of Romanov, no matter how many shares he holds, no matter how much money he’s got.
But for now the fans care more about whether the team can see off Killie on Wednesday, and then Hibs on Saturday.
Only then, can the revolution really start. Only then, will we see how far Hearts can go.
Categories: Daily Mirror articles