The Mirror, 24/10/2005, p56 & p60
By SHAUN MILNE and NEIL McLEMAN
GEORGE BURLEY parted company with Hearts after he refused to pledge his long-term future to the club, it was claimed last night.
The Jambos stunned Scottish football on Saturday by announcing that their manager had left Tynecastle.
Last night a source close to the club claimed Burley had refused to give assurances over his future after he was linked with Birmingham City and Aston Villa.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “The club were told George had been speaking to another club and they asked him to commit his long-term future to Hearts.
“He apparently told them he couldn’t or wouldn’t do that. As a result, club owner Vladimir Romanov said fine, and showed him the door.
“No fall out, no argument, just a straightforward business agreement between the two.
“It’s a real blow for Hearts. They know how good a manager Burley is, which is why they went for him in the first place.
“But if they felt he would walk this early into the rebuilding of the club, what else could they do?
“What they are looking for now is a manager who will pledge his future to them and guide them to success in Scotland and Europe.”
After Saturday’s match Romanov admitted to fans he had taken the decision to end the relationship with his manager, but told them: “Don’t worry, we will still finish top.”
Meanwhile, Burley has emerged as the most wanted manager in Britain after his shock sacking.
In addition to the interest from Birmingham, whose boss Steve Bruce is under pressure, he is also bookies’ favourite for the Republic of Ireland job and will be in the frame for any top positions which become available.
Burley is understood to be seeking a quick return to the game and managers near the foot of the Premiership will be looking over their shoulders.
Burley has an excellent pedigree after leading Ipswich into the UEFA Cup and taking Derby to the fringe of the Championship play-offs last season.
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