Hearts boss John McGlynn remains committed to ‘biggest repair job since 1970s’
THE current financial retrenchment at Hearts has been characterised by John McGlynn as “probably the biggest repair job since the 1970s”.
The manager said he had been aware of the scale of the task when he took up his post in the summer, but feels that some of the club’s supporters have yet to come to terms with the change.
Hearts allowed several of their highest earners to leave at the end of last season, and sold David Templeton to Rangers at the end of the August transfer window. They have still to receive some of the fee for Templeton, but despite the money saved by those other moves, they have been unable to pay all their playing and coaching staff on time both this month and last. McGlynn and a number of players were due to receive their overdue salaries by last night.
“Everyone will be paid by the end of play today and that’s good news,” McGlynn said yesterday. “I’m sure everyone will be happy with that.
“I knew it was a big job when I came in and nobody else kind of realised that,” he continued when asked about the financial state of the club. “It’s probably the biggest repair job since the 1970s. If you are a Hearts fan, you cannot be totally comfortable and I think they have to realise that. I think they have to rally round and we have to try to get as many bums on seats as possible. That is very, very important.
“As always, it is easier to follow a winning team and we need to get the team winning. Without painting too bleak a picture, I think everyone has to try to support the football club.”
Judged purely on monetary input, it could be argued that current owner Vladimir Romanov carried out a bigger “repair job” when he took over at Tynecastle from Chris Robinson in 2005. While Romanov’s Ubig group have steadily withdrawn funding over the past year, in the previous six years the Kaunas-based businessman ploughed tens of millions of pounds into Hearts. In terms of austerity measures, however, McGlynn is entirely correct to say there has been nothing bigger in more than 30 years. The 1970s saw Hearts decline both on and off the field until they were bought by the late Wallace Mercer. Robinson, the next majority shareholder, was only spared the ignominy of selling Tynecastle to deal with the club’s debt when he was bought out by Romanov.
“You could obviously tell there were cuts and the club were going to go down the youth route,” McGlynn said when asked what he had known of the state of the club at the time of agreeing to succeed Paulo Sergio as manager. “That’s something I’m big on and it was something I was willing to work with. The season-ticket money is in and we’ve played Liverpool. But we’ve sold David Templeton to Rangers and there’s still money to come in for him. So there are other ways which a football club has to go to get money in. I just have to concentrate on the football side of things.
“Everyone knows a lot of players left at the end of last season and that happened for a reason, to bring the wage bill down to a more manageable situation. So you hope it [the salary problem] doesn’t happen again, but it has, and obviously Hearts will maybe have to cut back even more perhaps.
“I love working here, I love working with the players, I love the football club and we’re trying our utmost to get results. It would be better without the hassle but we’ll get on with it. That’s where you find yourself and that’s what you deal with. At Raith Rovers it wasn’t as if I had loads of money to go out and spend on players.
“So I’ve been used to working with no budget and ducking and diving and trying to get the best of the players. That’s what I have to deal with here and cope with the hiccups and the pitfalls that come along the way.”
Hearts’ loss of key players has been evident in their league form – they are ninth in the table at present, just five points ahead of bottom club Dundee. But they are also only four behind Motherwell, who they play tomorrow at Tynecastle, and McGlynn remains confident there can be a quick improvement. “There’s nothing in the league table at all – nothing that can’t be turned around with two or three victories. Look where St Johnstone are, look where Aberdeen and Hibs are. These were teams who weren’t doing well last year. So two or three wins is not insurmountable. I have plenty of faith and belief in the players.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South